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High Quality? Part 5 – Coatings

Coatings have been a controversial subject in the body piercing industry for a long time. There are two general categories for coatings and they are described by their application method, PVD and Plating.

PVD

PVD stands for Physical Vapour Deposition. This means that a cloud of vapour droplets is created and the jewellery is placed inside so that the droplets build up on the surface. This method can lead to a porous surface that is easily chipped or can absorb body fluids. A chipped coating can create an edge which will irritate a piercing through friction, it will also expose the metal underneath and as the vast majority of PVD coated jewellery is low quality metal this can lead to metal sensitivities.

A PVD coated BCR

The vast majority of PVD coated jewellery manufacturers do not tell us what chemicals are in the coating so it is assumed to be unsafe at it hasn’t been proven safe. The burden of proof falls with manufacturers and historical data isn’t good enough as some coatings can be toxic. PVD is generally used for colours that anodising can’t create (Red, Black and White).

At Rogue we don’t sell PVD coated jewellery as it hasn’t been proven safe but we will endeavour to find jewellery in other materials to match the colours you require.

Plating

Plated finishes are applied to jewellery using electricity through a process known as electroplating. Again knowing the jewellery is plated is only half of the information required as the material coating is just as important. Plated jewellery tends to be of higher quality and made from safer materials but this isn’t always true. A common plating used for lighter and darker finishes is Rhodium. Rhodium falls under the same category of safety as Gold as it has been used in traditional jewellery making for a long time.

A Rhodium coated Azval by BVLA
(keep an eye out for this piece in Aiden’s septum)

Plated coatings can wear down over time but a jeweller will be able to re-apply the coating if required.

At Rogue we sell plated jewellery where we know the metal quality underneath and the coating material and will explain to our customers that over time the plating will wear.

At Rogue we are big fans of solid jewellery that will keep its shine and lustre for a lifetime. We try our best to avoid coatings to protect our customers but are willing to order in plated pieces as long as the client is aware that the coating will need to be re-applied in time.

Next week’s blog will be all about Initial Vs Healed jewellery and the importance of choosing the piece for the moment.

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High Quality? Part 4 – Surface Finish

An often overlooked but vitally important aspect of body jewellery is the surface finish. By surface finish piercers mean how well the jewellery is polished or if there are any coatings. A good surface finish will be smooth, contain no nicks or scratches, have no inclusions and be proven safe. A poor surface finish can irritate the piercing channel and cause a piercing to not heal, grow excess scarring or reject.

Polish

An example of a surface finish graph
An example of a surface finish graph

The polish of a jewellery is how smooth the surface is. The term “Mirror Polish” is used regularly by piercers and jewellery companies but this is only a marketing term and has no real world value. There are several ways to measure the smoothness of a surface but Ra (Average Roughness) and RMS (Root Mean Square) are the most commonly used. Ra gives a very simple view by measuring the difference in peaks and troughs along the surface and creating a straight line whereas RMS looks creates a broader image by also looking at the width of the peaks and troughs.

Thanks to Rob Hill of Prysm, Des Moines we have data about various jewellery companies surface roughness and when cross referenced with historical data during his piercing career he has put forward that a surface finish of 5-7 μm is required for a piercing to heal with and with minimal scarring. If this all sounds too technical for you then there is always the option of looking closely, as a well polished piece will be obvious to spot.

Nicks and Scratches

It might seem obvious but a lot of people look past a simple scratch as being the cause of their irritated piercing. A nick or scratch can harbour bacteria and cause friction or cuts which can lead to irritated and even infected piercings. A damage free surface will be able to move comfortably through a piercing without causing any irritation.

An inclusion in a piece of steel under a microscope

Inclusions

Inclusions come from the manufacture of the jewellery. If machines and tools are used to work on various different materials then they can embed inclusions. An example of an inclusion would be steel lathe tools leaving traces in a titanium labret. The inclusion might be fine for some people but others can have adverse reactions e.g. Nickel sensitivity or the inclusion could cause the jewellery to be faulty e.g. a steel inclusion causing anodising to fail.

