For jewellery styles that are made from more than 1 piece there has to be a form of connection to hold the parts together. There are different types of connection for ring and bar style jewellery and some quality levels are more obvious than others. In this post we will explain the different connection types and how to spot high quality pieces.
Bars – Labrets, Barbells
There 3 connection methods available for bar style jewellery. They are Internal, External and Threadless.
Internal – This means the screw thread is hidden inside the post. Sharp edged screw threads are hidden with this method so they are more comfortable to insert and wear in a fresh or healed piercing. Internally threaded jewellery also allows for lower profile designs as the bulky external thread doesn’t have to be hidden inside the threaded end. This connection type is more secure than external due to it’s design which means less chance of losing jewellery.
Pros – More comfortable to wear and insert, more secure, more jewellery options, suitable for fresh piercings
Cons – Increased difficulty to manufacture
External – This design has the screw thread exposed on the outside of the post. The screw thread can cause damage and discomfort during insertion into a fresh or healed piercing and if any of the thread is exposed it can irritate the piercing channel and cause excess scar tissue growth. This is the cheapest form of body jewellery and rarely is available in implant safe materials or with a polish smooth enough for initial piercing. The screw thread tends to get worn down during the machine polishing process which makes the threaded ends less secure than other connection methods and a higher chance of losing jewellery. This type of jewellery should be avoided.
Pros – Cheap, widely available
Cons – Bulky designs, reduced security, damage to piercing channel during insertion and potentially wear, poor surface finish common, rarely made from implant safe materials, unsuitable for fresh piercings
Threadless – Threadless jewellery is our personal favourite here at Rogue. Threadless jewellery has no screw threads as it uses a pin with a kink to create a sprung friction connection, so no threads to cause discomfort. The biggest bonus of this is that jewellery ends can be swapped between posts of different thickness, this is something that neither internal nor external can do. Due to a simpler manufacturing process threadless bars are cheaper than internally threaded bars and as they are mainly made by companies that only manufacture from implant safe materials. This connection method offers a security too as they can be spun when cleaning without the end coming loose. Much smaller designs can be made with style too which has lead to some of the amazing piercing work around the world currently.
Pros – Secure, many jewellery options, ends can be swapped between posts easily, suitable for fresh piercings, cheap(er than internal)
Cons – Can’t be used for surface piercing work
Rings – Clip, Pressure, Hinge
Rings can really change the style of a piercing but the ring must be chosen to match the piercing carefully. Different connection types really change the properties of rings. Options for ring connection are Clip in, Close Connection
Clip In – Ball Closure Rings (BCR’s) and Segment Rings are prime examples of clip in connection. The jewellery design has 2 dimples that a ring can ‘snap’ into and hold in place using spring tension. This is one of the oldest and most successful styles of body jewellery connection. They are cheap to produce but can be damaged easily by customers and piercers during insertion or removal. Some of these pieces of jewellery may also require tools to insert or remove. There are lots of jewellery styles available and generally they can be found in implant safe materials so they are safe for initial or healed piercings. Check where the dimples on the jewellery and the ring meet to check there are no sharp edges or large grooves to spot quality products.
Pros – Cheap, widely available, easy to use, large style range
Cons – Security depends on manufacture quality and care during insertion, unsafe materials available, easily damaged
Pressure – Seam Rings and Fixed Bead Rings are examples of a pressure close. The ring is bent so that it’s ends are meeting each other. Tension should be set in the ring so the ends stay against each other. If the jewellery is inserted poorly or the jewellery gets damaged then the ends can move apart and irritate a piercing. Seam rings are for healed piercings and Fixed Bead rings can be used in initial piercings on a case by case basis. A wide range of materials, including both safe and unsafe are available in these styles so it is wise to check.
Pros – Many styles available, easier for clients to change, cheap
Cons – Easy to insert poorly, easily damaged, not suitable for initial piercing
Hinge – Hinge rings use a gate on a hinge to close the jewellery. The gate can connect to the other side via pressure, hooked sprung design or latch. The design of the connection point and the hinge varies wildly between quality levels. A well designed, high quality hinge ring will have a hinge and connection point that are as small and enclosed as possible. A well designed piece will also include a method of preventing any mechanical parts from moving through a piercing as this can lead to irritation. Hinge rings are easy to use by customers but are generally only suitable for healed piercings. The security of the connection point and strength of the hinge can vary by quality and also be damaged easily during insertion.
Pros – Easy to use, very secure if designed well
Cons – Large range of quality levels, healed piercings only
If all of that sounds confusing then don’t worry, the Rogue piercing team will be able to help guide you through the different styles available and which will work best for your piercing.
Next week is one of our personal favourite subjects. Materials!