Niobium: A Great Body Jewelry Material

NiobiumNiobium is a beautiful material sometimes used for body jewelry. While its use is not so widespread like surgical steel, gold or titanium, it definitely offers some benefits you might want to consider. This is a gorgeous material you will love to wear.

Is it Body-Safe?

Absolutely! One great thing about niobium as a material is that it can be used without the fear of allergies. Niobiom as well as its alloys are inert. It means they don’t cause allergies. This is a great news for people looking for stable, hypo-allergenic jewelry materials.

Colors

Probably the best thing about niobium jewelry is that it comes in many different colors. Just like titanium, it can be anodized so you get different colored jewelry pieces. Also, unlike titanium, niobium can be heat treated black.

This is a great news for all those who prefer their jewelry to be colorful but without artificial colors or other potentially harmful additions to the jewelry itself. It makes niobium jewelry beautiful and body safe.

Additional Advantages

Niobium also offers some additional advantages. It is autoclavable so that’s another thing to keep in mind. Of course, niobium can also be anodized, which gives us all those pretty colors.

Another great thing about niobium is that it can be used for new piercings. Jewelry made of niobium is body-safe and can be used for initial piercings and during the healing time.

Disadvantages

Niobium is a very beautiful material and makes a good alternative to more popular body jewelry materials out there. It has only two disadvantages that need to be mentioned:

  • It’s soft. Niobium is a very soft metal, which may even prove to be advantage in some aspects. When it comes to shaping body jewelry, keep in mind that it can’t be lathed for threading. It means it’s only used for jewelry with no threading, such as Captive Bead Rings. This limits niobium’s use when it comes to body jewelry but it doesn’t make the existing jewelry made of this material bad. It simply means you won’t be able to find all jewelry types made of niobium. However, you will still be able to enjoy all those beautiful rings and other non-threaded jewelry pieces.
  • It’s relatively heavy. Niobium is heavier than titanium and surgical steel. It usually doesn’t pose any problems, unless you are prone to irritations. There are also some people who prefer heavier jewelry. All in all, this disadvantage is not big enough to make niobium into an undesirable material. 

Is Ever OK to Wear Unsafe Body Jewelry Materials?

Internally Threaded Double Gem Set Curved Barbell

Internally Threaded Double Gem Set Curved Barbell

With so many different materials around, it’s sometimes difficult to choose the right jewelry. You’ve probably heard about body-safe materials and the importance of choosing them for your body jewelry. It’s crucial that you pick jewelry made of materials that are safe for you to wear. Meaning: materials which don’t cause allergic reactions, infections or other problems.

It’s well-known which materials are body-safe and frequently used for body jewelry: surgical steel, titanium, bio-plastic, and more. However, it’s also important to know when it’s crucial that you wear jewelry made of these materials and when it’s ok to wear other materials. There are certain types of jewelry or parts of jewelry that can safely be made of other materials without compromising your health. This way, even if you are sensitive, you will be able to wear hybrid and composite jewelry pieces made of several materials.

When to Use Safe Materials

Using body jewelry made of body-safe materials is crucial for numerous things, first and foremost, your health. Certain materials are not suitable to be worn as piercing jewelry because they can cause allergic reactions and infections. Of course, it’s important to note here that a material known to cause allergies can still be worn by you if you are not allergic. However, for initial piercings and most piercing jewelry types, using safe materials (surgical steel, titanium) is the best way to go.

What about hybrid jewelry made of several types of materials? Are they ok to wear? The answer will depend on several factors, one of them being your allergic reactions. As a rule of thumb, however, it’s ok to wear composite jewelry made of different materials as long as the “unsafe” material doesn’t go through your piercing and/or it doesn’t touch your skin.

In practice, it means that the part of the jewelry (barbell, captive bead ring, etc.) inserted into the piercing must be made of a body safe material. It’s best to use popular body jewelry materials, such as surgical steel (not stainless steel!) or titanium. Surgical steel is probably the most popular material used for body piercing and it offers numerous advantages. It’s reasonably prices, smooth, durable and easy to clean.

Titanium is another highly-recommended material. It’s hypoallergenic, very strong but light and it can be anodized to make a wide variety of colors (blue, purple, rainbow, etc.) Titanium and surgical steel are ideal for initial piercings and can be used for all types of piercing jewelry.

Some other materials are also good to use. Bio-plastic, for example, is a very flexible and it’s a good choice for initial piercings, particularly facial piercings. Gold is also a good (safe) material, but it’s not recommended for initial piercings and its downside is a high price.

When to Use “Unsafe” Materials

Generally speaking, unsafe materials should never be used for body jewelry. However, it’s still possible to wear jewelry partially made of these materials as long as the material doesn’t go through the piercing hole and as long as it doesn’t touch your body.

A good example of this are various gems and other ornaments worn on the balls of straight or circular barbells. These materials can add color and beauty to jewelry without compromising health because they don’t come in touch with the piercing itself. Same can be said for various chains, pendants and other ornaments made to highlight different body jewelry styles.

One of the most popular materials of this type is Sterling Silver. It’s very beautiful and soft, so it’s suitable for making many elaborate designs and unique patterns. However, Sterling Silver should not be inserted in any part of the body so any jewelry containing this material should have a basis (shaft) made of surgical steel or titanium.

The Right Jewelry Materials for New and Old Piercings

The materials used in body jewelry is very important to the healing process. While some materials irritate the piercing and prolong the process, some others make the healing comfortable and accelerate it. What you wear in a new piercing is crucial for its proper healing and overall well-being. But what you wear in a healed piercing is just as important. Bad and low quality materials can irritate a completely healed piercing. This can lead to swelling and oozing and even infection yet again!

Investing in good body jewelry is as important as getting pierced by a professional. It is important to buy jewelry that is made from safe high quality materials. They might cost a little more to begin with, but Continue reading