Body jewelry has been popular among young people for quite some time now. It is a mode of self-expression much like tattooing and other body applications. The most popular types of body ornaments are the ubiquitous bellybutton rings followed by cartilage jewelry and labret jewelry. One of the most ideal types of metals for body adornments is titanium, stainless steel, gold.
Implant Grade Titanium
Titanium is by far the metal of choice for body piercing jewelry, and can be safely used for initial piercings. Implant grade titanium G23 (Ti6al4v-ELI) is the type of titanium used in surgical implants, is biocompatible, resistant to body fluids and nickel free.
Titanium is also stronger and lighter than steel, which gives us body piercing jewelry that is both durable, comfortable and nearly without scratches. Titanium is an expensive metal, but well worth the slightly higher price. Titanium body jewelry is beautiful, it lasts, and will look (just the same after many years of wear.
Surgical Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the most common metal for body piercing jewelry, and is just behind titanium when it comes to biocompatibility. 316L or 316LVM are the only two grades of stainless steel that are considered safe for wearing in healed piercings.
Keep in mind that even the best grades of stainless steel do contain nickel and may cause problems for those who are allergic to nickel. Some countries have banned the use of stainless steel for initial piercings, and it is best to steer clear of stainless steel altogether until after your piercing is completely.
Although it is beautiful, gold is not the best choice for body jewelry, especially for initial piercings or long term wear. Because gold is a softer metal and is made with metal alloys, there is a somewhat higher risk of irritation or infection.
Gold jewelry is beautiful, but should only be worn in healed piercings, and with care. Replace gold body jewelry with titanium at the first sign of irritation.