The Ultimate Guide to Permanent Jewelry
If you love staying on top of the hottest new jewelry trends, you may have heard the words "permanent jewelry." These simple pieces have become a huge trend, with searches for the term growing by a whopping 551% over the past year. What is permanent jewelry, and why has it made such a splash?
As the name suggests, permanent jewelry is a piece of jewelry with no clasp for easy removal. Instead, an expert micro-welds the item onto your body, allowing you to keep it on forever or for as long as you want. Permanent jewelry can add a bit of everyday glamor to your look or act as a meaningful symbol.
What Is Permanent Jewelry?
You may have heard of the "permanent jewelry" trend under a few different names. Infinity, forever, fused, or welded jewelry are other possible terms for this popular style.
Permanent jewelry includes pieces you can't take off on your own. Experts will custom-fit the item to your body and micro-weld both ends together.
If you want permanent jewelry, you can choose from a variety of jewelry items that are designed to be permanent. However, some jewelers will also turn existing items into permanent jewelry.
What Is the Point of Permanent Jewelry?
Because permanent jewelry can last as long as you like, getting the right pieces can be an easy way to wear your favorite items every day. It's also perfect for sentimental jewelry you know you'll never want to remove.
Some people enjoy the convenience of never having to remember to put their jewelry on, as the piece is already welded in place. This makes it a great choice for those who love adding a simple but glamorous touch to their wardrobe no matter where they're headed.
Others choose permanent jewelry as a symbol of emotion or commitment. Like tattoos, these items take on personal significance for many wearers.
Someone might get a piece of permanent jewelry on a special occasion like an anniversary to signify their love. Others might choose one to indicate their drive to find themselves after a big breakup.
Friends might choose them as a longer-lasting version of the traditional friendship bracelet. Still others might choose an item of permanent jewelry to commemorate a personal achievement or use it to show their commitment to chasing a dream.
What Is the Permanent Jewelry Process?
As stated above, the process of getting permanent jewelry involves having an expert fit the item to your skin and weld it together. Though you may be envisioning a trip to a metalworker, an expert jeweler can do the job for you.
You'll have to head out to a retailer who employs someone trained to tackle this specialized fitting. This isn't common in all jewelry stores, so make sure to do your research.
In most cases, you'll have to make an appointment before your visit. Often, the entire process takes around 10-20 minutes.
The jeweler will measure your wrist and the item of jewelry, and then they will consult you on the fit you prefer. They will then lay the item in place across your body.
Last is the micro-welding or -soldering process, which is easier and faster than you might expect. Some experts call the process "zapping" for the brief flash of light the micro-welding tool makes. With a few quick zaps, the process is complete.
Is Getting Permanent Jewelry Safe?
Yes, permanent jewelry is safe. The process will not hurt at all.
Given how often we've mentioned welding and soldering already, it's easy to imagine pain or soreness. However, the tools for binding permanent jewelry together are perfectly safe. Jewelers are always careful to ensure that nothing hurts their customers' skin.
However, if you have certain skin allergies, permanent jewelry may not be right for you.
These items are often made of gold or sterling silver, and allergies to these metals are rare. However, both of these metals can contain small traces of nickel. An estimated 12-15% of women and 1-2% of men get rashes, itching, or other discomfort from wearing nickel.
What Types of Jewelry Can You Get?
Though bracelets are one of the most popular choices, you can get several types of permanent jewelry. Anklets, rings, and necklaces are also options. Some stores also offer permanent earrings whose studs are not removable.
Each of these items works the same way: you'll show up, get measured, and get fitted with your jewelry of choice. You can often opt for several different styles and aesthetics, and features like charms and ethical gemstones are popular on all permanent jewelry items.
Keep in mind that some jewelers only sell certain permanent jewelry items. A store may be able to tackle bracelets and anklets, for example, but unable to offer rings. Be sure to call and check before making an appointment.
What Metals Can You Get?
Popular metals for permanent jewelry include solid gold, gold-filled, solid silver, titanium, sterling silver, and stainless steel. We recommend steering clear of plated jewelry and sticking with tried-and-tested options like gold or silver for the best results.
Gold is a great option for permanent jewelry, and 10K and 14K gold are both common choices. This glamorous metal is durable and needs little maintenance. It's also hypoallergenic, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin.
For those who want the look of gold without the cost, gold-filled jewelry is affordable without losing much of the durability of solid gold. Though it may lose its luster over many years, it keeps a beautiful shine with proper maintenance.
Solid silver is another great hypoallergenic option. This metal is resistant to tarnishing and corrosion, and it's often more affordable than solid gold. However, it is also less durable than gold, so it may need extra care.
