Piercing jewellery material guide
When we browse to find our chosen jewellery, styling comes first, and by styling I mean the variety of colours different metals offer, starting with the common ones such as silver and gold and continuing with rose gold, red gold, black etc. But, there's a significant importance to the type of material you choose for your piercing jewellery.
For the first jewellery for your new piercing, It is always recommended to start with metals known as “hypoallergenic” such as Surgical Steel (316L) and Titanium. Choosing these metals for a new piercing is a smart choice as they are biocompatible- The body doesn’t recognize them as foreign objects and they don't react with body oils and moisture.
We in Tribu, attach great importance to the materials in which we craft our jewellery and use only high-grade materials.
Here's information about the materials we use in our body jewellery, to help you choose the right material for your piercing jewellery
SURGICAL STEEL (316L) The most common stainless steel to use in piercing jewellery, body implants and where a metal with minimal contamination is required. The letter L refers to “low Carbon”, it has a trace amount of nickel and doesn’t react with body moisture.
PVD Coating Are popular for colour surgical steel piercing. The process of making PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) is environmentally friendly, it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and doesn’t create toxic by-products.
TITANIUM is considered to be the top choice for long-term piercing jewellery, it is strong and light in weight, like 316L it is also used for body implants and contains just a tiny amount of nickel.
PLATINIUM The most valuable metal of all, it has an attractive shiny look and can be a decent replacement for people who are sensitive to silver and gold.
STERLING SILVER contains 92.5 silver and 7.5% other metals, the most common is copper or zinc. Developing a reaction to silver is not common as it contains only a small amount of other metals and it’s nickel-free. But, if you do get irritated, it is probably a copper allergy and the solution for it is pure silver jewellery which contains 99% silver.
GOLD Is an alloy of silver, copper and a little zinc. It is a pure form that should not cause allergic reactions. However, if you do get a reaction it is a result of the copper amount in the alloy. To try to avoid cheap alloys, check the jewellery quality and make sure you pay as gold value.
A tiny Tip, gold is a soft metal, thus, when considering getting a solid gold piercing it should be between 14k to 18k. more karats can make the jewellery too soft and bendy.
BRASS An alloy of copper and zinc. It can be produced in a range of colours, from deep red to golden yellow depending on the metal's polish process. Brass is nickel-free, yet people who react to brass jewellery, are probably allergic to copper.
ORGANIC MATERIALS such as bone, horn and wood been historically used by different cultures. They are not recommended for unhealed piercing, they are affected by the heat and humidity and they also absorb body oils and sweat.
Allergies or reactions caused by metals are like any other reaction. It occurs as a result of an “invader”, not familiar molecules wandering through the lymph nodes. The most common allergy among metals is nickel when it's been used in high amounts in alloys to make cheap jewellery. It is difficult to tell the difference between an allergic reaction and an infection, both have similar side effects such as irritation, redness, swelling, burning and itching. However, allergic reactions won’t improve after taking care of the infected area with the right treatment.
Please note, that green stains on the skin are not an allergic reaction to metals, read more here.