Q: What is Flat Back jewelry? - Hazel
A: To answer this question, it is best for us to start with an explanation of what flat back jewelry is not. Recently, we answered a question in which we explained the problems associated with piercing guns and typical clasp/butterfly back jewelry often used. This clasp design is outdated, common for novelty jewelry, uncomfortable if pressure is applied to it, and can trap bacteria easily. Furthermore, using this design suggests that “one size fits all,” when that is not the case.
The design that has become more popular in high-end studios is the “flat back” style of jewelry. The name describes the flat disk on the back of a post. The post is inserted into the earlobe from the back to the front, and the interchangeable top is assembled. These can be threaded (screw on) or threadless (press-fitted) type fronts. To change the jewelry from one decorative top to the next, the client can simply swap out the top, leaving the flat disk and post in place.
In contrast to the butterfly back style, flat back jewelry is modern, common for high quality jewelry, comfortable to wear, and can be easily cleaned. This style of jewelry also accommodates various lengths and widths needed by the client. Jewelry that is either too tight or too loose can be irritating for a piercing, but your piercer can customize the flat back jewelry to perfectly fit your anatomy.
The flat back design is not limited to earlobes, it is extremely comfortable in various ear cartilage, nostril, and lip piercings, as well. This is another reason why being able to customize the gauge or length of the jewelry is important.
Materials can vary, and there will always be low quality knock-offs flooding the market. Regardless of the design, look for ASTM F138 compliant implant-grade steel, F136 compliant implant-grade titanium, or solid 14k gold from a North American manufacturer to ensure the highest quality. A reputable piercer will be able to inform you about the specific material and manufacturer of the jewelry you are considering.
Price will vary depending on the manufacturer/design and materials and will be typically more than your “standard” jewelry. Note that the price also relates to the decorative front you select. Flat backs have countless options when it comes to the material or design of the front. Whether you are looking for a basic ball, semi-precious gem, genuine diamond, or a cluster of shapes or gems, you can find what you are seeking for a flat back post. This higher expense for flat back jewelry is easily justified by interchangeable fronts, superior comfort, and materials that are proven safe for long-term wear.
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