What is Body Jewellery Make of?
I was talking to a lady about our body jewellery the other day and she told me how much she loved it but honestly let me know that she thought it was a bit expensive. I totally agreed with her that is was more expensive than other fashion jewellery but for good reason. Body jewellery can be described as a hybrid jewellery and once you know its secret you’ll never buy traditional jewellery again.
Quality Gold Body Jewellery is made from medical grade surgical steel at its core with a thick coating of 24 Karat gold applied using a process called PVD (Physical Vapour Disposition). This means gold body jewellery is extremely hypoallergenic, durable and strong at a fraction of the price of traditional gold alloy jewellery.
That’s just the beginning though, so if you’re a curious little Gemm and you’d like to find out what the periodic table, bacteria eating metal and laser beams has to do with body jewellery, read on.
What Exactly is 24-Karat Gold
So just to recap, in case you thought you read the above incorrectly, yes, I did say its 24-Karat gold. How is this possible? Firstly, let me go back a step and explain what 24-Karat gold actually means. The term karat describes the amount of gold in a piece of jewellery . The number 24 represents the total possible amount of parts of the gold, for example, 24-Karats means all 24 parts are pure gold. If a piece of jewellery is 18-Karats, then 18 parts are pure gold and 6 parts are something else mixed with it to make an alloy and so on. Now depending on the jewellery, the alloy added can be anything from silver, zinc to sometimes even nickel (Interesting fact for those with a nickel allergy)
This table shows the gold vs alloy composition breakdowns. As you’ll notice by the time you get 9 karat gold jewellery is only just over a 1/3 of actual gold. Makes you think doesn't it.
The mixing into an alloy also discolours the gold. The more alloy that is added the paler the gold becomes. That is why 24-Karat Gold body jewellery has a very impressive bright yellow tone.
So why is all jewellery not 24 Karat gold?
Do you want the good news or the bad news first??
Ok, here’s the good news
Gold is one of the least reactive elements, being part of the group of metals on the periodic table called NOBLE metals. These metals are known for their resistant to corrosion and oxidation from moisture in the air. Gold is also resistant to most acids including the heavy weights such as nitric and hydrochloric, as well as many other chemical reactions. This very low reactiveness helps its hypoallergic qualities and makes it perfect for jewellery especially body jewellery.
Unfortunately, here’s the bad news
First up its really expensive, at the the moment gold is about $40K a kilo (AUS), don''t know about you, but that's definatley out of my price range. Secondly, pure gold is a very soft metal. By merely wearing 24 karat jewellery the shape can become distorted and links or joining loops can wear through. Not ideal. So how do you increase strength without losing purity?
Introducing the best of both worlds – Body Jewellery
Instead of mixing the alloy with the gold, PVD body jewellery allows each metal to do its own job. Surgical steel at the core for strength, a super strong base and pure 24-Karat gold on the outside for the triple punch of beauty, durability and hyposensitivity.
Now you know all about gold here’s a little more about surgical steel
This remarkable material is commonly used for medical instruments and medical applications like bone fixation bolts and screws. It is used under these conditions as it has a low risk of being rejected by the body. By nature, it’s extremely strong, corrosion resistant and is often used in food handling because of its low metallic contamination and low allergenic properties.
All good reasons why surgical steel is a great match for body jewellery. Much of body jewellery currently available is surgical steel, however what if you like a little more bling in your life. Enter stage left Gold and its beautiful partner Rose Gold.
If Rose Gold was person, she would definitely be the IT girl
In recent years there has been an increased popularity of Rose Gold Jewellery and Accessories. For good reason too, Rose gold is the perfect accompaniment for those who prefer silver as is compliments the silver while at the same time popping the gorgeous tones of the pink metal.
Rose Gold is the combination of gold and copper. This is important to know if you can have a sensitivity to copper. However, with it making up only less than 20% of the content it is very low in concentration. Copper is a natural trace element already found in our bodies. It is an essential part of the bodies' respiratory and circulation systems. Copper has many natural benefits too; it does not react with water and is a biostatic metal which means bacteria and other life forms (AKA Nasties) will not grow on it. Furthermore, pure copper can actively kill a large range of micro-organisms. Also, some traditional folklore believe that copper made into jewellery can relieve the symptoms of Arthritis and other ailments.
Let’s bring this all together..
As mentioned the process to apply the gold to the surgical steel is called PVD (Physical Vapour Disposition) This is different to traditional dipping of jewellery into liquid gold and building up coats, commonly known and gold platting.
The easiest way to describe the difference is to image the finish of a layer on layer painted metal object opposed to the fully adhesive finish of a powder-coating finish.
This is not a not an easy job, it’s a complex process that requires a massive machine and a lot of technical jargon. But in short, the gold bar is vaporised using ion bombardment in a vacuum chamber. Cue Dr Evil saying ‘freckn’laser beam’. It then condenses and deposits onto the surgical steel in a complete adhesive gold coating, encapsulating the surgical steel. The resulting jewellery has a beautiful, shiny and has a durable finish.
So that about wraps it up. Body Jewellery truely is the best of both worlds - Quality and Afforability. Please take a look around our beautiful store and see for yourself.
I'd love to hear if you have any questions about body jellewery or piercing. Please comment them below and I'll answer them as soon as I can.