How To Spot The Difference: Low & High Quality Jewellery

In a world where almost anything can go viral from trends or clever marketing tricks, how do you really know that it's worth the hype? At CHL, we're a brand built on years of experience within in the jewellery design and production industry. A passion for quality is at the forefront of our brand so we like to think we know our stuff and we're here to pass our knowledge onto you.
If you're tired of being sucked in by 'pretty' looking jewellery and finding that it turns your ear green after only a week of wearing, then keep reading and discover our top tips on how to spot jewellery that will last for years to come!

Material

It is extremely important for any jewellery that you intend to wear through a piercing to be made from high-quality materials because unlike a necklace or ring, the jewellery is inserted through your skin and remains there until removed. This is where checking the material of the jewellery should be top priority before purchasing for your piercing.

What should I avoid?

Anything with a brass or alloy metal base. Brass is the most common base metal used in nearly all mass-produced costume jewellery. It is an affordable material because it is mixed with copper and zinc. The copper content often oxidises with moisture in the skin and causes the dreaded "green skin" resulting in worn-down plating which makes the jewellery unwearable, ending up in landfill and contributing to a throwaway culture. Brass usually contains nickel which means a high risk of severe allergy and infection for an increasing number of people.

Here are the materials that we recommend:

 14K Solid Gold
  • Luxury Metal
  • Suitable For New Piercings
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Tarnish Resistant
  • Nickel Free
925 Sterling Silver
  • Affordable
  • High Quality
  • Precious Metal
  • Bright & Shiny
ASTM F136 Titanium
  • Suitable For New Piercings
  • Implant Grade
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Tarnish Resistant
  • Mirror-Finish
  • Nickel Free
316L Stainless Steel 
  • Tarnish Resistant
  • Affordable
  • Durable

 

Cost

It's well recognised that the price determines whether or not something is good quality, this is true in most cases, but not always. High quality and long lasting jewellery doesn't have to break the bank!
It's no secret that even some of the top fashion brands sell brass costume jewellery, which can set you back a small fortune for a less-than-mediocre metal. This is a perfect example of where you're simply paying over the odds for the brand name... not the quality of the item. Don't get caught out paying more for low-quality jewellery because the higher price tricks you into believing it must be good to justify the cost.
On the other hand, a much cheaper alternative can be very enticing, but when purchasing this type of jewellery, you'll probably find that you're having to buy a new piece more often to replace it once it has turned a different colour, or worse, given you a nasty infection. By choosing a more durable material in the first place, this will save you lots of money in the long run (not to mention it won't end up in landfill, win - win!)

Manufacturing

Does it look and feel cheaply made? Is it externally threaded? Does it screw or click together securely?
Those are just a few questions to ask yourself to find out whether corners have been cut during manufacturing of the jewellery to simply save on costs and skimp on quality - it's all too common and unfortunately it's easy to get caught out if you don't know what to look for.
One of the most important variables with labrets in particular is the threading type, this will determine the overall quality almost straight away. Any reputable piercing studio will agree that externally threaded jewellery should be left in the past now, as advances in manufacturing have proven internally threaded or threadless piercing jewellery to be much safer for your skin.

Research

When purchasing from a new brand or small business, you'll want to feel assured that who you're supporting have made a conscious commitment to the quality of their products. What do they promise and what do they stand for?

One important quality-defining factor is whether the company design their own jewellery which is handcrafted or buy readily available off-the-shelf designs from a wholesaler.

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer
An OEM product is designed by an independent company who provides the manufacturer with a custom sketch or CAD design to produce a unique product that is only available to purchase from the company who designed it. This allows the brand to be passionately involved in all aspects of the production journey and far more included in overseeing the quality of the finished product.

ODM = Original Design Manufacturer
An ODM product is where a company designs and manufactures a range of mass-produced products and offers wholesale prices in catalogues to independent companies who purchase in bulk quantities and sell as their own.

It's always helpful to read reviews on the topic you're concerned about e.g tarnishing or allergies to see if there's any advice from a previous buyer that can aid your purchase decision.

In Conclusion

☑ Choose a high-quality material in the first place

☑ Don't get caught out paying more for low-quality materials

☑ Check the manufacturing quality and thread type of labrets

☑ Do your research on the brand and their commitments

☑ Spend once, spend well!


We really hope this helps and don't hesitate to get in touch with us regarding any questions you may have so we can do our best to help :)

Love & light,
CHL x