How Much Does Permanent Jewelry Cost?
The cost of permanent jewelry will vary from item to item. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-40 per inch of chain, or around $50-200 total depending on the item.
A few factors affect the cost:
The Item's Size
The total size of the item has a huge impact on the price tag. Rings tend to be the most affordable type of permanent jewelry, as they use the least amount of chain. The size of your body also matters: if you have a smaller wrist, for example, you may pay less for a bracelet than a friend with a larger one.
The Material You Choose
Precious metals are always more expensive than non-precious metals. A gold or titanium chain, for example, will cost more than one of stainless steel.
The Style and Features
Dainty chains that use less metal are often less expensive than broader ones that use more. If there are complex designs within the chain, the price tag may be even higher.
In addition, you'll have to factor any special features you choose into the total. Glittering charms and precious stones can add to the cost.
Some jewelers will set a higher price tag on their work than others. These stores might demand more because they offer higher-quality work and high-end designs. It's a good idea to call around for quotes to be sure your final choice fits into your budget.
What Happens if You Have to Remove the Jewelry?
Permanent jewelry is easy to remove.
All you'll need is a pair of scissors or a similar cutting tool. Most items of permanent jewelry are easy to break on your own with a bit of effort, so you won't have to return to the jeweler if you need the piece off fast.
If you've taken your permanent jewelry off but want to replace it later, be sure to keep the broken piece. Often, you can return to the original retailer for a re-fitting.
Most stores will micro-weld the item back in place for a small fee. Some will even do it for free within a specific window of time after your first fitting.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Permanent Jewelry?
As with any permanent change you make to your body, welded jewelry isn't something you should splurge on without thought. Consider the benefits and disadvantages as you make your decision:
Pros of Permanent Jewelry
Permanent jewelry involves a custom fitting, so you'll never have to worry about finding the right size. Because it's welded onto your body, you won't have to worry about losing it, nor will you have to remember to put it on every morning.
It's easy to find a range of permanent jewelry styles to suit any taste. Because these items tend to be small and dainty, they match a wide range of personal clothing styles. Even better, they're perfect for all situations, whether you need jewelry for work or a shiny staple for a night out.
For anyone who wants a constant reminder of their love, friendship, goals, or commitments, permanent jewelry can be a great choice. A permanent piece offers many of the same benefits as a tattoo, but the wearer can remove it if needed.
Permanent jewelry is easy to maintain. The metals jewelers choose for these items are tarnish- and rust-resistant as well, so you can wear your favorite piece during all of your daily activities.
Cons of Permanent Jewelry
Permanent jewelry isn't ideal if you enjoy huge variations in jewelry styles or you often grow bored with pieces over time. If your jewelry doesn't match your outfit, you can't just take it off and put it on again later.
For some, permanent pieces aren't worth the higher price tag. Permanent jewelry will always cost more than a similar option with a clasp, and some buyers don't feel the need to splurge.
You may need to remove your permanent jewelry in certain situations. If you are getting an X-ray, MRI, or surgery, you'll have to remove these metal items from your body.
Though permanent jewelry isn't easy to break, it can sometimes break by accident. These items must be able to snap with enough force for your safety.
Certain types of cheap permanent jewelry may degrade over time. Plated metals and low-quality, non-precious metals won't survive chlorine or saltwater and may turn your skin green.
What Are Common Myths About Permanent Jewelry?
We've already cleared up a few common myths, but there are a few other misconceptions to address:
You Can't Head to the Airport
This myth is false. The small amount of metal in your delicate permanent necklace won't cause alarm bells if you head through a metal detector. In most cases, TSA officers won't ask you to remove regular jewelry items, provided they aren't large or bulky.
Permanent Jewelry Is Easy to Break
You can cut off your permanent jewelry with a pair of scissors or snap it with enough force, but that doesn't mean it's easy to break. These long-lasting pieces will weather your daily activities without special care or attention.
You Can't Get It Wet
Water won't cause high-quality permanent jewelry made with precious metals to rust or tarnish. This is even true if it's the chlorinated water of a pool or salty seawater. It also won't turn your skin green after a swim.
Make a Statement With Permanent Jewelry
Most permanent jewelry items may be dainty little chains, but they can make a powerful statement. For many wearers, these beautiful pieces symbolize strong feelings or help them feel a little more glamorous in their own skin. If you've been on the fence about taking the plunge, we hope this guide has helped you see why permanent jewelry has become such a popular trend.
As you search for more traditional pieces, Philophrosyne is here to offer stunning pieces that speak to your memories and love. Feel free to check out what we offer or get in touch with questions.