When it comes to body piercings, the choice of metal is an important one. In the piercing community, implant-grade titanium has gained immense popularity. But what makes it so special and why is it more expensive? In this post, we'll explore why titanium is a premiere choice for piercings and how it compares to other jewelry materials.
Titanium is a versatile and durable metal that has become a favorite in various high-performance industries, including healthcare and aerospace. Its unique combination of strength, lightness, and corrosion resistance makes it an ideal choice for body jewelry. However, not all titanium is created equal. Implant-grade titanium, specifically ASTM F136 or F138, is the gold standard for body piercings.
In regards to jewelry, titanium comes in a range of styles and sizes and is suitable for all piercings. It is a great option for long-term wear, and users won't have to worry about taking it off before showering, swimming, sweating, or sleeping.
Different Types of Titanium Jewelry
You will often see two types of titanium jewelry being sold: titanium-plated jewelry and solid titanium jewelry. The difference lies in their composition and construction.
- Typically has a base metal core, which is usually made from stainless steel (a less expensive metal).
- "Plated" means that a thin layer of titanium has been applied to the surface. This is achieved through a process called electroplating, where a layer of titanium is deposited onto the base metal.
- Can mimic the appearance of solid titanium -- the outer layer of titanium gives it a similar color and shine. Over time, the plating may wear off, revealing the base metal beneath.
- Overall strength and corrosion resistance of plated jewelry depend on the quality of the base metal.
Solid Titanium Jewelry:
- Solid titanium jewelry is made entirely of titanium. There is no base metal core or coating.
- Implant-grade titanium (ASTM F136 or F138), is hypoallergenic and biocompatible. It's an excellent choice for individuals with sensitive skin or metal allergies.
- Solid titanium is known for its exceptional strength and durability. It is resistant to corrosion, tarnish, and discoloration.
- Solid titanium jewelry requires minimal maintenance. Its resistance to corrosion means it won't tarnish or rust over time. Cleaning with a gentle solution is usually sufficient to keep it in excellent condition.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel
Body jewelry is often sold in both stainless steel and titanium jewelry. But how do they compare? Titanium and stainless steel each have their own advantages. The choice comes down to personal preferences, budget considerations, and specific requirements for body piercings.
Affordability: Stainless steel is more affordable than titanium jewelry. It is a cost-effective option for durable pieces.
Resistance: Stainless steel is also resistant to scratches, dents, and corrosion (though it is not as resistant).
Metal Sensitivities: Stainless steel can contain tiny amounts of nickel -- and while the amount is low, it can cause irritation to some individuals. People with nickel sensitivities may need to choose a hypoallergenic alternative like titanium.
When shopping for your next piece of jewelry, consider your body's preferences and sensitivities to metal. While many people can enjoy wearing stainless steel jewelry, other's people may not. Additionally, different piercings on your body may require different types of jewelry.
If you are seeking out especially high quality jewelry that will last, consider titanium jewelry!