Light vs Heavy Jewelry

Light or Heavy JewelryWearing light or heavy body jewelry is often just a matter of personal style. We all have our likes and dislikes, so our piercings and body jewelry will reflect our style. There is nothing wrong about it – after all, it’s an expression of individuality and personality.

At the same time, it’s worth knowing if there are some pitfalls of wearing heavy (or light!) jewelry. Health is important for preventing infections and other problems, so it’s worth knowing when it’s best to choose jewelry of particular weight.

Quality Jewelry Comes in All Sizes

Quality jewelry comes in all sizes… and weights. It means that a good, well-crafted, quality jewelry piece will be body-friendly regardless of its size. There are certain medical grade materials and other body-friendly materials you should choose if you wish to have quality jewelry, so you know you’re on the safe side.

The rule of thumb is: as long as you stick to body-friendly materials and well-crafted jewelry, it doesn’t really matter what the weight of the piece is. Most of the time, anyway, and for most of the people.

If you are extra sensitive and if you have a certain medical problem that would prompt you to wear jewelry of one type, that’s another thing. You should always wear jewelry of the type that suits your body and that will not endanger your health. Most of the time, however, quality jewelry is made in such a way that can be worn without a problem.

This is yet another reason why you should always wear high-quality jewelry. Cheap jewelry is poorly made and can break easily, so it can lead to numerous problems. Choose quality jewelry and you won’t have to worry about its size or weight, other than your own preferences.

A Difference between Light and Heavy

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding between light and heavy body jewelry. Heavy body jewelry is, well, heavy, which means it will put a pressure on your tissue. This may be uncomfortable or very pleasurable, depending on what you prefer. Some people, for example, love to wear heavy genital jewelry since it enhances the pleasure. Others prefer light pieces you can barely feel they’re there.

Another thing to keep in mind is stretching. Pressure created by heavy jewelry can sometime lead to unwanted stretching, so if you do not wish to stretch your piercing, you might want to stick to lighter pieces.

Comfort is another issue. Heavy jewelry tends to cause more discomfort than light jewelry, though this is not a universal rule. Again, it mostly depends on the design and craftsmanship. As long as you stick to quality jewelry it should be comfortable, even when made of heavy materials.

Finally, it’s important to consider health reasons. You should never wear too heavy pieces as your initial jewelry, because they can slow down the healing process. At the same time, some of the lightest materials (organic or plastic materials) are not suitable for new piercings, so this light jewelry should be avoided. In these situations, it’s best to stick to titanium, since it’s a relatively light metal that’s also medical-grade and completely body safe.

The Materials

Please note that these are just guidelines. It will all depend on the size of the particular jewelry piece.

Light:

Light metal:

  • Titanium

Heavy:

  • Niobium
  • Surgical Steel (at larger gauges)
  • Gold (at larger gauges)

Heavy organic materials:

It’s important to remember that it’s relative. Even the heaviest materials (such as niobium) are not particularly heavy when jewelry piece is small. In other words, the weight will mostly depend on gauge and the size of the piece.

Jewelry for People with Allergies and Sensitive Skin

Nickel Allergy ProblemThere are many sensitive people prone to allergies and other skin problems. There are also people with a very sensitive skin. Does it mean these people cannot enjoy body jewelry or piercings?

Good news: if you are prone to allergies or if you have a sensitive skin, it does NOT mean you can’t wear body jewelry. The trick is just to find jewelry that will not trigger your allergies and that will be comfortable for you to wear.

Unsafe Materials and Alloys

In most of the cases, to avoid allergies, skin sensitivity and other problems, it’s important to wear jewelry made of safe materials. Safe materials are those materials that are body-friendly and medical grade. These materials will not cause allergies in most people.

It’s important to understand what causes allergies in the first place. Most of the time, what people are allergic to are various alloys present in metal jewelry. Alloys are mixtures of elements. It means that even if the jewelry is made of a main element, it may contain traces of other elements, which can prove to be dangerous for you. Alloys are often added to enhance the properties of the main element, such as to make it stronger, or softer, or to change its color. This may work, but it can also be dangerous if you are allergic to the alloy.

