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Piercing PhD – Advice From The Professionals

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Do I have to get starter jewelry?

Q: I want to get a body piercing soon, do I have to get starter jewelry? Because they are ugly – Susan

A: “Starter jewelry” is a term commonly used referring to the initial jewelry worn in body piercing. It is often a limited style/brand/color/size of jewelry. The limited options are not necessarily related to safety. Some establishments keep options minimal to reduce inventory costs. If you feel comfortable with the safe practices of the business, and you are happy with the options available for your new piercing, then this option may be for you.

If you want more, you will need to do a little research. Start by asking yourself what you really want. Do you want elegance or something more extravagant? Do you want jewelry that stands out or something to compliment your look and lifestyle?

Once you have determined what type of image or concept YOU want, then it’s the right time to start asking what studios can offer. You cannot learn this by making phone calls or sending emails to ask what each shop’s piercing or jewelry costs. Physically step into each studio and see what you are actually buying, as standards and options vary drastically. Plan to take some time doing this. Make consultation appointments and meet up to discuss your direction and gain insight to their visions/abilities and practices. Each studio representative should be more than willing to make sure you are comfortable and excited about your piercing experience
and the awesome new jewelry that you will wear.

There are certain limitations to what can be worn, but these limitations should be geared around the sizing, health, and safety of your new piercing. Jewelry that can harbor bacteria or is improperly sized may not be appropriate for an initial body piercing. But balance between practical and pretty falls into the hands and expertise of an experienced practitioner and artist. 

Some establishments will go to the extent of really meeting your character and style, matching or contrasting your skin tone/eyes/hair and adapting the fundamentals of art and design to really take your new adornment to the next level.

Ask yourself what you really truly want. Remember that you are going to wear this 24 hours a day for months on end, so view it as an investment in yourself.

Do you imagine yourself in yellow gold and diamonds? Which semi-precious stones do you cherish the most: amethyst? emerald? citrine? Are you someone who loves the look of clustered tanzanite glistening back at you? Perhaps you want the elegance of smoky quartz in a rose gold setting. Or maybe you want to show everyone your adventurous nature with a mix of pink and purple sapphires. Your piercer should work with you to ensure that the first jewelry you buy is the jewelry you will adore for a lifetime.

Initial jewelry does not have to be “starter jewelry.” It can be fun, elegant, and one-of-a-kind, just like you!


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