The prevention of inclusions is at the manufacturer stage and our favourite companies all work hard to minimise them but lower quality companies may not. As inclusions aren’t always visible to the naked eye it is recommended to have all Titanium jewellery anodised.

Next weeks blog will continue on surface finish but will look at the world of Coated and Plated Jewellery, both good and bad!

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High Quality? Part 3 – Jewellery Styles

No matter what material a piece of body jewellery is made from, it must be designed to be comfortable and safe. Due to the wide variety of piercings available there is a wide variety of jewellery styles available. A piercer will help you choose jewellery that you love as well as choosing the correct style and size for your anatomy. No matter the style, all body jewellery should be free from sharp edges facing the body or on the wearable section and a good surface finish.

Rings

Ball Closure Rings (BCRs or CBRs) are one of the staples of body jewellery. They feature a ball with dimples drilled into the sides and a ring with a gap that snap together to close. Good designs will have the dimple and the ring fit snugly into each other to minimise any build up of dirt or body secretions, the cross section of the ring will be round rather than oval and the gap in the ring will match the size of the ball so the ring doesn’t become distorted. BCR’s will generally rotate to the point where the ball is at its lowest and then stay there, this can help to minimise motion to aid in healing. A big plus of BCRs is that the ball can be replaced by a wide range of clip in attachments.

Segment Rings are similar to BCRs but instead of a ball they have a piece of the ring which snaps into place. The smaller ring segment will have two prongs which snap into drilled holes in the ends of the smaller ring segment. The join between the two parts should be snug and concentric so that when the ring rotates it does not cut or chafe the piercing channel.

BVLA Andromeda Hinged Ring jewellery style
BVLA Andromeda Hinged Ring

Clickers/Hinged Rings are segment rings where one end of the smaller segment has been fixed to the larger segment using a hinge to form a gate. The gate can be straight or curved depending on the design of the jewellery. The connection between the gate and the ring should be snug and tight, with no sharp sections that could cut or irritate. Clickers are normally quite secure but easy to change. They can become distorted from heavy use but they can be reshaped by a piercer.

Seam/Seamless Rings are circular sections of wire where the ends of the ring meet each other. There is debate over whether the ends should be flat and parallel to each other or if they should be shaped into a ball and cup that match each other, either way the ends should meet snugly and with a small amount of pressure to hold them in place. This style can be easily distorted or damaged during insertion or removal and can be difficult to close .

Bars

Neometal Labret Stud jewellery style
Labret Stud

Labret Studs are one of the other staples of the piercing jewellery world. A labret consists of a straight post with a disc on one end that can be fixed or removable, the other end traditionally has a removable plain ball but this can be swapped for a huge range of different ends. Labret studs that are well designed will be internally threaded or threadless, have a disc that’s weight balances well with the chosen end and have connection point(s) that minimise gaps for debris build up. Labret studs are easy to change yourself and the wide variety of ends available make these one of the most popular jewellery types.

Barbells are straight posts that traditionally have balls on each end. They are very similar to labret studs and follow a lot of the same rules and jewellery styles. The main difference is that a barbell will be used in locations where both ends of the jewellery are visible e.g. bridge, nipple etc or where the range of motion is more 3D than 2D so that the edge of the disc doesn’t cut in.

Curved Barbells/Bananas are barbells where the post has been curved. A quality curve will have a radius rather than a bend to prevent pressure or friction being focused on a single point within the piercing channel. A curved barbell can have the same size ends or different sizes, rooks are an example of symmetric ends and navel curves are an example asymmetric ends.

There are a few other components that you may come across within body jewellery styles but these will generally be pieces chosen by the piercer to help complete your piercing, an example of this would be a microdermal base. Just remember that no matter what the style of jewellery is, if it is going in your body it needs to be a quality item that will leave your piercing safe and happy for its lifetime.

Next weeks blog will be all about surface finish! Talking about polish and coatings. Don’t forget to join our mailing list to get our latest blog straight to your inbox.

