Tag Archives: how to pierce

Body Jewelry Metals – Niobium

This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.

2A.1 Niobium

Niobium is an elemental metal and is strong yet flexible and is slightly
heavier than 316L stainless steel. Niobium is chemically non-reactive.
Few people are sensitive to niobium.

Niobium jewelry is available in a range of colors which are produced
through anodizing, not dyeing. During anodizing, the jewelry is
submerged in an electrolyte solution and voltage is applied. Anodizing
creates an oxide layer on the jewelry. The color results from
refraction of light through the oxide layer, and the thickness of the
layer determines the resulting color. The voltage applied during
anodizing determines the thickness of the oxide. The anodized oxide
eventually wears away, causing the color to fade or change; how long
the process will take depends on the thickness of the oxide layer is
and the amount of friction and wear on the jewelry.

Black niobium is achieved by heating the niobium until it is red-hot
and cooling it. After blackening, the jewelry can be polished. Black
niobium will not fade.

Niobium jewelry is available in matte (“satin”) or high-polish
(“mirror”) finishes. Niobium is very porous making it difficult to
achieve a high polish. Poorly polished niobium can retain polishing
compound residue which is often toxic. Matte finish niobium should not
be used for new or healing piercings because the pores can trap
bacteria and the rough surface will to adhere to the interior of the
piercing, causing it to tear when the jewelry is moved.

Body Jewelry Metals

This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.

2A.1 Metals

The metals used for body jewelry are chosen for their
bio-compatibility, or “body friendly” quality. However, some metals
are more bio-compatible than others due to their specific
compositions, or alloys. Please refer to Part 6, section 6.5, for more
information about metal sensitivities.

Piercing jewelry manufacturing is unregulated in the United States and
largely unregulated in the rest of the world. Reputable manufacturers
will disclose material specification certificates for the metals they
use. Please see section 2A.1a for an article about material
specification and ASTM and ISO standards.

Piercing FAQ – 1.2 Copyright And Dissemination

This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.

1.2 Copyright And Dissemination

Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 2000 by
Anne Greenblatt, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to
be reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, USENET, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright
notice intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be

All of the Piercing FAQs may be cited as: Greenblatt, Anne (2000)
“rec.arts.bodyart Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” Usenet
rec.arts.bodyart, available via anonymous FTP:

While you are allowed individual copies of the Piercing FAQ, this does
not mean the FAQ is in the public domain.

Part of the value of the Piercing FAQ is that it is a living document;
it is updated quarterly to include the most current information
available. For this reason you are explicitly requested to include a
notice of how to obtain the most recent edition of the FAQs.

You must obtain prior permission from me before you make the FAQs
available commercially.

If you are a media reporter or journalist, you are explicitly
requested to contact me prior to using material in or quoting from the
Piercing FAQ. Additionally, I would appreciate a copy of the article
or publication in which the FAQ is cited.

You need not obtain special permission to quote parts of this FAQ for
academic research purposes, although you must cite this FAQ.
Additionally, I would appreciate a copy of the article or publication
in which the FAQ is cited.

If you are not sure how to cite electronic information please refer to
_Electronic Style: A Guide to Citing Electronic Information_ by Xia Li
and Nancy B. Crane (Westport, 1993).


You may copy and disseminate the entire set of FAQs electronically and
in print on an individual, non-commercial basis. If you must break up
the files, use the sectional format provided. Do not create your own
sections. Do not add your own information in the FAQ.


If you maintain a BBS and wish to have these files available please
include a notice of how to obtain the most recent edition of the FAQs.


If you would like to include the FAQ on your webpage, I ask that you
provide a link to the FAQ archives in order to provide your visitors
with the most recent edition.

The FAQ is archived at:

/bodyart/top.html http://www.faqs.org/faqs/

Please look at the “Last-Modified” line in the headers for the current
edition. The Piercing FAQ is updated and posted quarterly.

Please remember that body piercing is an inexact science. The content
of the FAQ reflects the continual advances made in the field of body
piercing. The information contained in the FAQ is culled from group
knowledge and experience. Each person’s experiences regarding piercing
viability, healing, and longevity may be different.

The Piercing FAQ contains material of a sexually explicit nature. The
information contained in the Piercing FAQ should not be construed as
medical advice.

I would like to recognize and thank the following piercers, jewelery
manufacturers, and enthusiasts for their contributions:

The Association of Professional Piercers
Keith Alexander of Modern American Body Arts,
Elayne Angel of Rings of Desire,
Dave Anthony of Body Work Productions,
Eerin Atkinson of Sine Qua Non,
Barry Blanchard of Anatometal,
Tom Brazda of Stainless Studios,
Sean Christian of Antometal,
Kevin Cook, Manager of the Piercing Links List

Michaela Grey, formerly of Gauntlet and the Association of Professional
Michael Hare of The Exotic Body,
Karen Hurt of Future Primitives
Shannon Larratt of the Body Modification Ezine
Lynne Tatum Little, R.D.H.
Derek Lowe of Body Work Productions, http://www.bodyworkprod.com
Denise Robinson of Ambient,
Brian Skellie of Piercing Experience,
Jim Ward, formerly of Gauntlet
John Ward, M.D., aka “Dr. Jack,”