Avoid Nickel Allergy

By far the most common is nickel-allergy. It is very common because nickel is a very popular alloy used in many metals. Nickel is sometimes used in gold jewelry, so all gold pieces containing gold can cause a serious allergy.

For this reason, it’s important to wear only nickel-free body jewelry. Whenever you choose your jewelry piece, especially if it’s gold, make sure it’s nickel-free. This is the only way to avoid nickel allergy.

Another material to avoid is steel. It may also contain nickel. However, not all steel jewelry is created equally. Surgical Steel is a safe material. This is a medical-grade jewelry material that does not contain nickel.

However, nickel allergy is not the only problem you may encounter. Depending on your body, you may be allergic to a different alloy. This is why it’s highly recommended to check all the alloys present in a jewelry piece or to stick to hypoallergenic jewelry only.

Hypoallergenic Jewelry

Hypoallergenic jewelry is the one that is specially made to be safe for people who have allergies and sensitive skin. This jewelry is made of materials that are known not to cause allergies so it’s generally safe even for the more sensitive users.

However, keep in mind that “hypoallergenic” is more of a generic term used by jewelry companies. There is no strict regulation what “hypoallergenic” actually means. It may simply mean that it’s nickel-free. On the other hand, it may mean it’s made of the medical-grade materials specially made for sensitive people.

The safest body jewelry materials are those that are considered to be “hypoallergenic”. The most popular of them are:

  • Titanium
  • Niobium
  • Surgical Steel (especially the medical-grade 316LVM Surgical Steel)

You may also use gold jewelry, as long as it’s nickel-free.

Another good way to go is to use non-metallic jewelry pieces. Many of these materials, such as acrylic or Bioplast jewelry, is generally safe to use even by people with sensitive skin and allergies.

What about Organic Jewelry?

Another good way to go is to use organic jewelry (made of wood, stone, glass, horn or bone). If you choose to do this, however, make sure that you are not allergic to any of the organic components of your jewelry.

Organic jewelry is very beautiful and can be very effective but it can cause additional problems because it can’t be sterilized as much as metal jewelry. You need to make sure that organic jewelry is made of a material you are not allergic to. Also, it’s highly recommended to wear this type of jewelry only in fully healed piercings.

Large Gauge Jewelry Materials

Buffalo Flared Earlets

Buffalo Flared Earlets

Large gauge jewelry is typically used for stretched piercings. The most common type of a stretched piercing is stretched earlobe, but there are many other piercings that can be stretched with a great success (septum piercing, nipple piercing and various types of genital piercings, among the others).

All these stretched piercings require large gauge jewelry. This type of jewelry is made of many different materials. Some of the materials used for large gauge jewelry are popular materials used for other types of body jewelry, such as Surgical Steel, gold or titanium. On the other hand, large gauge jewelry can also be made of many other materials, first and foremost, numerous organic materials. This is what makes large gauge jewelry truly stylish and unique.

Metals

Large gauge jewelry is made of many different materials. Some of the materials are common body jewelry materials often used for other types of jewelry. The most common ones are popular body-friendly and medical-grade materials, such as 316LVM Surgical Steel or titanium. These materials are safe, durable and make a great choice for any body jewelry pieces, regardless of gauge.

If you like these metal jewelry pieces, you may choose between numerous large gauge Surgical Steel or titanium rings. Some of these rings are popular Captive Bead Rings, though you may choose other ring types, such as Screwball rings or Seamless rings.

Gold is another popular jewelry material. Gold jewelry can be made in any gauge, so you will find many large gauge gold pieces. When choosing gold jewelry, it’s important to make sure that the gold used is safe. It means it should not contain any harmful alloys, such as nickel. Nickel allergy is a serious problem so it’s important to use only nickel-free gold.

