When it comes to body piercing jewelry, there is a whole wild wonderful world out there. Dozens of companies producing thousands of different decorative, simple, classic, modern, and one of a kind pieces. Honestly I find choosing the jewelry you want to be pierced with often more difficult then getting most piercings! There’s many different styles of jewelry out there, and virtually all of them have their place. Today, I want to take about one specific and popular style- the seam ring. When most people imagine a simple, delicate ring for a piercing, a seam ring is the style that springs to mind. One of the most popular and worn styles of body jewelry, and one of the most requested for piercing. And more importantly, why it doesn’t belong in a fresh piercing- ever.
What is a Seam Ring?
A seam ring is a style of hoop that torques open and closed. This style has been produced by people for thousands of years, and we’ve been using it as a component in jewelry making for just as long. In its simplest form it’s a plain continuous ring with a small seam at once side, and can be twisted open and twisted closed to install it. When it comes to body piercing, this is an affordable and accessible way to have a continuous ring, which is a look most people adore for their piercings.
In body piercing there are two types of seam ring- a plain seam and a decorative seam. Plan seam rings like described above are just a simple seamless ring with a small break or ‘seam’ at one end that allows the ring to be open and closed. Decorative seam rings have things like beading, gemstones, settings, or other elements attached to the ring. Often, these decorations are placed in such a way that they come right up to the seam portion. This fact is important later on.
Are Seam Rings a Safe Style?
Yes! Seam rings are safe and awesome. They are one of a few style of jewelry we invented hundreds and thousands of years ago and still use exactly the same way today- they are a perfect brilliant invention. They are straightforward to use, they are incredibly secure (so if you often worry about loosing jewelry you can relax with seam rings) and they can be made in a huge selection of designs, styles, and even shapes. And since the mechanism of how they open and close is very simple in comparison or a segment ring or king ring/clicker, they are also significantly more affordable than other designs with different closure mechanisms.
But they can’t go in fresh piercings?
Correct. More specifically- Plain seam rings should not be used in fresh piercings. Decorative seam rings where the decoration comes up to the seam are safe for use in fresh piercings. Why? Well it’s all in the name- seam rings have a small seam where the rings open and close. Even the most well made perfectly finished seam ring has a small little seam. And if that seam rotates into the piercing, it can cause irritation and issues. And, many times even well made seams have the teeniest tiniest gap in the seam. In fresh, and sometimes even in healed piercings, the channel of the piercing will close in that gap and you’ll end up with a ring stuck inside your piercing, with the piercing closed up in the middle of it. Decorative seam rings are safe because the decorative element is often placed in such a way that it prevents the seam from rotating inside the piercing. However, if the decorative element is set too far back from the seam, it is still a poor choice for a fresh piercing.
And unfortunately, I see this happen quite quite often. Studios piercing with seam rings because it is cheap, or because the client wanted the continues ring look, and these seams causing nothing but issues and bumps, preventing piercings from healing correctly. And on occasion, I even see healed piercings end up becoming irritated or closing due to this Usually in healed piercings where a client has attempted to install a seam themselves incorrectly, and left a good sized gap in the seam. That gap then rotates into the piercing and the piercing closes in between it. While seam rings are a great style, it’s very important to ensure they are installed correctly and the seam is perfectly aligned, otherwise it will cause all kinds of issues and complications for your piercings. Piercers often spend months learning to close seams correctly in their apprenticeships, and it’s a difficult skill. If you aren’t confident in your ability to close one fully, please see a piercer for assistance with inserting or removing these!!
Seam Rings are an awesome style of jewelry, and I probably install a handful of them a week at my studio. But, like anything else they have their pros and cons, and places where they just don’t work as well- like Fresh piercings. I know many clients love the look of a simple plain ring for a piercing, but for a new piercing you’ll want to stick with either a decorative seam ring, or a captive bead ring or fixed bead ring (both styles where the closure of the ring is blocked by a bead, preventing anything from rotating into the piercing and harming it.) Seam rings are still a fantastic style of jewelry, when used correctly!