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Is Body Jewelry Really Jewelry?

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Body jewelry comes in many shapes, forms, sizes, and positionings. Some of them are so vanilla that your grandmother might consider getting one. Others are so cutting edge and counter-culture that I'm loathe to even mention them at all in this article. The fact is, body jewelry has become ingrained as a part of modern culture.

What kinds are out there? Who are they for? What are they made of? Most importantly, can we actually consider them jewelry? Plenty of the body jewelry information I managed to dig up was news to me. There is a lot to cover and we'll answer these questions and more as we dive into this article on body jewelry!

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Is It Really Jewelry?

"Of course body jewelry is jewelry! It says so right in the name!" That's where you might be mistaken. The definition of jewelry from Oxford is "personal ornaments, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets, that are typically made from or contain jewels and precious metal."

While most body jewelry is certainly a personal ornament, my main point of contention would be with the latter half. Body jewelry that is made of precious metal or that contains any precious stones is actually quite rare. That statement brings me nicely into my next point.

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What Is It Made Of?

You can stick anything into a fresh piercing, but the vast majority just don't make for good body jewelry materials. Quality body jewelry particularly for fresh piercings needs to meet two stipulations. The first qualification is a material that can withstand the heat of autoclave sterilization, the other is that the substance needs to be inert and not result in any negative interactions with the body.

As stated the list of candidate materials meeting these requirements is quite short. These do include some precious metals such as gold, titanium, platinum, and arguably surgical steel. These metals aren't common as body jewelry due to the cost among other issues. Gold is soft and easily scratched, platinum presents extra difficulty when attempting to manufacture body jewelry from it.

Speaking of precious metals, if you want to keep them looking their best it would behoove you to check out our ammonia free jewelry cleaning foam. Don't sell yourself short. You paid for the bling, make sure it shines through.

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This leaves us with the other half of our body jewelry candidate list, and it would be a stretch to call any of these materials precious enough to be considered actual jewelry. Niobium comes close to being a precious metal, but I'd never heard of it before my deep dive into body jewelry. Things like glass, Teflon, Bioplast, and myriad other polymers are by far the most common materials used in body jewelry.

Now, say I were to wear a plastic bracelet and call it jewelry. Does that notion seem a bit ridiculous? Why does the same standard not seem to apply for body jewelry? I'm not an elitist, I'm simply someone who has looked at the fact and determined that based on the dictionary definition most body jewelry does not fall under the 'jewelry' category.

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Piercings and Anchors

Now that we've got all that unpleasant argumentative business set aside I'd like to impress on you that despite most body jewelry lacking the 'jewel' section of things I'm still quite partial to body jewelry as a whole. Piercings are not a choice that I've made for myself, but there are more than a handful of people I've seen that use piercings and anchors to accentuate their natural beauty in very stunning ways.

If you're proud of your eyes and would like to draw more attention to them? A anchored stud on the outer edge can work wonders. Perhaps you don't like anchor piercings as they can't be removed? That's OK. A barbell through one or both of your eyebrows can serve the same purpose. Bellybutton rings are extremely popular picks for body jewelry that works well for showing off your beach-body abs!

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Rings and Things

Anklets and toe rings often fall under the miscellaneous body jewelry category. I would argue that these are closer to jewelry than a large portion of piercings, but my final determination depends on what material they are made of and whether or not any precious gems are included in the design.

If you feel the need to add a bit of spice to your style, but aren't sure if a piercing is for you then this is the way to go. Men can definitely wear anklets and toe rings, and have been doing so since the 1990s. Generally men's body jewelry is simple and masculine, but if you need a splash of flash then why not try and rock it?

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Safety Warnings

From the way I've been framing my argument of body jewelry not being actual jewelry, you might feel compelled to search specifically for a piece of body jewelry that features a gem or jewel of some sort. I promise you that it isn't necessary, since body jewelry can look great whether it fits the conditions of being actual jewelry or not. Body jewelry with a badly set stone can actually be dangerous to your health!

Gemstone settings for body jewelry need to be of the highest quality and be set securely into the metal with a prong or bezel setting. If the setting for your body jewelry isn't top of the line you risk losing the stone. That might not be the worst thing in the world, but the risk comes if you decide to continue using a piece of body jewelry even after the stone has fallen out.

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The hole in your body jewelry left by that missing gem is guaranteed to start harboring all sorts of bacteria. This will increase the risk of infection and can turn something that was meant to accentuate your eyes or chest into an immediate threat to those physical assets. Don't take your health and safety lightly! Keep your body jewelry clean and it will serve you well for decades to come.

If you want to guarantee that your body jewelry is sparkling, eye-catching, and clean don't hesitate to try out our Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Kit. This kit includes everything you need to outshine the competition. No piece of jewelry is too small and if you're wearing dull body jewelry people will take notice, but fear no more!


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