Organic Materials

Apart from popular body jewelry materials, large gauge jewelry has the advantage of using numerous exotic and organic materials. Some materials are too delicate to be used for small-gauge jewelry. With large gauges, however, there is no danger that the material would break. This is why there are so many materials used for large gauge jewelry only.

Organic materials are particularly popular for stretched piercing jewelry. Materials such as wood, stone, bone and horn or glass look wonderful in stretched piercings. These materials are carefully shaped to make large gauge jewelry for your stretched earlobes or another stretched jewelry types.

One advantage of these materials is that they allow the skin to breathe much better than with metal or acrylic. Another advantage are all those unique, organic colors and patterns you get with organic jewelry pieces. Since this type of jewelry is organic, each piece is truly unique and one of a kind.

One note about organic jewelry: it is very effective and beautiful, but it should be used for healed piercings only. This is why you should wait a bit after stretching to use them. Make sure that your stretched piercing is completely healed and infection-free before inserting any organic jewelry piece.

Additional Tips

  • In case you are unsure about jewelry size you have, use a gauge wheel. Gauge wheels are handy tools for measuring your jewelry so you can always choose jewelry of the appropriate size for your stretched piercing. When in doubt, use a gauge wheel so you won’t make a mistake and wear jewelry that doesn’t fit.
  • Organic materials are often porous, which means they make a good place for various bacteria. This is why it’s so important that your piercing is fully healed and stretched properly before you use any organic jewelry pieces.
  • In case you notice any redness, itching, infection, migration or rejection, do not ignore it. Take your jewelry out and replace it with a jewelry piece you’ve worn without a problem. If the problem persist, consult your doctor. You might need to retire a piercing or go back to a smaller gauge, but it’s a small price to pay. You should never allow for a piercing to get infected even if it means that you wouldn’t be able to wear your favorite jewelry piece.
  • Some materials are heavier than the others. Keep this in mind when ordering your large gauge jewelry. For example, Surgical Steel is heavier than titanium. Titanium, gold and all the metals are heavier than organic materials. Some organic materials (stone, glass) tend to be heavier than the others (wood, horn). In some cases, this size and weight can be an advantage (for example, for some genital piercing types). In other situations, heavy jewelry might pose a problem. This is why you should choose materials carefully and pick the one that weights just how you need it.
  • In case you have a stretched genital piercing but your partner doesn’t appreciate heavy jewelry, you may remove your jewelry during intercourse. Make sure to insert your jewelry after intercourse because genital piercings tend to heal very quickly so chances are that you’ll have a lot of problems inserting jewelry after a while. This is a common problem with penis piercings.

Anodized Jewelry Produces Vibrant Colors

Internally Threaded Titanium Curved Barbell

Internally Threaded Titanium Curved Barbell

Anodization is a special chemical process used on metals. The goal is to protect metals from corrosion and to make them more resistant, so it’s used in many industries. Anodized metals are more resistant since they can’t corrode, so they are more durable and suitable for use in many different industries.

Another interesting effect of anodization is color change. This chemical process changes the color properties of a metal, which can be very interesting for some specialized uses of metals. It is particularly important for the jewelry industry, because anodized metals produce colorful jewelry pieces without addition of harmful colors or special coatings.

How it Works

Anodization is an electrolytic passivation process. Metals have a natural oxide level on their surface, and anodization is used to increase thickness of this oxide level. This building up of an oxide level during anodization can be done at different thickness on the surface of the metal. The color of the metal is determined precisely by the thickness of this new oxide level.

The name of the process comes from the procedure itself. During the chemical reaction, the metal acts as the anode electrode in an electrical circuit. This, in turn, produces an oxide layer on the material that is thicker than the layer naturally found on the surface of the metal.

Anodization as a procedure changes the metal’s texture, though only at a microscopic level. It also alters metals’ crystal structure on the surface. This improves certain characteristics of a metal and makes it more resistant.

Anodized Jewelry and Vibrant Colors

Many metals can be anodized, but the most common jewelry materials that are regularly anodized are titanium and niobium. Anodization can be used to change the color of these metals, making jewelry more vibrant and attractive.

