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Jewelry material information & care 

316L Stainless Steel

316L steel is the most basic metal used in body jewelry. It is the basic requirement of metal to be used in initial piercings and for healing. There are better grades (below) but usually they cost more as well. For most people this grade of steel works just fine.
  • Solid steel jewelry CAN be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing
  • If the steel jewelry also has acrylic DO NOT use alcohol or harsh chemicals to clean it. It will ruin the acrylic.
  • If the steel jewelry has gems on it DO NOT use alcohol or harsh chemicals to clean it. It could eat away the glue that holds them in place. Better pieces of jewelry will have the gem bezel set in it (not held in by glue). These pieces cost significantly more but are well worth the money.

316LVM ASTM F-138 Implant Grade Steel

This grade of steel is top of the line. It is highly recommended, but it comes down to a personal preference on whether you want to pay a little bit more for the best. Lots of people are fine to use the basic 316L steel, but for some people with extremely sensitive skin, getting the top grade of steel usually helps.    
  • Solid steel jewelry CAN be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing

Titanium

Titanium is usually preferred over steel because it contains no nickel and it weighs almost 50% less than steel. Titanium can come in plain polish which looks just like steel AND it can come in a variety of colors (but NOT red or black). Titanium is super for people with sensitive skin to steel. It does cost a little more but is well worth it. Titanium comes in different grades just like steel with Grade 23 (6AL4V ELI F-136) implant grade being the highest. Colored titanium does fade over time (but is not dangerous to your piercing). If worn in the mouth the color usually fades faster.
  • Solid titanium jewelry CAN be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing
  • No need to use alcohol or harsh cleansers on your jewelry

Acrylic / Lucite

Acrylic jewelry is light weight and great for healed piercings *only*. Acrylic should not be used in new or unhealed piercings. It should also not be used in newly stretched piercings. Be aware that this acrylic when worn in tongue piercings can emit toxins from the plastic. For tongue piercings, dental acrylic is recommended.
  • Acrylic cannot be autoclaved
  • Acrylic can not be boiled or left in heat/direct sunlight otherwise it risks the possibility of warping
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water
  • DO NOT clean with alcohol or other harsh chemicals as it will ruin the jewelry
  • Be careful with your acrylic balls! If you try to thread them down too far the threads can strip.
  • Acrylic is very fragile and brittle and will shatter under stress
  • Do not leave in direct sunlight or heat as it can warp
 

Dental acrylic

Dental acrylic is much stronger AND safer than standard acrylic which most jewelry is made from.
  • Dental acrylic CAN be autoclaved (although we have had some pieces change color but they didn't melt)
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water
  • DO NOT clean with alcohol or other harsh chemicals as it will ruin the jewelry
 

PTFE

PTFE (Monofilament nylon and teflon) is a 100% safe flexible material that is becoming very popular for surface piercings and also for piercings where more flexibility is needed (the navel during pregnancy or for surgeries). It has a "non-stick" surface and can be used in initial piercings.  
  • PTFE can be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water... no need to use alcohol or harsh chemicals.
 

Flexible plastic

Flexible plastic is okay for temporary use. If you're looking for a permanent solution with flexibility you need to use PTFE as it's safer for piercings. Flexible plastic also comes in colors where PTFE only comes in white.
  • It can NOT be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water... no need to use alcohol or harsh chemicals.

Bioplast

Direct from the manufacturers website:According to the current state of knowledge BioplastT conforms to all world wide standards on use of body jewellery materials.
  • Bioplast™ is Biocompatible.
  • Bioplast™ is flexible.
  • Bioplast™ can be cut to any length and threaded by any metal ball closure.
  • People pierced with Bioplast™ have less swelling and infections.
  • The healing process with Bioplast™ is faster than that of other materials.
  • No allergic reactions (no nickel)
  • Bioplast™ can be sterilised by autoclave (up to 121°c.)
  • Bioplast™ is competitively priced and is available in 8 colours.
  • Bioplast™ is one of the best materials for initial piercing.
Although Bioplast™ has been tested and judged Biocompatible this does not guarantee its appropriateness for use in all people and due to the complexities of the human body the Bioplast™ manufacturer recommends that any one experiencing any sensitivity towards these products remove the jewellery and seek medical advice.

