So, you've been thinking about getting permanent jewelry but maybe you still have questions. As the Longview, Texas area's first permanent jewelry provider, I'm here today to answer some frequently asked questions and give you 5 of my best tips when getting permanent jewelry in Longview, Texas (or wherever you are!).
Tip #1: Permanent ≠ Indestructible
I get it, the name *permanent* can make one think that the jewelry will literally never come off. While that would be super nice, it's not the case here. Permanent jewelry is similar to other demi-fine or fine jewelry you might buy from a jewelry store but with the added bonus of being custom fit, personalized however you want, and welded on so you don't have to mess with tiny clasps or ask your husband/signifcant other to put it on everyday. Even a welded piece of jewelry requires regular care and cleaning. The gold-filled and sterling silver chains that we use for permanent jewelry are great for daily wear. However, depending on your lifestyle, the longevity of your permanent jewelry can vary. If you're a mom with active toddlers or a nurse in a busy Emergency Room, your environment may mean a higher risk for breakage simply because of what's happening around you. If you live a more simple lifestyle, your permanent jewelry can last years. We typically expect permanent jewelry to last 1-3 years with regular care, but many pieces last significantly longer!
That brings me to tip #2, which is...
Tip #2: Consider your Lifestyle
For many people, permanent jewelry can be a bit of an investment, with prices ranging from $50 to over $100 for a custom fit, personalized piece. If you do a lot of manual labor or have clingy (but cute) toddlers around, a fully permanent piece may not be the best choice at the moment. This is why we offer clasps, so you can still have the custom fit experience but be able to remove the piece when you know you'll be in an environment not conducive to wearing your piece. Plus, we can remove the clasp and make your piece permanent whenever you're ready!
Tip #3: Fit is everything
If you're getting your first permanent bracelet, necklace, or anklet, be sure to consider how you want the piece to fit. Do your ankles swell when it's hot outside? Do you have any medical conditions that would require your jewelry to fit in a particular way? Do you wear a watch? Do you wear other jewelry regularly? How would your new permanent jewelry fit in with your staple jewelry pieces? Be sure to mention these things to your permanent jeweler so they can guide you in finding the perfect fit that is most comfortable for you. While it can be tempting to want a looser fitting bracelet, for example, loose fitting jewelry = a higher chance of getting snagged or caught and breaking. We have many customers that felt claustrophobic at the thought of getting a permanent bracelet with no clasp, but the reality is that most of our chains are so lightweight and airy that once the piece was properly fitted, they fell in love with it.
Tip #4: Consider who you're getting permanent jewelry from, the methods they use, and the after sale support they offer
In the industry, permanent jewelry is defined as a necklace, bracelet, or anklet that is custom fit and welded together with no clasp. If you see permanent jewelry offered as "no weld required" or "most cost effective choice", this typically means that while the chain may be custom fit, the jump ring holding the chain together is not welded or secured in any way, and therefore the chance of the piece breaking or coming loose at that un-welded jump ring is very big. And unless you know how to fix it yourself, you're likely going to have to visit a permanent jeweler to have the piece welded (and will likely have to pay for that service).
It's also critical to know the policies of the company you're getting permanent jewelry from. At Modern Merrigold, we now offer completely free re-welds and re-sizing on all of our custom fit permanent jewelry pieces, regardless of whether the piece breaks or if it has to be removed for a surgical procedure or other reason. Our absolute top priority is our customers' comfortability and happiness, and this free service for our customers sets us apart. We have a brick and mortar studio location (shout out to The Lab on Center for being an awesome place for a permanent jewelry studio!) and we partner routinely with local East Texas businesses for pop up events. We're ingrained in our community and will always take care of our customers. Make sure the permanent jeweler you use has a positive reputation and is available to help with repairs or issues that may arise.
Tip #5: Permanent jewelry requires regular care and maintenance
Just like any other piece of demi-fine or fine jewelry, permanent jewelry requires regular cleaning and care. We use gold-fliled and sterling silver chains from reputable U.S. suppliers. While 99% of our customers never experience an issue with their jewelry, we occasionally see an instance of a sterling silver chain turning black or looking dull/yellowed, a gold-filled piece turning skin green, or other similar, unusual circumstance. Does this mean the jewelry isn't high quality or is defective? Definitely not. There are several possible explanations to why permanent jewelry might do these things. Here's a short list below for your reference:
1. pH of skin
2. unbalanced swimming pool or hot tub chemicals
3. exposure to some lotions and body products (without rinsing it off or cleaning the piece after using)
4. hormone changes
5. using well water
6. high levels of sulfur in water
If you do encounter an issue with your permanent jewelry, 9 times out of 10 a quick but thorough cleaning with a microfiber cloth (Modern Merrigold provides these at no cost to our customers) or a warm water/Dawn dish liquid mixture with a toothbrush scrub will remove any tarnish or discoloration. Just because the jewelry is welded on doesn't mean it doesn't need a little TLC every now and then. ;-)
I hope these tips were helpful! If you're in the East Texas area and you're ready for your first permanent piece or you want to add to your collection, Modern Merrigold is always here for you! Tap the link below to view our schedule of upcoming events or book an appointment at our Downtown Longview studio.