Bling! Bling!; or whaddya mean I can’t buy my navel ring at the mall?

0g Flesh Tunnels

0g Flesh Tunnels,
originally uploaded by califrayray.

Human beings love adorning our bodies. It’s universal. And pierced people have more choices than most. But, as the old knight said, you must choose . . . wisely.

Body Jewelry: The least you need to know–

  • Basic shapes: The most common body jewelry comes in bar style or ring style, with either a screwed on ball or other end(s), or a bead which is held in place by tension.  Many variations of these two patterns are available.
  • Match piercing to jewelry: Your body jewelry must be correctly sized for your anatomy and placed skillfully.  The expertise of a professional piercer is essential.  Jewelry thickness is measured in gauges, like wire.
  • Quality: Good quality body jewelry can make a real difference in the happiness and longevity of your piercing.  Look for quality materials, manufacturing, and finishing. Premium jewelry has threads that fit together and stay together, rings that hold their tension without losing balls, smooth finishing and polishing so there are no little crevices bacteria can hide in, and implant grade metals and other top-notch materials.  Internally threaded barbells are better.
  • Material: Your basic choices for starting jewelry are titanium, stainless steel, and, if you can afford it, gold.  The specific grade of metal and its components is important.  Titanium is a good all around choice for fresh piercings–the quality is a bit more consistent than stainless steel, it’s lightweight, and most people are not allergic to it.
  • Where to Buy: Don’t be cheap! Quality jewelry is bought through your piercer, or online.  It’s unlikely you will find good quality at mall shops, and there are an awful lot of piercing places that stock crap, too.  Look for US or European made brand names.
  • Make a note: Keep track of the gauge, size (length/diameter, material, and manufacturer.  This can become important when it comes time to replace your jewelry.  If you forget the day after your piercing, don’t fret–it happens to all of us.  Look at your receipt, or call the studio, and write it down somewhere.

Ah, so much jewelry, so few holes!

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