Other materials that can be anodized include zinc, magnesium, tantalum and aluminum alloys. Some metals, however, don’t react as well to anodization, such as iron or carbon steel, because they exfoliate when they are oxidized and the new layer simply flakes off.

Anodization produces a number of very beautiful colors on titanium and niobium, without use of any coatings and harmful colors. It produces gorgeous jewelry materials and a wide range of unusual bright colors. It is not surprising that titanium and niobium jewelry is considered so beautiful and often praised for all the beautiful colors.

The colors are produced without any use of dyes and they solely depend on the thickness of the oxide on the surface of the metal. The thickness and, hence, different colors, are controlled by the voltage used in the process.

Some of the common colors produced through anodization include green, purple, yellow, copper, gold, fuchsia, and many others. A skilled craftsman can even produce a rainbow, “oil slick” effect on metal. However, some colors can’t be produced on anodized titanium and niobium, such as red and black.

Why Choose Titanium Jewelry

Single Captive Titanium Curved Barbell

Single Captive Titanium Curved Barbell

Titanium is a great body jewelry material. It offers numerous advantages and it ensures that your jewelry is body-friendly, comfortable and enjoyable to wear. All reputable jewelry makers offer titanium body jewelry because they know many people enjoy this type of jewelry.

Titanium Keeps You Safe

Nickel allergies are a very serious problem that affects many people. This is why it’s important to always use only body-friendly and, preferably, medical-grade body jewelry for all your needs. Not just for piercings: even regular jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets or watches should be nickel-free to avoid allergic reactions.

While titanium is not the only nickel-free material (medical-grade Surgical Steel is another good choice, or you may use nickel-free gold), titanium offers numerous advantages so it’s definitely a body material you wish to consider.

Titanium is a high-quality material with no alloys in it so you know you will always be safe with this type of jewelry.

In fact, titanium is such a great material that it’s highly recommended for initial jewelry pieces. When you get your piercing, it is very sensitive and it takes some time to heal. During this healing process, it’s important to wear only highest quality, medical-grade jewelry, and titanium is a perfect material for these needs.

Titanium is Lightweight

Titanium offers many additional benefits. For example, it is very lightweight for a metal. Unlike steel, which tends to be heavy, titanium is light and very comfortable to wear. While many people don’t mind heavy jewelry (some people even prefer big, heavy jewelry pieces), in case you are looking for something lighter, titanium is your friend.

Titanium is a hard and durable metal, but at the same time it is light enough to always stay comfortable. This is why it’s perfect for certain jewelry pieces and certain body parts where heavy jewelry would be uncomfortable.

Titanium is Colorful

In addition to all of the above, titanium also offers an additional advantage: it is available in many different colors.

Titanium can easily be anodized to create a wide range of colors, even multi-colored, rainbow jewelry pieces. This process is safe and doesn’t include harmful colors or simple color coverings – the metal itself acquires these different colors without affecting its quality.

It means that your colored jewelry stays perfectly body-friendly and safe even after acquiring all these bright colors. This is the best and safest way to get some colorful body jewelry and spice up your style without compromising your health.

Additional Tips and Information

  • When looking for titanium jewelry, it’s best to go with the highest-quality, safe materials. It is best to look for medical-grade titanium jewelry. This titanium grade is recommended by the Association of Professional Piercers and it meets ASTM or ISO standards. One of the best titanium types is Grade 23 (6AL4V ELI F-136) implant grade titanium.
  • Titanium jewelry weights only about 50%-60% of weight of the stainless steel.
  • Titanium jewelry is less likely to react with body fluids, which is another significant advantage.
  • Titanium is highly corrosion resistant material and it’s not magnetic.
  • The basic color of titanium is dark-grey but of course it can be anodized to produce many different colors.
  • The most common titanium colors are blue, purple, green, yellow and rainbow (multi-color).
  • Some colors are not available. For example, titanium can’t be anodized to produce red or black jewelry.
  • Titanium can be easily sterilized in an autoclave, so it can be kept clean and completely sanitary.
  • It’s important to know that colored titanium pieces will probably fade over time. However, it is not dangerous and it won’t affect the quality or safety of titanium jewelry. Jewelry pieces won in the mouth (for tongue piercings, for example) tend to fade the fastest.
  • To clean your titanium jewelry, use antibacterial soap and warm water. You may also use specialized cleaning products if they are suitable. Don’t use alcohol or harsh cleaners on your titanium jewelry.
  • Titanium is a very tough material. In fact, it has the highest strength to weight ratio of all metals used for body jewelry.

