Category Archives: Materials Guide

Find out more about the materials your jewellery is made of! =)

Get to know your Materials: Opal

 

australian opals
A stunning example of Australian opal.

 

so lets start of with knowing what opal actually is! So opal is a non crystalline form of silica, its classed as a mineraloid and is commonly found in rock formation in  limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt.

Opal is the national gemstone of Australia and 95%-97% of the worlds supply of opal comes from Australia. Although in more recent statistics Ethiopian opal may have taken over.

Alot of the time in mainstream body jewellery has synthetic opal. The main difference of synthetic and man made is that, synthetic opals do not fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Synthetics are generally lower in density and are often highly porous.

synthetic opal
This is synthetic opal and quite clearly very noticeably different from natural opal.

There are some fun facts about opal which are the old historical myths that they carry. In the middle ages opal was a stone that could give the holder great luck, as it was believed to possess all of the virtues of each gemstone, whose colour was represented in the colour spectrum of the opal. It had  also been said to give the power of invisibility if it was wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand.

There was a publication written in 1829 which lead to  a 50% decrease in sales of opal in Europe for the next 20 years because the story lead readers to believe that the opal was cursed after what happened to the Baroness in  his publication. ” The Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colourless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter”. After this people started to associate opals with bad luck and death.

Opal is considered the birthstone for people born in October or under the signs of Scorpio and Libra.

If you like the more spiritual context on what opal could bring to your life. Opal is believed to be a stone for enhancing imagination  and creativity. A large proportion of the stone is water, it is said to be a water stone which can help  ease the efforts of handling change in life. Opal can help you continue on your path regardless of obstacles. Mentally, opal is said to enhance memory. It is also used to decrease confusion.

Opal septum Clicker
White opal Septum Clicker.

We have a few opal products, feel free to ask us about them on our Facebook page .

 

Go Natural : Stone jewellery

Are you tired of smelly and itchy ear lobes? Man made materials like acrylic or surgical steel can be a pain but it’s alright! You can go natural! Find out what natural options you have to replace your plugs/tunnels! Today, we will talk about Natural Stone wear.

amythyst tear drops
A great example in the variation of stone plugs no two are the same. Amethyst tear drop plugs.

Stone is a marvellous and beautifully organic  material that you can wear in your ears .Every piece of stone jewellery is unique with its own markings. Stone jewellery is often either a piece on its own or inlayed into wood, buffalo horn and bone ,titanium and 316L Surgical Steel. There are definitely some things to think about when picking your stone ,also whether they will be suitable for the stage your ears are at.

Green Jasper Ear Weights
Green Jasper Ear Weights.

When shopping for stone wear you need to consider what type of stone to use. Make sure it’s not porous as the stone will harbour bacteria and cause infections, these include  Quartz ,Obsidian and Opalite. Unless you want the weight of the stone plugs to help  stretch your ears slowly, we wouldn’t recommend wearing them everyday. Another thing to consider is weather they will break or chip easily. Its always sad if you invest in a beautiful pair and they chip, crack or smash. That’s the disadvantages, now let’s see the the good side!

 

Amethyst stone plugs
Amethyst stone plugs.

The great thing about stone is that providing they aren’t porous ,you wont get any reaction to them. They are usually polished to a very smooth surface and made with a deep saddle so they are hopefully alot less likely to fall out of your ears ,but always check the measurements or ask you’re supplier.

Now to looking after you’re semi precious beauties! Depending on what stone you have chosen it is always good to check on the Mohs Scale (This identifies the softness or harness of the stone.) Because certain stones can be very fragile, which also means that the surfaces can scratch very easily ,and could also lead to dents, chips scratches that can harbour bacteria. some of the softest materials are fluorite and calcite.

In regards to keeping them clean we’d recommend water and a antibacterial soap to wash them with ,but again do be careful of the acidity because this can destroy some of the more fragile stones like calcite.

Feel free to have a look at our stone range!

Go Natural: Buffalo Bone Plugs & Tunnels

Are you tired of smelly and itchy ear lobes? Man made materials like acrylic or surgical steel can be a pain but it’s alright! You can go natural! Find out what natural options you have to replace your plugs/tunnels! Today, we will talk about Buffalo Bone.

 

Buffalo
A Water buffalo in its natural environment.

On the same line as the buffalo bone, the bone is also a by-product of the animal. The water Buffalo is not killed for the purpose of this jewellery. Bone is one of the oldest known materials that people have used to make jewellery from. For example  the Mayans and Aztec’s used to carve and wear bone jewellery. It’s still used today in popular culture. No two items of jewellery will be the same. It is a very natural and beautiful product. A lot of bone jewellery is very ornate, and beautifully carved into intricate forms. It is often inlayed with the horn to create a more elaborate design.

Buffalo Bone
A Spectacular example of how beautifully ornate buffalo bone jewellery can be carved.

