Home News Permanent Jewelry: Is It Worth the Hype?

Permanent Jewelry: Is It Worth the Hype?

by Madonna

A timeless jewelry piece can effortlessly elevate any ensemble, and once you discover the perfect one, you may never want to part with it. Fortunately, a recent accessory trend known as permanent jewelry has emerged, offering low-maintenance, opulent-looking adornments that stay with you day and night.

In the realm of “forever” jewelry, akin to the famed Cartier lock bracelets, these new-age treasures are referred to as welded chains. Typically crafted at specialized independent jewelry stores, the process involves fusing delicate bracelets or rings in a way that renders them unremovable, eschewing the need for clasps. A skilled welder expertly connects a tiny “jump ring” to ensure a customized, secure fit.


Yet, anything bearing the label “permanent” naturally raises questions about its pros and cons. To provide clarity, we consulted with Catbird, a pioneer in this trend since its launch in 2004, along with The Spark Collection, experts in welded jewelry, and sought insights from a dermatologist.


How Long Does Permanent Jewelry Last?

The longevity of permanent jewelry depends largely on the type of metal you select. Many offerings feature solid 14k gold, designed to withstand the rigors of daily wear, including exposure to water and other activities.


It’s essential to get the fit right from the start, as gold is a soft metal that may subtly relax over time, caution The Spark Collection creators, Kelsey Knott and Abby Stewart. For delicate chains, in particular, a loose fit could lead to snags. Fortunately, some stores include policies that account for these issues, offering one free reattachment with each purchase.

How Much Does Permanent Jewelry Cost?

The cost varies significantly, influenced by factors such as the metal type, jewelry style, and karat. As per quotes from two different welded jewelers, quality permanent jewelry typically starts at around $100 for a standard bracelet. Permanent rings can begin at $55, while necklaces may reach the higher end of $185.

Is Permanent Jewelry Safe?

Absolutely, provided you choose a reputable establishment. For brands like Catbird and The Spark Collection, welders undergo thorough in-person training to learn how to safely and accurately weld the jewelry. The term “zapping” refers to the flash of light seen during welding, which is entirely painless. Moreover, despite the bracelet symbolizing permanence and commemorating special moments, it can be easily snipped off with scissors, and re-welding it in the future is a straightforward process for a small fee.

What Are the Cons of Permanent Jewelry?

As the name implies, permanent jewelry is not easily removable (unless cut), so it’s crucial to select pieces that seamlessly fit into your daily skincare or fragrance routine. Investing in high-quality karats and metals, like 14k white or yellow gold, can help ensure your jewelry remains untarnished and skin-friendly.

Jewelry crafted from base metals, cheap alloys, or materials with a high nickel content are more likely to trigger skin reactions. If you’ve ever experienced a red, itchy, or bumpy rash after wearing jewelry, it might be indicative of a nickel allergy. Individuals with skin sensitivities should exercise caution with permanent jewelry or, at the very least, consider patch testing by an allergist, according to dermatologist Heather D. Rogers, M.D., F.A.A.D., the founder and CEO of Doctor Rogers Skin Care.

When it comes to travel, our editors have had no issues passing through security, except for MRI scans, which require the removal of permanent jewelry. Some stores offer re-welding services for a nominal fee. Catbird’s advice, in particular, suggests carefully cutting the small jump ring with scissors to preserve the bracelet’s integrity.

While permanent bracelets appear to be the most popular choice, permanent rings are also an option. The decision to go permanent with necklaces and anklets may vary, often left to your discretion and the store’s policies.


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