How to Clean Your Jewelry Depending on the Material

clean jewelry You sure want to keep your body jewelry shiny and in a perfect shape. To achieve this, it’s important to take a good care of it and to clean it regularly. The type of appropriate care and cleaning instructions will depend on the material.

Different materials (surgical steel, titanium, gold, organic materials, etc.) require different care and cleaning instructions you should follow.

Surgical Steel

Surgical Steel is a high-quality steel that’s safe for body use. Unlike stainless steel, it doesn’t cause allergies and other problems. It should be noted that some people can wear stainless steel jewelry without a problem, so you shouldn’t completely forget about stainless steel if you don’t have allergies. However, surgical steel is a superior material and it’s much safer for body use.

This is why it’s strongly advisable to purchase body jewelry and sex toys made of surgical steel. Chances are that you have at least several jewelry pieces made of this material. Another advantage to this material is that it can easily be cleaned and maintained.

To keep your surgical steel jewelry in a perfect shape, all you need to do is to wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water. Make sure to leave your jewelry to fully dry before you insert it into your piercing or before you store it for later use.

Titanium

Titanium is a premium material and it’s ideal for body jewelry. It is completely body safe so it’s great for people for allergies. Another great advantage to titanium is that it’s lightweight. On average, steel jewelry is twice as heavy as titanium jewelry. This is very important for larger jewelry pieces or jewelry worn in stretched piercings (the so-called “gauges”). Plus, titanium comes in many different colors (there are even multi-colored pieces), so it’s very fun to wear. It’s true that it costs a bit more than steel jewelry but it’s worth it.

To keep your titanium jewelry in perfect shape, simply wash it with antibacterial soap and a warm water. Leave it to dry before you use it or store it. Make sure not to use alcohol or harsh cleaners on your titanium jewelry – it can damage it.

One word of warning: colored titanium jewelry may fade after a while, especially if used for oral piercings. This is not dangerous and it will not damage your jewelry or hurt you in any way.

Gold

Gold jewelry is beautiful, elegant and classy. However, keep in mind that 14k gold is the most appropriate for body jewelry. Also, certain gold types contain nickel, which can cause allergic reactions. This is why it’s advisable to only use body jewelry made of nickel-free gold.

To take care of your gold jewelry, wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water. Leave it to dry before use or storing. It’s important to only use mild soap. Never use alcohol or other harsh chemicals on your gold jewelry. Gold jewelry can appear worn out after a while so gently buff it to make it regain its original shine.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is beautiful, but it should never be worn in new piercings. It’s also important to wear silver jewelry only if you’re not allergic to it.

To clean body jewelry made of sterling silver, use antibacterial soap with warm water. Leave it to dry before use or storing. Never use alcohol or harsh chemicals on your silver jewelry. Keep in mind that silver can tarnish over time (turn brown). To give it back its former shine, lightly buff it and it will be as good as new.

Acrylic

Acrylic jewelry is great because it’s very lightweight. Another advantage is that you can wear it in situations where metal jewelry is not recommended. The downside is that it can be used only for healed piercings (this goes for stretched piercings, too – never use it for newly stretched piercings). Also, acrylic jewelry is not the best material for oral piercings.

To take care of your acrylic jewelry, gently wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water. Leave it to dry before you use it or store it. Never clean your acrylic jewelry with alcohol or other harsh chemicals.

