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Piercing metal quality and testing

Piercing metal quality and testing

What piercing metal is best to use

The best piercing material depends on the type of piercing and individual preferences. However, generally, high-quality surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, niobium, and solid 14k or 18k gold are good options for piercing jewellery as they are hypoallergenic and less likely to cause an allergic reaction or infection.

It is essential to choose jewelry that is made from non-porous and non-toxic materials that are safe for prolonged contact with the body. Additionally, it's important to make sure that the jewelry is properly sterilized before being inserted into a new piercing to minimize the risk of infection.

It's always best to consult with a professional piercer or reputable piercing studio for advice on the best piercing material for your specific situation.


How to discover the metal type of a piercing

Piercings are a popular way to adorn the body, and they come in various materials. However, not all materials are created equal, and it's essential to know how to tell the material of a piercing to ensure that you select the right one for your body and style.

Here are some ways to identify the material of a piercing:


1. Ask Your Piercer

The easiest way to determine the material of a piercing is to ask the piercer who made it. Professional piercers use high-quality materials that are safe for most people, and they should be able to tell you what kind of material your piercing is made of. If you're unsure of the material of your piercing, or you want to get a new one, it's best to visit a reputable piercing studio and talk to a professional piercer.


2. Look for Markings

Most piercings are marked with symbols or letters that indicate the material they are made of. For example, surgical steel piercings are often marked with "316L" or "316LVM," which stands for the grade of steel used. Titanium piercings may be marked with "Ti" or "ASTM F136," which is the medical-grade standard for titanium used in body jewellery. Gold piercings may be marked with "14K" or "18K," which indicates the purity of the gold.

If you can't see any markings on your piercing, you can use a magnifying glass to get a closer look. If you still can't find any markings, it may be difficult to determine the material of your piercing without professional help.


3. Test for Magnetism

Another way to identify the material of a piercing is to test its magnetism. Some metals are magnetic, while others are not. To test the magnetism of your piercing, you can use a magnet or a magnetic field detector. If the magnet sticks to your piercing, it's likely made of a magnetic metal like stainless steel or nickel. If the magnet does not stick, your piercing may be made of a non-magnetic metal like titanium or gold.

It's important to note that some piercings may be made of a combination of metals, so the magnet test may not always provide a definitive answer.


4. Acid Test

Another way to test what metal a piercing is made of is to use an acid test. This test involves applying a small amount of acid to the piercing and observing the reaction.

To perform an acid test, first, put on protective gloves and goggles to avoid contact with the acid. Then, apply a drop of acid to the piercing and observe the reaction. Different metals will react differently to the acid, which can help identify what the piercing is made of.

For example, if the piercing turns green, it may be made of copper. If it turns blue or green, it may be made of silver. If there is no reaction, it may be made of gold.

It's important to note that acid tests can be damaging to the piercing and may cause discoloration or other damage. It's also important to use caution when handling acids and to dispose of them properly.


5. X-Ray Fluorescence Test

Another way to test what metal a piercing is made of is to use an X-ray fluorescence test. This test involves using an X-ray machine to analyse the composition of the metal.

To perform an X-ray fluorescence test, you'll need to visit a professional who has access to an X-ray machine. The machine will emit a low level of radiation that will penetrate the metal and provide information about its composition.

This test is highly accurate and can provide detailed information about the composition of the metal. However, it's also expensive and may not be necessary for most piercings.


6. Check for Discoloration or Tarnishing

Certain metals can tarnish or discolour over time, especially if they come into contact with sweat, water, or other substances. For example, silver and copper piercings may tarnish, while stainless steel piercings may discolour or rust.

If you notice any discoloration or tarnishing on your piercing, it may be an indication of the material it's made of. However, it's important to note that not all metals will tarnish or discolour in the same way, and other factors like the quality of the metal, the care you give your piercing, and your body's reaction to the metal can all affect its appearance.


7. Consider the Price

The price of a piercing can also be an indicator of the material it's made of. In general, high-quality materials like titanium, gold, and platinum are more expensive than lower-quality materials like stainless steel and plastic.

If you're on a budget, you may be tempted to choose a cheaper material for your piercing. However, it's essential to consider the long-term costs of your decision. Cheaper materials may be more likely to cause allergic reactions or infections, which can be costly to treat.


8. Consider Your Skin Sensitivity

Lastly, it's essential to consider your skin sensitivity when selecting the material of your piercing. Some people are allergic to certain metals, which can cause discomfort, irritation, or even infection. Common metal allergies include nickel, copper, and brass.

If you have sensitive skin or a known metal allergy, you should avoid materials that may cause a reaction.


Disclaimer: This article was written with the assistance of ChatGPT by OpenAI due to time constraints but will be reviewed at a later date by Sabrenetics staff. If you notice anything wrong or unsafe within this article, please notify staff immediately to review by contacting

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