The advantages of wearing buffalo bone in your ears are very rewarding, as it is  completely non toxic. It’s biodegradable, it’s made up of Phosphate and collagen fibres. These are the hard materials which form the skeleton. Buffalo bone is great for the wearer because it allows the skin to breathe. It will not go cold  as the climate changes. It is usually in a off white or ivory  colour. Bone is a very long lasting and durable material for jewellery, and completely harmless unless allergies specify otherwise. The bone plugs are usually carved from the “wall” of the bone. Which depends on the size of this bone, decides what size of body jewellery that can be carved from it.

This material however, needs to be well looked after in order to avoid possible problems. It can get dried out, which would cause it to  become brittle and crack. These cracks can attract bacteria that can lead to irritations or infections.

There is a tiny bit of maintenance to keep your buffalo horn plugs looking the best they can, and stop them from getting dry. The first step is to never autoclave your buffalo bone plugs, and to never use regular soap on them (as this will help to dry them out).

coconut oil
These oils are also brilliant for the elasticity in your skin , and great for helping your ears stay healthy!

The next step would be to at least once a month, make sure you moisturise your plugs with any of the following natural ingredients : Coconut oil, jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oils. This will help with  the flexibility and durability of the buffalo bone, and maintain the natural beauty of it.

Please be careful, do  not wear these products if you are aware that you may be allergic to them or think that you could be, and never wear natural materials in unhealed lobes. Consult your professional piercer before changing your jewellery.

Click here to check our Buffalo Bone range.

Go Natural: Buffalo Horn Plugs and Tunnels

Are you tired of smelly and itchy ear lobes? Man made materials like acrylic or surgical steel can be a pain but it’s alright! You can go natural! Find out what natural options you have to replace your plugs/tunnels! Today, we will talk about Buffalo Horn.

buffalo horn
Please be aware that organic jewellery is only for healed piercings.

One major factor that is concerning about buying a natural products such as buffalo horn, is if the animals harmed for the production of this jewellery. Thankfully, no they aren’t. The horn is a by-product, meaning no animals are killed for this purpose. The horn it’s self is is low value and is a very small part of the whole animal usage.

e5c67c0d4b054ed1a5f0347edd5adc57_orig__06131.1405428143.1280.1280
Check these beautiful buffalo horn laser cut plugs.

The advantages of wearing buffalo horn in your ears are very rewarding as it is a completely non toxic material. It’s biodegradable and made up with fibres of keratin, a protein found in your hair and nails. Buffalo horn is great for the wearer because it allows the skin to breathe , it will not go cold in as the climate changes . it is usually in a very beautiful black or blonde/ brownish colour and is not chemically oxidised (by most manufacturers) so you can appreciate your product in its natural beauty.

You can quite often find that you can get beautiful plugs made of buffalo horn and are inlaid with other products such as bone , wood, metal and natural stoneware.

PSM099-340x340
Buffalo horn and buffalo bone inlaid tunnels.

This material, however, needs to be well looked after in order to avoid possible problems. It can get dried out which would cause it to brittle and crack. These cracks can attract bacteria that can lead to irritations or infections.

There is a tiny bit of maintenance to keep your buffalo horn plugs looking the best they can and stop them from getting dry. The first step is to never autoclave your buffalo horn plugs and to never use regular soap on them (as this will help to dry them out).

The next step would be to at least 1 a month make sure you moisturise your plugs with any of the following natural ingredients : Coconut oil , jojoba oil , extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oils . This will help with  the flexibility of the buffalo horn and maintain the natural beauty of it.

1896
These oils are also brilliant for the elasticity in your skin , and great for helping your ears stay healthy!

Please be careful do  not wear these products if you are aware that you may be allergic to them or think that you could be  and never wear natural materials in unhealed lobes. Consult your professional piercer before changing your jewellery.

Click here to check our Buffalo Horn range.

 

Titanium – Piercing Materials Guide

Titanium is a very lightweight and strong metal that is great for using in initial piercings, as it less likely to react with body fluids and cause an infection or irritation, is very resistant to corrosion and is the most bio-compatible metal. It contains less than 0.05% nickel, becoming one of the preferred materials used in body jewellery manufacturing and piercing across Europe. It has become a popular alternative to surgical steel, 9ct gold and other materials that contain higher levels of nickel.

Titanium BCR
A ball closure ring mad eof titanium.

It can be sterilised in an autoclave and anodised to create an oxide layer of colour on the jewellery. However, constant wear in oral piercings may cause the colour to fade over time, due to the acidity in the mouth and in certain foods and drinks.

Titanium body jewellery here at Paradox is all made using 6AL-4V commercially pure Titanium, which is certified for medical implant use and conforms to the European Directive 94/27/EU for initial piercings.

 

Titanium Labret
Titanium Labret

 

You can check out our range clicking the link below:
http://paradoxbodyjewellery.com/materials/titanium