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High Quality? Part 2d – Materials (Organics)

Organics covers the wonderful world of natural materials. These range across wood, bone, horn, stone and more. Due to this wide range this post will discuss categories rather than individuals. The nature of organics means that none of them are implant safe certified and have various levels of bio compatibility so it is important to understand your body and the quality of the jewellery. The vast majority of these materials are used for large gauge piercings and stretched lobes as most are too brittle or unstable for standard sized piercings.

Wood

Organics - Semecarpus australiensis (Australian Cashew Nut)
Semecarpus australiensis (Australian Cashew Nut) is a toxic wood that can cause skin lesions and nosebleeds

Wood has been used successfully within body jewellery for millennia but is unsuitable for initial piercing due to its porous nature. Some woods can be toxic so it is important to look into the individual type of wood that you want jewellery from for your health. Some clients have found that they became slowly intolerant to a certain type of wood and can no longer wear it so it is also important to check the on going health too. Surface finish will vary wildly depending on manufacturer but it is possible to get a high polish finish on certain types of wood. A whole rainbow of colour options are available with beautiful grain patterns.

At Rogue we only use wooden jewellery for well healed piercings and can order in any size and combination requested

Bone and Horn

Organics - Porosity leads to smelly and irritated piercings
Porosity leads to smelly and irritated piercings

Bone and Horn are generally categorised together as they are both animal products. Much like wood they are porous products so they are used for healed piercings at larger gauge only. The surface finish can also vary like wood and so this must be inspected carefully. The source of these materials is important too as not all horn and bone is from ethical sources.

At Rogue we are happy to order in bone and horn jewellery and will make sure sources are ethical.

Stone

Agate Double Flare Plugs by Diablo Organics
Agate Double Flare Plugs by Diablo Organics

Stones are also available in a rainbow of colours and has been used for both initial and healed piercings historically. As metals developed they became the chosen material for jewellery as it could be worked much finer than stone. Surface finish and type of stone are just as important as with the other organics. Weight is an issue that need to be addressed and managed when choosing large stone jewellery, a regular care routine including naked piercings is normally sufficient. Different types of stone have many different properties so again being aware of sensitivities and sensitisation is important for the on going health of a piercing.

Beware of fake stone jewellery. Dying cheap, unsafe stones is a common practice from low quality manufacturers. Also check that the piece is actually stone as sometimes the names can be confusing, blue goldstone for example is actually glass.

At Rogue we are happy to order stone jewellery made from appropriate types for healed piercings only.

Next weeks blog post we’ll be moving away from materials and moving into the world of jewellery design. Don’t forget to join our mailing list to stay up to date with our blog.

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High Quality? Part 2c – Materials (Plastics)

Plastics are some of the most modern materials used within body piercing but as with all materials there are good and bad options. The main benefits of plastic jewellery are that they are cheap and as they are non-metallic they can go through MRI scanners and X-ray machines without causing issue for the client. The main downsides to plastic are that they can break down and release chemicals during prolonged wear in the body. There is also a double edged of flexibility for plastic jewellery. Flexibility can be good to remove pressure from a piercing channel but flexibility will also stress a piercing channel by moving too much.

PTFE (Polytetrafluroeythlene)

Plastic - PTFE retainers
PTFE retainers

PTFE is a plastic that most people have heard of as it is sold under the brand name Teflon. ASTM F754 covers the standards required for PTFE to be implanted in the body so this is the only grade suitable for piercing. Due to the soft nature of PTFE it isn’t an ideal material for jewellery as it is easily damaged or distorted. Damaged and distorted jewellery can lead to irritated piercings and a place for bacteria to harbor which can lead to infection. PTFE jewellery is recommended for short term wear only e.g. for medical procedures where all metal must be removed and then jewellery is replaced after the procedure.

Acrylic

Acrylic is commonly found in the form of low quality threaded ends and larger gauge lobe plugs. The vast majority of jewellery made from acrylic is low quality and unsafe for the body. Acrylic when warmed to body temperature can release carcinogenic gases which will irritate and potentially destroy a piercing channel. Acrylic also becomes brittle over time so jewellery tends to break easily. Dental acrylic is available but currently none of the body jewellery manufacturers use it so acrylic should be avoided.