When handling acrylic jewelry, you have to be careful. This is a gentle material that can easily break if it’s handled harshly. Also, it can warp on high temperatures so never leave it in direct sunlight.

Silicone

Silicone is body safe and lightweight, so it makes a good body jewelry material, especially for situations where wearing metal jewelry is not recommended.

To clean your silicone jewelry, make sure to use mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Let it dry before use or storing. Never use alcohol or other harsh chemicals because they can damage silicone material and ruin your jewelry.

Niobium

Niobium is a beautiful metal that’s completely body safe. While it’s a bit heavier than steel it’s a good alternative because it doesn’t cause allergies. Another advantage to niobium is that it can be colored, so there are many different colors available for your body jewelry.

To clean your niobium jewelry, simply wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water. Let it dry before you insert it into your piercing or before you store it.

PVD Coated Jewelry

PVD coated steel or titanium jewelry requires a bit of extra care. It’s important to keep the PVD coating intact, so it’s important never to use any harsh chemicals (such as alcohol) on the PVD coated jewelry. Stick to antibacterial soap and warm jewelry. It’s important to take care of your jewelry to prevent PVD coating from chipping.

Organic Jewelry

Cleaning organic jewelry will depend on the material (wood, stone, horn, glass, etc.) Keep in mind that this jewelry is made only for healed piercings. Organic jewelry is sensitive to extreme conditions (sun, warmth, water, etc.) so it’s best to store it in dark and cool place.

Wood: To keep your wood jewelry in a great condition, make sure to oil it with natural plant oil about once per week. Never get your wood jewelry wet for a long period of time. It’s best to remove it before swimming or showering. It’s also advisable to sand your wood jewelry with sandpaper and polish it afterwards (it’s best to polish your jewelry with a soft cloth).

Stone: Stone is best cleaned using a warm water and a bit of mild soap. Make sure to dry it before use or storing. Stone jewelry can break if you drop it, so make sure to handle it with care.

Buffalo horn and bone: It’s important to clean the jewelry before use. Clean it quickly with mild soap and water. Rinse and dry it straight away. To make your jewelry last for longer, lightly oil it with coconut oil about once per week – it will prevent cracking. Polish your jewelry from time to time with a soft cloth to keep it in a great condition. It’s also recommended to take horn and bone jewelry out before swimming or showering. You should not get it wet!

Glass: Glass jewelry can be cleaned with antibacterial soap and warm water. Make sure to let it dry before use or storing. Glass jewelry can break if you drop it so handle it with care.

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.

Top 10 Valentine Day Gifts for Lesbians

Here is a handy list of the best Valentine’s gifts for lesbians. The Chain Gang offers a unique collection of beautiful clit rings, nipple jewelry, belly rings and other body jewelry made for all piercing enthusiasts. Pay attention to special Valentine’s Day coupons (they expire on February 15th, 2014).

Antique Owl Nipple Rounder

Antique Owl Nipple RounderThese beautiful nipple rounders make a great gift for all fans of nipple jewelry. Each piece is very cute and detailed, so it truly makes your nipple piercing stand out. Each piece comes with a stainless steel straight barbell (14g). Special Valentine’s Day coupon: 10% OFF. Code – LOVELYOWL14

14K Gold – Spiral

14K Gold - SpiralThis beautiful gold spiral is a great jewelry piece for many types of piercings. It looks particularly great on vertical genital piercing. Each piece is made of 14k nickel-free gold, and it’s available in yellow and white gold.

Double Heart Nipple Stirrup

Double Heart Nipple StirrupThis adorable nipple stirrup will sure make any nipple piercing stand out. The dangle charm consists of two hearts with an arrow that goes through them. This jewelry piece includes a surgical steel straight barbell (14g) for your piercing. Special Valentine’s Day coupon: 10% OFF. Code – HEARTSINLOVE14

14K Gold Small Flower Fixed Ring

14K Gold Small Flower Fixed RingA beautiful and luxurious gold ring with a small flower gem. Ideal for your vertical piercing or many other types of piercings. The ring is made of 14k nickel-free gold (both yellow and white gold available). You may choose the center gem color, as well as the flower petal gem color.

