Whether it’s a necklace from a parent, a treasured pair of earrings passed down from a grandparent or a wedding band — we often wear our most sentimental pieces of jewelry every day. Now you can make those treasured pieces all the more infinite. Forget letting them rest in a jewelry box. The “it” item is permanent jewelry — and the Pittsburgh region has caught onto the popular clasp-less trend.
These forever chains are an upgraded alternative to the friendship bracelets we wore as children. So what’s the appeal of permanent jewelry and where can you get it here in the city?
History of permanent jewelry
Getting “zapped” with permanent jewelry took off through social media with Catbird, a New York jeweler that ignited the trend.
While it may have fueled the permanent bracelet craze, there is a long history of everlasting jewelry. From Egyptian Pharaohs taking their golden bangles with them to the grave to the time-honored practice of African belly beads, the concept of lifelong jewelry isn’t exactly new.
Today, delicate chains are welded on, eliminating the clasp and allowing the wearer to never worry about the chain falling off.
In addition to convenience, it can also be a sentimental group activity, a symbol of friendship or love. You can use permanent jewelry to mark a major life milestone with a bracelet that you can see every day as a reminder of that special event.
The customizable nature of a permanent bracelet or necklace is another thing that appeals to wearers. Since the item is sized for each wrist, neck or ankle, it truly is made just for the purchaser.
And don’t worry about the welding process. Getting permanent jewelry placed is quick and painless. Though it can be worn through airport security, for a medical procedure like an MRI, the chain would need to be clipped off and then re-welded.
Where to get permanent jewelry in Pittsburgh
Finding a professional with the tools and the training is key. Several local jewelers offer pop-up events, parties and studio sessions.
MetaMorph runs a permanent jewelry bar that specializes in handcrafted metalwork on Freeport Street in Etna. The jewelry studio specializes in robust sustainable practices from recycling precious metals to using ethically sourced materials. Currently, it offers walk-in visits on Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. Appointments also are available. 16 Freeport St., Etna.
Permanently Pretty is a Glenshaw shop that is making adornment easy. Nellie Phillips opened her space in the summer and has been busy repairing jewelry and helping clients find a vision for their permanent jewelry. In addition to standard appointments, Phillips offers private events that are perfect for a bridal party or any other special group gathering. Phillips says paper clip chains seem to be the most popular among her clients. 1406 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw.
Sempre offers classic jewelry that you can cherish “always and forever.” The Washington metalsmith makes custom bracelets that are meant to last. In addition to appointment-based visits, you can also host a pop-up party for a small group. All Sempre chains are either sterling silver, 14k solid gold or 14k gold-filled. 900 Wildflower Circle, Suite #908, Washington.