BioPlast/BioFlex

Plastics - Acrylic sheet
A selection of acrylic coloured sheets

BioPlast and BioFlex are both brand names for proprietary owned plastic grades. They companies that own the rights state they are bio compatible and implant safe but have yet to release the documentation to back these claims. For these reasons these plastics are not yet deemed safe for the body.

Much like PTFE, BioPlast and BioFlex both break down in the body for prolonged wear and can be very easily damaged. It has been commonly recommended to use BioPlast or BioFlex in oral piercings to minimse dental damage but the risk isn’t negated completely. There are cases of people getting oral damage from dental acrylic brace components so the only way to protect your teeth is to be careful. Anything rubbing on teeth will eventually cause damage. A well positioned and correctly sized piercing is the best defence against dental damage with oral piercings.

Material Notes

Plastics break down in the body
A Titanium and BioPlast labret after being worn in the body for a prolonged period

Even when plastics that meet ISO or ASTM standards are used for body jewellery the surface finish is rarely safe for the body and almost all plastic jewellery is externally threaded. Plastics are considered to be super low quality and worn only as a last resort.

At Rogue we don’t stock plastic jewellery. We recommend using high quality metallic jewellery for everyday wear and to use glass retainers for medical procedures. We can order plastics if required but we don’t recommend them.

Next week we will finish the materials section about quality by covering organics.

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High Quality? Part 2b – Materials (Glass)

Glass isn’t a material that you might think of when it comes to body jewellery but for larger gauge piercings, hidden retainers and for customers with sensitivities it is a great material. As with the other materials in this series, not all glass is made equal and only certain types are safe for the body. The grades that are safe are hypoallergenic and because glass is technically a liquid it has the smoothest surface of any body jewellery materials. Surface finish will be discussed in a future post but for now it is important to remember that a smoother surface equals a smoother heal.

Gorilla Glass is one of our favourite glass manufacturers at Rogue
A range of Borosilicate Dichroic Glass Plugs by Gorilla Glass

All grades of glass for body jewellery must be lead free and are toughened to protect the customer. Glass can break if dropped or hit hard so jewellery is most commonly found in larger gauges.

There are many grades of natural and man made glasses and a whole rainbow of colours and effects can be created. Transparent, Opaque, Metallic, Liquid and many other styles are available.

Fused Quartz

Fused Quartz Septum retainer by Glasswear Studios

Fused Quartz is one of the purest forms of glass. It is made from melting silica (sand) at very high temperatures. Other grades of glass commonly add other ingredients to lower the melt temperature but the purity of fused quartz gives it special optical properties that can really make jewellery stand out. Due to the higher temperatures required to work with this material it is more expensive than other safe grades of glass.

There are no implant grades of glass but Fused Quartz has been shown to work well within the body for initial and healed piercings as it is inert.

Borosilicate

Borosilicate is a glass that most people will have handled as it is what Pyrex kitchenware is made from. Borosilicate is a mixture of Silica and Boric Oxide. By adding Boric Oxide the mix when melting, the melt temperature of the glass is reduced but the heat resistance and hardened properties stay. The lower melt temperature brings the price of jewellery down.

Laboratory equipment is made from Borosilicate due to it being inert and not effecting test. This same property is what makes it safe for use in the body for initial and healed piercings.

Soda-Lime

Soda Lime is another glass that most people will have handled as it is the glass that our windows and bottles are made from. Sodium Carbonate (Soda) and Lime (Calcium Oxide) are added to silica to create a glass that is easy to work with as it melts at a lower temperature and flows better.

These properties for ease of use and reduced cost combined with its inert nature make soda-lime a favourite among body jewellery manufacturers and piercers as it is for use in the body for initial and healed piercings.