Gem Set Heart Nipple Rounder

Gem Set Heart Nipple RounderAnother great jewelry piece for your nipple piercing. This nipple rounder is made in a shape of a colorful heart and it comes with a surgical steel straight barbell (14g). The heart is made to sparkle. Special Valentine’s Day coupon: 10% OFF. Code – HEARTSOFGEMS1

Silver Heart Nipple Chain with Titanium Straight Barbell

Silver Heart Nipple Chain With Titanium Straight BarbellA multi-functional jewelry piece you can use as a nipple chain, horizontal piercing jewelry or another type of piercing jewelry. The heart is made of Sterling Silver and straight barbell is made of titanium, so it’s completely body-safe.

Silver Bow and Arrow Nipple Rounder

Silver Bow and Arrow Nipple RounderThis is unique nipple rounder that will sure enhance your nipple piercing. The bow and arrow are made of high-quality Sterling Silver while the straight barbell is made of 316LVM Surgical Steel. Special Valentine’s Day Coupon: 10% OFF. Code – CUPIDSBOW14

Trillion Straight Barbell

Trillion Straight BarbellThis is one of the most beautiful straight barbells in our collection. The Trillion Straight Barbell is a unique gem set piece and it’s ideal for many types of piercings, including eyebrow piercing and horizontal genital piercing. The barbell is made of 14k nickel-free gold (both yellow and white gold available).

Straight Arrow Straight Barbell

Straight Arrow Straight BarbellA beautiful addition to any piercing, this cute barbell will sure make your piercing stand out. It looks particularly great in a nipple piercing. This beautiful piece is made of surgical steel. Special Valentine’s Day Coupon: 10% OFF. Code – CUPIDSARROW14

14K Gold – Gem Ball Ring

14K Gold - Gem Ball RingA beautiful ring with a special gem, suitable for many different types of piercings, including vertical genital piercing. The ring is made of 14k nickel-free gold (available both as yellow or white gold). The gems are genuine hand-set Swarovski Cubic Zircons. You may request Zircons to be replaced with a different type of genuine precious stones.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

Here are some quick Valentine’s Day ideas for him. The Chain Gang offers high-quality body jewelry for all men who enjoy piercings and effective body jewelry. Surprise your significant other with some of the best body jewelry for men:

Elektro and Clock Plugs

Elektro and Clock PlugThese unique ear plugs are ideal for stretched piercings. There are 10 different styles to choose from, all made in a distinctive clockwork design. There are two groups of plug designs: Circuit board and Clock workings. Each style is made to look completely unique.

Titanium Duplex Carousel Spirals

Titanium Duplex Carousel SpiralsA more colorful piece for those who like their piercing jewelry to stand out. This spiral has a nice shape and it’s made of titanium, so it’s a great choice for those who prefer titanium jewelry. The balls include simple but effective coloration (many different colors available)

Circle Ring

Circle RingThis jewelry type is based on the same idea as the segment rings, though these rings are made in much larger gauges. Any circle ring comes apart in 2 halfes, so it’s very easy to insert it the piercing. The rings are made of high-quality 316LVM Surgical Steel, made of one single block of surgical steel and not a bent wire. Ideal for Prince Albert piercing.

Genuine Honey Amber Plug

Genuine Honey Amber PlugBeautiful and organic, these honey amber ear plugs are both simple and very effective. The colors can vary since the jewelry is made of genuine Dominican amber. Ideal for stretched ear piercings.

Titanium Carousel Cylinders with Ring

Titanium Carousel Cylinders with RingSimple but effective surgical steel captive bead rings with attached titanium carousel cylinder. The cylinder adds style to the piece and bright colors sure make it stand out. The stripes are available in many different colors.