Organic body jewelry – Types, care, uses, properties.

Why organic jewelry?  There are a lot of people that are fans of organic jewelry.  This is the first in a series of articles that we are going to write on organic jewelry, each focussing on one specific type of organic jewelry.

By definition, organic body jewelry are items that are natural and not man made.  This definition is a little broader than the standard definition of organic as stone jewelry is usually listed as organic, but by material definition alone, would not fall into this catergory.   Organic jewelry is usually made of one of the following materials:  wood, stone, bone, horn, ivory, antler, nut, or shell.  There are a few other materials such as tooth, or hair, but our series of discussions will focus on the above.

The history of organic body jewelry goes back to the start of civilizations.  There is a resurging interest in tribal body piercings and any study of cultural history will find many examples of types and styles of organic body jewelry. 

Organic body jewelry should only be worn in healed piercings as it has a greater chance of becoming attached to the skin as it heals.  Horn and bone are excellent choices for individuals who have sensitive skin and have a tendency for irritated piercings.  Both of these materials are dense and hard enough to handle regular exposure to water.  They are smooth enough to minimize irritation and their organic nature makes them less reactive.  In stretched piercings they are also less likely to build up odours. 

Stone and shell can cause irritations when worn on sensitive skin.  Even when polished smooth, stone and shell have microscopic raised edges that can act as an irritant.  Each body is different and it doesn’t take long to find out which types of body jewelry best suits your skin.

The price of organic body jewelry will vary greatly depending on the quality and supplier.  Similar items may vary in cost by as much as 500%  A quality supplier will ensure that organic body jewelry is well constructed, well matched if it occurs in pairs, and that the size variance does not excede +/- 0.5mm.  This tolerance is necessary due to the handmade nature of most of these items.  

Care for organic body jewelry varies based on material.  Bone and horn require little more than an occasional washing with soap and water.  Wood under most circumstances should be regularly oiled.  Ivory and shell are fragile and need protection from breakage.  Future articles will discuss individual care needs for all types of organic jewelry.

Avaia Artistic Jewelry has a good selection of quality organic body jewelry at reasonable prices to suit your needs.  Visit www.avaiaartisticjewelry.com and see what we have to offer.

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~ by avaiaartisticjewelry on May 9, 2010.

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