Obsidian

Natural Obsidian Concave Plugs by Gorilla Glass

Obsidian is a natural glass that is formed from volcanoes. When high silica content lava flows and cools rapidly obsidian will be formed. Due to this natural formation other elements can be trapped inside to cause inclusions. Pure Obsidian is black in colour with a shiny finish.

As Obsidian is a natural form or Fused Quartz it is generally inert but inclusions can cause issues in clients with certain sensitivities.

At Rogue we recommend setting Obsidian into a safe metal or for use in healed piercings only.

Material Notes

The vast majority of glasses are safe for use in the body as long as they are lead free (and in some rare cases Uranium free!). Glass body jewellery manufacturers are constantly evolving their materials and designs to produce beautiful and safe jewellery.

As with all materials, ask your piercer what they are using to check it is safe for your body.

Next weeks blog will be all about plastics. The most modern materials in the body jewellery world.

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High Quality? Part 2a – Material (Metal)

The material that your jewellery is made from is vitally important for a happy, healthy piercing. Not every material is suitable to be worn in the body. Some materials are fine for fresh piercings and some materials aren’t. Some materials are fine for long term wear and some are short term only. We’ll break down the different materials available and what they are suitable for, but due to the large amount of information here we have broken this section of the High Quality? blog into multiple posts.

Metal – Titanium, Steel, Niobium, Gold, Silver, Brass

Metals offer the widest range of materials within body piercing and is a subject close to our heart as Aiden is a specialist in metal. Not all metal is safe for the body so it is important to wear metal designed for long term wear.

Titanium

Metal - Neometal titanium threadless labret

Titanium is a metallic element from the periodic table. In it’s pure form Titanium is a reactive metal. If exposed to Oxygen (air) then an oxide surface layer will form and it is this layer that makes Titanium jewellery inert and safe for the body.

In body piercing we use implant grades of Titanium that have been designed and tested by metallurgists and has proven to be safe inside the body. Most commonly used implant grades of Titanium are ASTM F-136 and ASTM F-1295. It is important that the materials source can be traced to a UK, EU or US source as other sources have been proven to falsify data and not be following safety protocols. If you would like to know then ask your piercer for a Mill Certificate proving what the metal grade is.

Not all Titanium is implant grade and a lot of industrial Titanium is used by low quality piercers. Grades 5 and 23 are the most common low quality grades used. Industrial grades may be safe for wear but have not been proven to do so as they have been designed for other attributes.

There is a small amount of commercially pure Titanium jewellery available that is used for intricate custom bent jewellery. The grade for come

At Rogue we only work with Implant Grades of Titanium from safe sources.

Steel

Steel is complex alloy with thousands of grades available. Iron and Carbon are the basics of steel but for the variety of stainless steels we use within piercing Chromium and Nickel are common additives. Both Chromium and Nickel are known to be irritants so clients with sensitive skin are recommended to avoid.

Implant grades of Steel are available and many manufacturers use ASTM F-138 but sadly the vast majority use low quality marine grade (316 LVM) rather than implant grade. The polish on implant grade steel is important for ‘locking’ the Nickel inside. Within the European Union body jewellery must pass the Nickel Directive. The Nickel directive is a control on Nickel containing items to protect the general public from Nickel Sensitivities but as this directive was designed for belt buckles and buttons it is a not a strict enough policy for body jewellery and nickel sensitivities are still commonplace.

At Rogue we rarely use steel jewellery but when we do we use implant grade only.

Niobium

Niobium is an element from the reactive metal family (just like Titanium) and also creates an inert oxide layer in the presence of Oxygen. Niobium shows most of the same properties as Titanium except that it is much easier to bend.

Niobium isn’t available in implant grades as it hasn’t had the appropriate testing but as Niobium is inert and has a lower level of sensitization than Steel or Niobium it has been successful in body jewellery. Niobium is available in purity levels as there isn’t an implant grade. 99%, 99.9%, 99.99% and 99.999% are commonly found. 99.9% is the recommended minimum purity for body jewellery use.

At Rogue we use minimum 99.9% pure Niobium.