Water buffalo horn & bone

All of our horn comes from animals that are already dead. These animals are not killed for the horn. Horn jewelry is a good way to make sure that all of the animal is respectfully used.
  • Clean before wearing. Use mild soap and water quickly. Rinse and dry immediately after washing.
  • We recommend taking horn jewelry out before showering, swimming, or water activities.
  • Do not soak in anything, including water!
  • Lightly oil it with coconut oil or jajoba oil about once a week to help keep it from cracking.
  • Every once in a while it could a polish. If you have a polishing cloth it would help to oil it and polish it with the cloth to keep it in good condition and help keep cracking at a minimal.
  • Do not store in direct sunlight. Do not store in extreme temperatures or the bathroom.
  • Organic jewelry is for healed piercings only.
  • Horn jewelry can not be sterilized or autoclaved

Amber

A very helpful article on real vs. synthetic amber can be found at Amberica WestFor body jewelry purposes, real or synthetic amber just comes down to a personal preference. Synthetic is much cheaper and basically looks almost exactly the same. Most body jewelry you find made from "amber" is actually synthetic.
  • Do not clean with alcohol or other harsh chemicals. Just clean with simple soap and water.
  • Do not expose to excessive heat
  • Do not put too much pressure on amber as it can get warped or scatched easily
  • Since it is like stone, if you drop it you do risk it chipping, cracking, or possibly breaking.

About our burmese amber
All our burmese amber plugs are purchased from one supplier that is very meticulous about a quality product. This is an extremely old type of amber. The new plugs are actually made from tribal peoples' plugs that range anywhere from 80 - 150 years old. The amber is dark with "strings" rather than flaky speckles like you might find in baltic amber. Since it's one of the more rare ambers, it also costs more. But it is extremely beautiful and VERY hard to find.

Wood (all types)

Wood jewelry is light weight, natural, and comes in a variety of types/colors. As long as the surface is sanded/polished very smooth, it should be comfortable to wear. It is porous and does absorb moisture from the skin so keeping it oiled daily with natural oils (jajoba, vitamin E) will help.
  • Wood jewelry should only be worn in healed piercings.
  • Keep your wood jewelry oiled to keep in good condition, and from cracking. You can use jajoba oil, coconut oil, or any other natural plant oil.
  • Try not to get wood jewelry wet (shower, swimming, etc) for extended amounts of time. Best thing to do is just take it out during these activities and then put it back in afterwards.
  • From time to time you should wipe your plugs down with a damp wash cloth. Pat them dry, and re-oil them before wearing them.
  • Over time the grain of wood can "raise up" so you may need to re-sand it with 800 grit sandpaper and then buffed with 1200 grit sandpaper.
  • Avoid leaving your wood jewelry in direct sunlight.
  • Wood can not be autoclaved or sterilized.

Stone

Stone comes in a variety of colors and the weight varies depending on what type of stone it is.
  • Stone jewelry should only be worn in healed piercings.
  • Use a mild soap and luke warm water to clean then dry afterwards.
  • Be careful to not drop on hard surfaces as it could break.
  • Stone jewelry can NOT be sterilized.

Pyrex glass

Pyrex glass is a great alternative to steel or titanium (though not as strong) and you can get all kinds of cool colors/designs in it! It contains no nickel and is extremely sturdy. Pyrex is basically kiln annealed (heated) to make it as strong as it can be. Keep in mind that ANY glass will never be as strong as steel or titanium. Eyelets will be more fragile than solid glass plugs. Small gauges have more of a risk of breaking as well. When wearing ANY glass always keep in mind that it *could* break if hit or dropped and then you'll possibly have to deal with glass shards. It's rare that pyrex does break, but it CAN happen (after all, it IS glass).
  • Pyrex jewelry CAN be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing
  • Obviously, be careful not to drop it on the floor or on a hard surface. After all it STILL is glass!

Quartz glass

From Glasswear Studios:
Quartz Glass is similar to Pyrex with a few differences. 1)Stronger, 2) higher melting temperature, 4) Higher resistant to thermal cracking, 5)refracts light better 6) available in smaller gauges 7) available in clear only. Even though it is quartz, it is still fragile and will break if forced to bend. Do not bite down on it or try to bend it. This jewelry is for retainer use only. Not recommended for sports activities. 100% Hypoallergenic, a great alternative to plastic which is porous. It is 99.98% Pure silica (SiO2), Made from the purest sand on earth.
  • Quartz jewelry CAN be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing
  • Obviously, be careful not to drop it on the floor or on a hard surface. After all it STILL is glass!

