- I got a $235 rose-gold permanent bracelet which has a a special nod to my late grandfathers.
- I decided to get the bracelet welded on after years of contemplating a tattoo.
- This is a fun, risk-free alternative for those who are too indecisive to get inked.
Anybody who knows me understands how I feel about tattoos.
I’ve been obsessed with the idea of getting inked for years; I’m constantly scouring Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, and I regularly interview tattoo artists about the latest trends.
The only problem? I’m incredibly indecisive.
Placing something on your body forever can be an exhilarating and risky decision, especially for someone like me who struggles to stick to a specific placement or design concept. I’m often fearful that I’ll end up regretting the tattoo design, and have to go through the expensive and timely process of laser removal.
So when I discovered permanent jewelry, I realized it would be a fun, risk-free alternative to getting inked.
I got a bracelet permanently welded onto my wrist
Getting a permanent bracelet, also sometimes referred to as a “forever bracelet,” involves having a bracelet chain welded onto your wrist without a clasp so that it can’t be removed.
There are a handful of specialist jewelry companies that do bracelet welding in the US and the UK, including Catbird in New York City, and Astrid & Miyu, which has stores in various cities including NYC, London, and Glasgow.
This type of jewelry gained popularity on TikTok in 2022, with many users sharing their experiences getting matching permanent bracelets with friends and loved ones. I was inspired to get one after reading about my colleague Jordan Parker Erb’s experience in August.
After doing some research, I realized there are a huge variety of options in Glasgow, where I’m based in the UK. Some welded jewelry stores charge as little as £10, or around $12.40, while others such as Astrid & Miyu charge hundreds for high-quality chains.
I booked an appointment at Astrid & Miyu in Glasgow for the beginning of September.
Unlike tattoos, the permanency of the bracelet doesn’t scare me
Astrid & Miyu offers welded bracelets, anklets, and rings in a variety of solid gold and silver chains with charms, according to its website.
When I arrived at the company’s Glasgow store on a Saturday afternoon, I was greeted by a jeweler who showed me a selection of chains to choose from. I opted for a 9-carat rose-gold chain, which cost £130, or around $160.
At first, I wasn’t sure about getting the bracelet because of the price tag. I don’t usually treat myself to expensive jewelry. But at the end of the day, I was happy to pay for a good quality chain. Just like with tattoos, if you are going to have something on your body forever, you want it to be of a high standard.
Then I chose two charms to go on the bracelet. Since I had researched online beforehand, I already knew that I wanted two birthstones with a special meaning. I chose a sapphire charm and an amethyst charm, the birthstones of my two late grandfathers.
It cost an additional £30, or around $37.20, per stone, bringing the bracelet to a total of £190, or around $235.
The process was incredibly easy; the jeweler measured my wrist and made sure I was comfortable before she started the welding process. It probably took around 10 minutes in total.
It’s been around two weeks since I got the bracelet, and I’m in love with it. The chain actually sparkles (I’m not exaggerating) and it seems pretty durable so far. I’ve worn it while swimming and to the gym, and it looks exactly the same as when I got it.
Of course, there’s no telling how long it will actually stay on my wrist. The jeweler said she has met people who have had their bracelets stay on for four years, while others’ have broken after a year. If my chain breaks within the first year, Astrid & Miyu will fix it for free, the jeweler said. (They added that a small charge would apply if it breaks after one year.)
And while the bracelet can’t be removed in the traditional sense, the chain can of course be broken with a pair of scissors, according to the company’s website. It’s comforting to know that I can easily (and painlessly) take it off if I change my mind.
I’ll likely pluck up the courage to get inked one day. But until then, this bracelet is a painless alternative.