Blog By M. Mitera
Implant grade titanium is an ideal substance for piercing jewelry. It is durable, light, and extremely bio-compatible, meaning that basically no one is allergic to it. Because we use this high quality metal for all of our piercings, we have the option to perform a process called “anodizing”. This process seems like magic to many of our clients but we promise our piercers aren’t wizards. In order to make our clients more familiar with this process, we decided to give you a little background as to what really goes on!
So basically, anodizing the an electrolytic passivation process that increases the thickness of the naturally occurring oxide on the surface of the jewelry. Again, this may sound like some serious magic work but it’s just science! Essentially what happens is that the metal jewelry acts an electrode of an electrical circuit. When this occurs, an oxide layer forms on the piece that is thicker than what naturally occurs on the surface of the piece. It’s changing the texture of the material at a level so small., you need a microscope to see what’s actually going on. Since this isn’t a plating or paint, the anodizing can hold up much longer when being worn and can also be returned to it’s original luster, depending on the color that you’ve chosen.
Not all metals can be anodized. The ones that respond well to the process include titanium, zinc, aluminium alloys, and niobium. These materials will change to the appropriate colors when put through the anodizing process. However, if lower quality metals are used, the process won’t work and the new layer will just flake off, leaving the jewelry looking as it did before. Metals that do not react well include iron and carbon steel. This can be a telltale sign that your jewelry is not what it may have been sold as.
For our jewelry, which is primarily titanium and niobium, the colors are changed without the use of any dye or paint. The end color of the metal depends on the thickness of the oxide layer, which is controlled by the voltage on the machine itself. With the interference of the light reflecting off of the oxide layer with the light travelling through the layer determines the color that your eyes see the jewelry as being. Like we said above, it’s hard to believe it’s not magic.
As always, it’s important to remember that the quality of your jewelry matters immensely. Having low quality jewelry can cause a multitude of problems that you don’t want to deal with and you won’t if you buy high quality jewelry the first time around. For all of your piercing needs, come see us here at Spider-Bite, located at 179 Elm St in Manchester, NH!