Silicone

Implant grade silicone is entirely safe for body piercing use and is great for people with metal allergies or sensitivities.
  • Wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing.
  • Use lubricant before inserting or removing silicone eyelets/plugs. This will help reduce chance of tearing.
  • Silicone jewelry CAN be autoclaved.
  • Never soak in or use harsh chemicals such as alcohol.
  • Silicone is not recommended to stretch your piercing. It has been done successfully, but not in all cases. If you want to take the chance and go for it, that's fine. Just be aware that your body could BADLY react to it.

Latex

Latex is a form of rubber. Keep latex away from oils as it destroys it. Avoid excess heat, sun, or humidity which can discolor and degrade latex.  

Niobium

Niobium is an elemental metal (not man made) and is slightly heavier than 316L stainless steel. If you are allergic to stainless steel, niobium is a good alternative, but most people prefer titanium because it is much lighter and about the same price. Niobium is also the only metal that can be colored black through a heating process, and is still proven to be safe.
  • Solid niobium jewelry CAN be autoclaved
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing

Gold

Only 14k or 18k gold is appropriate for body jewelry (24k gold is too soft). 14k is the best as it is strong enough to maintain the threads for barbell etc. The higher grade of gold, the softer it gets. Lower grades than 14k could result in migration, rejection, or develop permanent reactions to gold.
  • Do not clean with alcohol or other harsh chemicals
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing
  • Be gentle when screwing on balls as threads could easily strip
  • Over time gold can lose its luster from being within the body. All you need to do is lightly buff it back to its natural shine.

Gold plated steel

Read a scientific detailed article at Wikipedia about the electroplating process.

Sterling silver

Silver should never be worn in new or unhealed piercings. It is safe to wear in healed piercings, but not for every day wear (every day for long periods). Silver can tarnish and when worn in a new piercing, the tarnish can be deposited into the skin causing it to darken or turn gray. Silver is very soft and is easily scratched. If you have a nickel allergy, do not wear sterling silver.
  • Do not clean with alcohol or other harsh chemicals
  • Simply wash with antibacterial soap and warm water before inserting into your piercing
  • Over time silver can tarnish (turn brown colored). All you need to do is lightly buff it back to its natural shine.

PVD coated steel or titanium

Read a scientific detailed article at PF Online about the PVD coating process.

The process used to black-coat jewelry is called PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition). It is an outer coating over a base metal (titanium or steel). This jewelry is fine for autoclaving or steam sterilization treatments.
  • PVD coated jewelry will fade and possibly chip over time.
  • If you wear PVD coated jewerly in an oral piercing, the chances of it fading or chipping will be MUCH quicker than other piercings. Oral jewelry gets a lot of wear and depending on the person, the saliva can have a different affect on the coating. With some people it may be fine, with others it could start fading in a week. This can also happen from the jewelry being "clicked" on the teeth, rubbed, or chewed/bitten.
  • Do not use alcohol or harsh chemicals to clean jewelry. Just use standard antibacterial soap and warm water to clean jewelry.

(TiN) Titanium PVD on steel

Info coming...

Fossilized walrus tusk

Info coming...

Fossilized mammoth tusk

All our fossilized mammoth pieces are bought from one supplier who is very meticulous about quality. They actually make regular trips to Indonesia and other countries to scour antique shops for old pieces of this bone/tusk. In most cases, the mammoth tusk has been used by tribal peoples for dog sleds, ice picks, and other items they would carve for use. When the pieces are found, the supplier then brings them to the carvers and they in turn make beautiful body jewelry out of an antique sled, tool, etc. So when you purchase our fossilized mammoth, now you can know a little history as to how it became body jewelry as well!
  • Do not soak or get wet (never bathe or swim with this material)
  • Oil as needed to prevent cracking. Use coconut oil or jojoba oil.

Ceramic plated

Ceramic plating (aka Titanium Carbide) that is used on jewelry is extremely durable. It maintains it's shine for a very long time and is hard to scratch. This ceramic is not the same type used in traditional hobby stores. This is the same type used on industrial tools and as a heat guard in space shuttles.

Even though it's extremely scratch resistant, it still can chip if dropped or banged up against other objects/jewelry. It would be beneficial to keep ceramic plated items separate from other jewelry.