Gold

Gold has the longest human history of all the metal materials used for body jewellery. Known for its yellow lustre and ability to be made into the most intricate and fine jewellery available, modern gold is also available in Rose, White and Black Gold in varying alloys.

Metal - Body Gems gold and CZ hinged ring

Gold is available in implant grades (Dental Gold) but none of the body jewellery manufacturers use these grades as they are prohibitively expensive. 14 and 18 carat gold have been used successfully in body piercing for millenia. 14 carat is recommended for healed piercings and 18 carat is recommended for initial piercings, this is because 18 carat gold is purer and therefor there is less chance of having a reaction in an open wound. Too high a purity is not recommended because it is so soft that the jewellery would become mishaped through general wear and tear.

At Rogue we use 14 and 18 carat gold in Yellow, Rose and White gold.

Silver

Contrary to popular belief, silver is not recommended for body piercing. This is because Silver reacts with the body and can cause permanent staining to the skin around a piercing. We are used to seeing this reaction on silver in the form of tarnish that we polish off. The pH of our skin and the moisture in a fresh piercing accelerate this reaction so silver shouldn’t be used for initial piercing.

Silver can be worn in healed piercings for short term periods of no more than 8 hours without issue. Some people find that they cannot wear silver at all whereas others are fine. Lobes are the main location where silver is used safely as most lobe jewellery is removed at night to sleep.

At Rogue we rarely use silver outside of lobe jewellery.

Brass

Due to it’s similar colour to Gold but much lower price, Brass body jewellery can be found. Unfortunately Brass is not suitable for initial piercing or for long term wear in healed piercings. Brass is an alloy of Copper and Zinc and both of these metals can cause reactions in the body.

Like Silver, Brass can be worn by some customers for short term periods without issue but some customers cannot wear brass at all. Again lobes are the main location for Brass jewellery as the jewellery is removed at night.

At Rogue we rarely use Brass, but if we do it is for large gauge lobe jewellery.

Material Notes

There are other metals used within body piercing but they are rarities or follow similar rules to the materials above.

Always ask your piercer what material they are using. If it’s going in your body you need to know it’s safe. Our piercer’s will happily tell you all about your jewellery because we believe in safety through quality.

Next weeks blog post will be all about Glass! Sign up to our mailing list to be notified when a new blog goes up!

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High Quality? Part 1 – Connection

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.

Image courtesy of Joeltron

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

A segment ring with dimple visible inside

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!

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High Quality?

The general standard of piercing and body jewellery available across the UK has been low for a long time. In recent years there has been a movement to increase the quality level and our piercers have been at the forefront of this. We believe in high quality jewellery and the difference that it makes to a happy healthy piercing. Over a series of blog posts we are going to break down what makes a quality piece of jewellery and why this is important. These blog posts will cover:

  • Connection – Internal, External, Threadless
  • Material – Metals, Glasses, Plastics and Organics
  • Design – Jewellery Styles, Good from Bad, Surface Finish, Coatings
  • Initial Vs Healed – Sterilisation, Natural Oils
  • Gemstones – Types, Grades, Cuts

Sign up to our Email Mailing List for regular updates (Low Volume – No more than 1 per week).

For a more in-depth discussion about any of these subjects feel free to talk to any of our team by booking a free consultation on our book now page and they will be glad to share our passion with you. You can also take a look at the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) homepage at safepiercing.org or the United Kingdom Association of Professional Piercers (UKAPP) homepage at UKAPP.org.uk

High and Low Quality side by side
It’s easy to see the difference when you put high quality and low quality side by side
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Hello Nottingham!

Hello! We’ll be setting up shop in Nottingham’s Lace Market soon. We’re excited to bring your jewellery and piercing desires to reality. It’s going to be a little while while we build a new studio and get everything up to our high standards so for now here’s something from our portfolio to whet your appetite.

Hello! Anatometal White Opal Cluster made from implant grade Titanium, anodised to a Golden Yellow finish in a Conch Ring
Anatometal White Opal Cluster made from implant grade Titanium, anodised to a Golden Yellow finish in a Conch Ring