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Published Friday, May 26, 2023

All About Titanium Body Jewelry: Benefits, Types, Grades, and Care


What you need to know about titanium jewelry

Titanium is a powerhouse metal that offers many benefits to body piercing enthusiasts. There's so much to know about titanium body jewelry, which is why we're covering pretty much all of it in this article. 

We're going over everything you might want to know, including:

The Two Types of Titanium Piercing Jewelry

Titanium body piercing jewelry comes in two types: solid and plated. 

Plated titanium is hypoallergenic, and the coating provides amazing color options and durability. These pieces usually have a surgical stainless steel core and a thin outer titanium layer. Plated pieces aren't a good option if you're sensitive or allergic to steel.

Solid titanium offers all of the benefits of plated. In addition, it's more hypoallergenic than plated because it contains minimal amounts of nickel. Like steel, its quality is often designated by "grades."   

The Two Grades of Titanium Jewelry

So what does "grade" mean? A grade is a label that the metal industry uses to classify or distinguish between several types of titanium and titanium alloys. While there are many grades, most titanium body jewelry comes in only two: grade 5 and grade 23. This makes things a lot easier to understand!

Both grade 5 and grade 23 are solid titanium alloys that are virtually indistinguishable. However, one is slightly stronger. Grade 5 (Ti 6Al-4V) is the most commonly used titanium in the world and is often seen in applications like engines and aircraft structures. Needless to say, it's strong. 

Grade 23 (Ti 6 AL-4V ELI) is an upgraded version of grade 5 and is the highest-grade alloy. Along with all the benefits of grade 5 titanium, grade 23 titanium is stronger, "bio-compatible," and FDA- approved for surgical implants.

9 Benefits of Titanium Body Jewelry

Titanium body jewelry has several benefits you should know about when shopping. 

It Has Superior Durability and Strength for Long-Wear

Titanium is one of the strongest metals, which is why it's used in several industrial and medical applications. Its high resistance to elements or degrading conditions makes it almost bulletproof. It's resistant to heat, liquids, other alloys, and salt. This means that a titanium piece will last for years, and each piece is suitable for long term wear.

It’s Extra Hypoallergenic

In general, titanium is one of the most hypoallergenic materials. As we mentioned earlier, solids are more hypoallergenic than plated. Solid, surgical-grade titanium is the most hypoallergenic. It contains no nickel or steel, which makes it a great alternative to stainless steel jewelry pieces.

It's Available in Vibrant Colors

Anodized titanium is an excellent choice if you want to jazz up your titanium piercing jewelry with color. The process of anodization allows you to customize your color. Popular colors include oil slicks, bright colors, and gold. The only colors you can't get are red or black. Some of the brands we carry anodize the jewelry themselves. We provide custom anodization of other titanium pieces in-house. You can choose your anodized color when you order.

It Offers Head-turning Style and Design

Along with head-turning colors and bulletproof strength, titanium body piercing jewelry comes in a wide range of styles and designs for most piercings. You can find it in barbells, labrets, belly button rings, clicker rings, dermal tops, and more. It also comes internally threaded or threadless styles which cuts down on chafing. If you're looking for a particular aesthetic, you can find it in titanium jewelry.

It's a Biocompatible Metal

This is where we circle back to the grades of titanium jewelry. If Grade 23 titanium is safe enough for a heart transplant, it's more than safe enough for any body piercing. This grade is "bio-compatible," meaning that it can withstand bodily fluids. Other metals degrade in the body, causing serious health risks.

It's Super Affordable

While titanium is a little more expensive than stainless steel, it's still considered a very affordable material. When you keep in mind that you won't have to replace it anytime soon, it's especially budget-friendly.

It Can Be Sterilized in an Autoclave

An autoclave is a heated container that uses high-pressure steam to sterilize an object thoroughly. Not all materials can withstand an autoclave, but titanium can. All fungi, spores, bacteria, and viruses are destroyed during the autoclave process.

It's Lightweight and Comfortable

Titanium is stronger than steel but almost 50% lighter. On top of this, its surface is so smooth and comfortable in and against the skin that you may forget you have it on.

It's the Best Choice for Fresh Piercings

Your piercer may recommend titanium piercing jewelry for a new modification, and with good reason. We've touched on many of these reasons already. It's strong, affordable, lightweight, and comfortable. It's unlikely to trigger any allergies or skin sensitivities, and it's easy to clean and sterilize. All these things mean it's less likely to aggravate your fresh piercing. In addition, you can also start with a super-aesthetic, colorful piece without waiting to "graduate" to it.

Some Extra Things To Keep In Mind About Titanium

For starters, while titanium’s durability makes it able to withstand wear and tear, it also makes it hard to resize. However, this is largely a problem with finger rings, and less so with body jewelry.

Secondly, while titanium can be polished to a beautiful shine, it will still often look slightly more gray than other white metals like steel, cobalt-chrome or silver.

Lastly, while titanium is a very affordable option compared to precious metals, it is going to have  a slightly higher price tag than most steel.

More About Our In-House Anodization Process

Now that you've got the down-low on types, grades, and benefits of titanium body jewelry, let's talk more about coloring through anodization. While the process is a little "sciency," it's generally straightforward. 

Basically, we immerse the titanium piece in a special solution and apply an electric current. This voltage determines the color. But this process doesn't plate the piece in any way. Many customers also want to know if our process is safe. This is a good question because many anodization processes use harsh chemicals. However, we skip all that in favor of a safe, low-acid solution. And when we're done, we rinse it in distilled water to remove all traces of the solution. So, all you get is a safe, clean, high-grade titanium piece. 

Learn more and watch a fun video of our process.

How To Care For Titanium Body Piercing Jewelry

Caring for it is simple whether you have an anodized titanium piece or not.

For non-anodized titanium (plain high polish), there's no need to use alcohol or any other harsh cleansers. Just wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water before insertion. It can also be autoclaved for total sterilization.

Anodized jewelry is a little less long-lasting because colored titanium will fade over time. This is normal and won't harm your piercing site. The color fades faster if the piece is worn in the mouth. Doing the following things will help your jewelry preserve its color for the longest possible time.

Avoid exposure to chlorine and natural sweat. In general, oils are also a color fader. This includes skin oils and oils external to the body, like those found in skin care. Consider using a retainer before sweaty activities and chlorine exposure. Like anodized titanium, use a mild, antibacterial soap for cleaning, and don't overwash it.

We hope this guide to titanium helps you decide if it’s right for you. Titanium is one of our favorite body jewelry materials, and you can find a wide selection of titanium designs on! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. And please remember to like and subscribe, and follow us on our social @bodyartforms!