Gold is a beautiful and elegant material that is often used for jewelry. This noble metal is valuable and stunning so it’s not surprising that some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces in the world are made of gold.
Gold also makes a good body jewelry material. However, there are some things to keep in mind before you use any body jewelry piece made of gold. It’s vital to ensure safety and to know how to choose gold jewelry pieces properly. You need to know this info to use gold as body jewelry material properly.
What Gold to Use
Gold is a noble metal that’s often used for traditional jewelry as well as body jewelry. In order to be suitable for piercings, however, gold has to be of specific quality. This is important to keep in mind in order to keep your piercing safe and problem-free.
The first thing to think about is the purity. Pure gold is a very soft metal. It’s about as soft as lead so it’s not the best body jewelry material. All gold with purity higher than 18 is simply too soft. Such a soft metal can be easily scratched, which can lead to numerous problems. Scratches can easily hurt or irritate the body, so jewelry made of such soft gold is nod body friendly and definitely not safe to use.
Another thing to keep in mind are the alloys. These alloys are other metals and elements added to gold in order to improve its characteristics. All gold except for pure 24k gold contains alloys. These alloys make the metal harder and less prone to scratches and bending. However, these alloys can be irritants in some cases, so it’s vital to keep the gold’s purity high enough so the contents of alloys in the gold is low.
To strike a perfect balance between purity and hardness, it is recommended to use only 14k gold for body jewelry (or perhaps 18k, in rarer cases). The best way to ensure safety is to use only 14k gold for body jewelry.
Perhaps the most important thing to ensure safety is to use only jewelry made of nickel-free gold. Nickel allergies are very serious so jewelry containing nickel should be avoided at all costs. That’s why it’s important to check that any body jewelry piece you wish to use is nickel-free.
- Gold plated and gold overlay jewelry is not recommended. It is not body-friendly and should be avoided. Same goes for gold-filled and vermeil jewelry. This jewelry is not really made of gold: the gold layer is too thin and can easily be scratched to reveal the underlying metal that might not be body-friendly at all. In order to avoid problems you should never use gold plated and similar jewelry as your body jewelry.
- Gold is NOT recommended as initial jewelry. Piercings in healing (fresh piercings) should never use gold jewelry. Body fluids can easily corrode the base metals in the alloy and lead to discoloration of the surrounding tissue. It can also lead to gold allergy, in case the person is allergic to gold. For this reason, it’s best to avoid gold as initial jewelry material and stick to medical-grade materials such as titanium or 316LVM Surgical Steel.
- Gold makes a good jewelry material for fully healed piercings, as long as it’s 14k and nickel-free.
- The autoclaving process can sometimes discolor the gold, but it won’t make it unsafe to use.
- Gold is usually available in at least two variants: yellow and white gold. Other types of gold can also be used for body jewelry, such as rose gold.
- Gold jewelry should be kept clean and polished regularly in order to keep it shiny and keep its quality.