The jewelry you choose for your piercing is as important a decision as which body part to pierce. The type of jewelry will determine how well it heals, how it looks, and how long it will last. Jewelry can be made of stone, glass, wood, amber, plastic, bamboo, or metal. No, bamboo is not a type of wood and amber is not a stone. The pros and cons of each will help you make an informed decision about which is best for you. Easily clean jewelry should be used in areas that need to be washed often such as genitals, nipples, belly buttons, and tongues. The more decorative types of jewelry should be saved for areas such as earlobes, noses, and some other facial parts.
Stone jewelry can be simple like marble or flashy like a precious stone. This kind of jewelry might be fun for dressed up events, but is very expensive, and may be too big a risk to lose. It is also very heavy, and can easily stretch the hole of any piercing if left in for longer than a few hours, or worn on a regular basis. Your skin may not deal well with unpolished stone, as some may be porous or sharp. The more smooth and polished the stone jewelry is, the better. Some types of stone are more easily cleaned and sterilized than others.
Glass jewelry can be inexpensive and elegant. It is not heavy enough to stretch any piercing, and the body does well with glass, as it is smooth and doesn’t cause any reactions in the skin. There is the danger of breaking, however, so the places and events when glass jewelry can be worn should be considered. Easily clean and sterilized.
Wood jewelry appeals to many people who like a natural look to their body modifications. The harder the wood the better, as wood is porous, and soft wood can get slimy. Wood jewelry should stay well oiled, and rotated a few times a day. No fresh piercing should use wood jewelry, as skin is able to graft itself into the porous areas of wood. Not easily cleaned or sterilized.
Amber is another beautiful material for jewelry, especially plugs, but can be expensive. It is also hard to carve amber into an exact size, so your piercing may need to conform to the jewelry. Easy enough to clean and sterilize.
Plastics are used for some jewelry, especially when healing/stretching. Teflon offers a surface that skin doesn’t become attached to, and can be hand carved to make any size. It is incredibly cheap, but also looks cheap. It is not a decorative or ornamental type of jewelry, more of a practical one. Easily cleaned and sterilized.
Bamboo is much like wood. It can be hollow or solid, but exact sizes are impossible. It is also a porous material that should be saved for fully healed piercing only. It may be the cheapest type of jewelry other than plastic, but looks really great. Not easily cleaned or sterilized.
There are all different types of metals used for jewelry, some of which are more expensive than others. Nickel should be avoided as it often causes reactions to skin. Stainless steel works well, is not too heavy, and can be molded into any shape or design. Depending on the metal, the prices shouldn’t be too expensive, although jewelry is marked up quite a bit. Metal also cleans and sterilizes easily.