Any professionals are more than welcome to correct me with extra information or to correct me on any mistakes :)
Please get in touch via - www.facebook.com/bodypiercingbyesther
There are NO legal standards for tattooing and piercing in Scotland, when applying for a licence or opening a studio your a judged on your skills in sterility and the ventilation of the area, not on the service you provide.
This is why ‘piercing training courses’ or ‘tattoo schools’ are frowned upon in the industry, the act of actually piercing is very easy, and takes little time to learn, but it takes years to master the art of a good piercing that’ll heal in a short period of time and cause as little trouble for the piercee as possible! Training courses teach you everything in the space of a week, give you a certificate and no further tuition, so basically you need to hope your memory is good enough to have gone over every possible outcome for every piercing possible meanwhile remembering the procedure itself.
By landing an apprenticeship with an experienced piercer of at least 5+ years who feels comfortable in sharing they’re knowledge you’ll have the comfort of someone looking over your shoulder for at least a year and by working in the same studio you’ll hopefully get to see returning customers, whether it be for complications or a check up on a healed piercing, you’ll have gained experience in the foundations of becoming a good piercer.
By now, I’m hoping I’ve vaguely explained the difference between internally threaded jewellery and externally threaded jewellery to most of you when you’ve visited the studio for piercings. It’s been nearly a year since I first started marketing to find a customer base interested in companies such as Anatometal, Neometal, Industrial Strength, Body vision los angeles (BVLA), LeRoi etc and much as the information is sinking in, there’s a lot of you who are still unaware of the difference between a good piece of jewellery and cheap overpriced body jewellery.
First of all, lets look at what exactly the ‘threading’ on a piece of body jewellery actually is,
A thread is a spiral ridge that winds around the jewellery much like on a bolt or inside of a nut. To create a closure, there must be a male end (screw) that fits into a female hole. This can be done one of two ways.
Internally threaded jewellery houses a threaded hole inside of the jewellery and the male, external screw is found on the ball or decorative end.
Externally threaded jewellery is exactly the opposite, a threaded end is found on the outside of the piece and the ball or decorative end has a hole at the base also harbouring a thread so the two can connect.
That being explained, what does this mean when it comes to jewelery that’s safe for initial piercing and the customers health during the healing time and after the procedure?
It doesn’t matter if you’re using externally threaded jewellery for initial piercing, or changing the piece being worn in an existing/healed piercing. When you insert/remove said piece, the external threading will scrape along the inside of your piercing. This can cause scratch or irritate the sensitive skin (youch!) , and harmful bacteria that could be trapped between the gaps of the threading will be transported into your skin via the piercing.
By using internally threaded jewellery, with the threading not being exposed, these issues are void.
Externally threaded jewellery is cheap to produce, and most wholesale and retail companies (especially in the UK) do NOT use metal to make their products that is safe for human implant. As i recently discovered 2 of the most common wholesale jewellery companies in the UK use ASTM B265 (grade 5) titanium to make earrings, fake stretchers, lip, nipple, tongue bars and dermal anchors, jewellery that is used in over 90% of piercing studios in the UK.
TIME FOR SOME SCIENCE.
To put a few hours of tedious research into a short summary.
ASTM B265 is the code-name for titanium alloy that is most commonly used in aircraft engineering, mechanics and the inner workings of machinery.
ASTM F136 is the code-name for titaium alloy that has been approved by the American Society for Testing Materials (astm) as safe for Surgical Implant grade.
Unfortunately because both ASTM B265 and ASTM F136 come from the titanium alloy (Ti-6AL-4V) jewelery suppliers can easily confuse customers by passing of their cheap products as ‘safe for human implant, under the name of Ti-6AL-4V without specifying any further. (see picture below)
After a few months of changing my stock from cheaper suppliers to one who supplies implant grade, I’ve seen far less problems with hypertropic scarring, healing time has been reduced significantly and with the jewellery being internally threaded, it hasn’t had the issue of balls/ decorative ends becoming lose and getting lost, saving myself and the customer a few extra pennies.
So why isn’t everyone using implant grade titanium?!
As previously mentioned, externally threaded jewellery made from non-implant grade titanium is easier to produce on a wholesale level. Surprisingly, it isn’t the price that deters retailers from using implant grade, its the durability. Implant grade titanium is the same price as the ‘aircraft’ metals, its just harder to mould and pour.
Good quality jewellery takes time and effort, there are very few to no suppliers producing hand-made implant grade, internally threaded jewellery in the UK. So for us piercers, this means looking overseas. The average turnaround for a piece of jewellery from Anatometal, Neometal, Industrial Strength or BVLA can take up to 6 weeks for it to be hand made, precious stones sourced and fitted, hand polishing and anodizing (making the metal a different colour). The cost price of shipping can be up to $92 (£50/60), before you even think about what jewellery you’re going to order, because of the greater standards of material being used, ie, synthetic opals, precious stones, Swarovski diamonds jewellery prices are usually more than £0.90 per piece.
With cheap jewellery being so popular in the UK it’s without any sign of competition in recent years it’s hard to crack the market and convince the public you’re not just trying to scam them out of a few extra pennies, I’m hoping that by educating people a bit better on jewellery standards and their importance that by popular demand more and more piercing studios along the country will be interested in raising the bar to make piercings a more widely accepted industry as a whole.
See pictured above
- Non implant grade
- Mass produced
- Externally threaded
See pictured above
- Implant grade
- Internally threaded
- Hand made