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Permanent Jewelry – Definition and How Does It Work?

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Is it just me, or is permanent jewelry becoming more common? The idea isn’t new, but within the past two months, I’ve gotten four permanent bracelets at various events and have become fascinated by them. At Tarte Cosmetics’ holiday soirée, there was a station with Love Weld where you could choose a dainty chain to get welded on your wrist.

What makes permanent jewelry special is, yes, the permanence factor. It’s a big deal, or at least for overthinkers like me. I first considered getting one at the Astrid & Miyu store opening in the West Village, New York. To celebrate, they had a station to get a dainty chain bracelet, and I contemplated whether to get it with a clasp or welded on.

While on the line, concerns went through my head, like if I get the bracelet welded on, will it last through workouts? How about showers? Is it safe for the skin? Will it be too clunky as I type on the computer keyboard? I didn’t know much about permanent jewelry then, so I opted for the clasp. To test it out, I wore the clasp bracelet like I would a forever one (by not taking it off) to see how it would feel.

Overall, the bracelet held up during my daily activities and didn’t bother me. I didn’t know I needed it, and it brings me joy to see it every day. So, from there, I was all in to try the clasp-free style and got three more. My most recent one is from Catbird, the first brand to create permanent bracelets in 2017 and coined the term “zapped” to describe the welding process.

Permanent Jewelry Definition

Permanent Jewelry Definition

Permanent jewelry is a piece (usually a necklace or bracelet) soldered together as a substitute for being secured with a clasp. Just as there are many reasons why people wear regular jewelry, there are different reasons why they choose to wear permanent jewelry. Our customers love Forever bracelets to mark special occasions and add refined, simple jewelry to their everyday lives. Whether you want to mark the birth of a child or avoid having to tighten and remove your bracelet daily, a permanent piece of jewelry may be right for you.

Is a Permanent Bracelet Right for you?

Shop these styles below — each one has a convenient clasp, and you can experience how it feels without the commitment if you’re not ready yet.

If you love it, consider visiting the brand’s store to have it professionally welded. Doing this little experiment first helped me get used to wearing dainty bracelets daily, and now I feel incomplete without them!

How It Works: Permanent Jewelry

Go to your Chosen Jewelry Store

The process typically requires a professional-grade welder. Going into a store to get permanent jewelry can be fun, but it also makes for a unique gift idea if you go with someone to get it together.

Pick Charms if you’d like

Some brands, like Catbird, also offer the option of adding charms. This is where you can make it more personal with a charm such as a letter, disco ball, and even a penne pasta.

How It Works: Permanent Jewelry

Measure for the Right Size

Fitting-wise, a couple of centimeters of wiggle room is best for comfort, but the overall fit is up to you whether you want it to be tighter or looser. When I had mine done, the welder let me try it at a few lengths before finalizing the fit. Meanwhile, a permanent bracelet is something you’ll have on your wrist for a long time. You will want the fit to be right — not too tight where you can’t curve your wrist and not too loose where it’s on the verge of dwindling off.

When I got my second bracelet, I realized I didn’t need both to be similar in size. If they are, they will keep getting twisted together and look like one thicker bracelet. So, I decided to make one bracelet slightly longer than the other. This way, they don’t get tangled together as effortlessly.

Time to Weld

Here’s where things get official. The welder starts by putting a piece of leather between your wrist and the bracelet. On the one hand, they’ll hold part of the welding machine (which looks like an oversized ballpoint pen that lights a spark); on the other, they’ll hold a pair of pliers. The sparks would ignite, sealing the “jump ring” to make your bracelet forever bound.

The process usually takes 10 to 15 minutes between the fitting and the welding.

So, is it Worth it?

Much like a tattoo or a piercing, a service of permanence like this one can mean shelling out a Benjamin. As dermatologists and professional welders mentioned, you’ll want to choose something of substantial material, which tends to hike the price with each karat.

It also means investing in quality pieces that can follow you for years. It’s precious to someone like me, who has a habit of misplacing jewelry, sticks to simple pieces, or wants to get a matching bracelet with a friend. Considering how it’s supposed to be, it seems worth the price.

How much does Permanent Jewelry Cost?

It all depends on the brand, style, and material. These are the current prices from a few jewelry brands’ permanent bracelets:

  • Love Weld: Between $100 to $1,880
  • Catbird: Between $98 to $348
  • Astrid & Miyu: Between $100 to $220

What are the Cons of Permanent Jewelry?

As its name suggests, it cannot be removed easily (unless you cut it off), making it crucial to shop for pieces that’ll fit into your daily routine of lotions or perfumes galore. Investing in quality karats and metals that’ll stand the test of time — like 14k white or yellow gold — can help ensure that your pieces won’t tarnish and are well tolerated across skin types.

Jewelry made from base metals, cheap alloys, or materials with high nickel gratified is more likely to trigger skin responses. Have you ever tried on an addition only to find it left a red, itchy, or bumpy rash in its wake? It may be a tell-tale sign of a nickel allergy. Those with skin sensitivities should avoid permanent jewelry or, at the very least, consider getting patch tested by an allergist, says dermatologist Heather D. Rogers, M.D., F.A.A.D., the founder and CEO of Doctor Rogers Skin Care.

When traveling, our editors haven’t had any trouble going through security. The exception is MRI scans, during which permanent jewelry must be removed. Some stores offer to weld it back on for a low fee. Catbird’s site just advises carefully cutting at the small jump ring that connects the two ends of the chain with scissors to preserve the integrity of the bracelet.

Permanent bracelets seem the most common route, though permanent rings are also an option. Some stores differ on whether it’s ideal to zap necklaces and anklets, so it’s really up to you and the store’s discretion.

What are the Cons of Permanent Jewelry?

How long does Permanent Jewelry Last?

As its name suggests, it is meant to last forever. But that’ll likely come off unexpectedly after some time because life happens. After wearing my permanent bracelets for a few months, one recently came off when I was at home doing everyday things. It’s a good thing I didn’t lose it, and I can take it back to the store to get it welded again.

Can you Remove Permanent Jewelry?

The point of permanent jewelry is to have it forever, but if you want to take it off for any reason, you can do it with scissors. Remember that you should cut it where the “jump ring” was welded — this is usually a larger circle than the rest of the chain links. You can weld it again at the store for a small fee.

Is Permanent Jewelry Safe?

From my experience, yes. The welding process ignited sparks from the machine’s heat, but the leather on my wrist protected it, and I didn’t feel a thing.

The bracelets are comfortable on my wrist for everyday wear and feel as light as a feather. Be careful if you’re sensitive or have allergies to certain materials, such as nickel, which gold can contain. If you’re unsure, you can have a patch test done by your doctor.

Many permanent bracelets are made of 14-karat gold. This material is durable, doesn’t tarnish, and can be enough to avoid a skin reaction. Or you can go for options such as 18-karat, which typically contains a smaller amount of nickel, or 24-karat gold (pure gold).


After two months of wearing permanent bracelets, I can say this: I would feel naked without them. I love not having the hassle of putting them on and taking them off. Even if I want to wear more bracelets, they layer nicely with other styles since they’re so versatile. Another perk: you won’t have to worry about losing the pieces since they’ll always be by your side.

Also Read: Fall 2023 Jewelry Trends to Look Out For

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