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316L is all you need? Opinions?

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Category: Body Mods
Forum Name: Piercings
Forum Discription: Stories, studio suggestions, questions, etc.
Printed Date: March/07/2021 at 8:42am

Topic: 316L is all you need? Opinions?
Posted By: randy flagg
Subject: 316L is all you need? Opinions?
Date Posted: August/22/2012 at 2:44pm


Metal Content of Piercing Jewelry -  amounts to: Trust a Reliable Supplier

Mill Certificates for the Stainless Steel
provided by suppliers of body jewelry are meaningless, perhaps fraudulent.

The "Certificate" sent by some suppliers is supposed to prove that the jewelry is made
from the material specified in the certificate. It doesn't. It is a lie.

There are no valid Mill Certificates for any Body Piercing Jewelry.

This is pure deception.

A "Mill Certificate" only certifies a particular batch of material and is good only so long as the material is not processed any further. In other words, as it is direct from the foundry. Where it goes afterwards, how it is cut up, is not "certified" because it goes through mother hands before it lands in your hands. The people insisting on "Certificates" don't even know that the material is only step number one, the final product has to be re-certified by the final processor to be meaningful. The original "Mill Certificate" is no longer valid.

Body jewelry is not a medical application. Body jewelry is not "approved" by the FDA.

Unless the application requires a Chain of Custody, certification items cannot be traced.

Distributors even mix different shipments together and do not record lot numbers.
Retailers don't record and do not need lot numbers either.

Retailers mix them again.

Because there are no lot numbers or serial numbers engraved on piercing jewelry
there is no assurance that a particular piece of jewelry is from anywhere.

There has never been a need for this.
It would be ridiculous to require lot numbers.

Non-F138-certified 316L SS body jewelry has been used for the last 20 years.
AST asserts that safety and in use history is the defining argument for safety. Use proves safety.

There is no scientific or rational argument to support the assertion that ASTM F138 316LVM SS is necessary or any better at all in body jewelry application. The argument for 316LVM has no merit and must be discarded as a fringe element within the piercing community.

No lot number means trust your supplier.

Non- F138 Certified 316L has been used
 - for two decades
 - in millions of piercings
 - by tens of thousands of piercers.

Safe "Usage" is accepted by ASTM as ultimate proof of acceptability of the material used.

316L SS is the standard for body piercing jewelry in the U.S. and should continue to be the standard body piercing material, not F138 316LVM.

Attempts to mislead piercers that 316LVM is the standard, or should be the standard is not based on fact or scientific evidence.

There is no argument to support 316LVM. It is not relevant for body piercing jewelry.



The majority of all piercing jewelry is made overseas and mostly from Asia.

Do not be fooled.

For piercing jewelry 316LVM is not any better than 316L for body jewelry.

As an example, would it make sense to buy the newest titanium alloy and pay a premium
because it could withstand 300 degrees below zero, instead of 200 degrees below zero?
This is in effect what the difference is for piercing: NO DIFFERENCE.

Desperate Suppliers try and deceive YOU.

Watch Out.....when someone says... "cheap Asian steel"
that's the first sign of attempted deception.

When you hear ASTM Standards watch out,
The "pseudo" technical talk is a technique of
persuasion to win your business by and distorting your thinking.
In fact, these desperate people are not Certified.

Lies are meant to distort your mind's ability to see reality.

Claiming that Asian goods are not produced under ASTM standards
does not mean they they are unacceptable.

ASTM standards are the accepted way to describe what something is
so those using the specification are talking about the same specification.

Body piercing jewelry and tools are not rocket science products.

When it comes to LOWER COST, Asia is a global source everyone knows that.

The cost of the stainless steel in a piercing jewelry is pennies, the rest is labor.
A barbell from Asia costs 30 cents, made in the USA it is $ 6.00.
Our subway cars are made from Asian steels and your car parts also.

You may buy a USA made car but it has most of the parts made overseas.
Boeing's Dreamliner tail sections (25%) are MADE IN CHINA,
and are not inferior in any way. TVs, cameras, phones and computers.
How many items that we trust and use and our lives depend on.

Hold these deceivers accountable when they try to fool you.

"Accountability" means there is a price to pay.

Unimax has earned the Trust of users around the globe.

When suppliers lie, excepting mistakes,  they should not get your orders.
If the buck stops here, and there is no penalty for failing, it means nothing,
Without penalty "Accountability" is a joke.

A little secret:

Most all jewelry is made in Asia and then only polished and assembled here.

If you import Chinese barbells and screw the balls on it is now Made in the USA.
... but they won't tell you that, because they want to charge you more money for the same jewelry.

Another deception is the appeal to: "Quality" above price.
You could go out of business falling for this old line.
Price can be crucial if it is too high for customers to purchase.
Buying the highest quality body jewelry does not make sense if you have a business.
Even jewelry stores on Fifth Ave have been going out of business.
Sales people who use this gimmick want you to pay more for nothing.

This is a real phone call:
The owner failed to see that
they are successful competing against tattoo shops
but lost all their piercing business to the same shops
and blaming it on "too many Shops in the area"
Wes:  Hi. ----, How's business.
X:      Good. Our tattoo figures are better than last year.
Wes:  I see you haven't bought jewelry for a real long time.
X:      Yeah, we've been buying everything from --xyz--- hand polished "quality" jewelry.
Wes:   Why is that?
X:      Actually we don't buy much anymore. Last month we let our piercer go.
         Too many tattoo shops. Too much competition.

He didn't get it.
He competed in tattoo but lost his piercing business.

It would make no sense to install Formula 1 motors in
New York City taxis because those engines are better.

So it is with body piercing jewelry.

Don't risk your business to the delusion that people will pay more for an
item that looks exactly like the less costly alternative.

Violence with grace...

Posted By: MontanaPiercer
Date Posted: August/22/2012 at 9:08pm
There is always going to be a 'better' but people seem to forget there is also a 'good enough'. Yes quality jewelry is nicer, but history shows that the other has been used successfully much longer than some have harped on the need for 'better'.  Offer both. Let people decide for themselves what they are willing to spend.

"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby

Posted By: ZombiePhlegm
Date Posted: August/23/2012 at 9:35am
I agree with Montana.

316L just sits at the "lowest acceptable" side of the scale.

Here in Britain piercers are required by law to use titanium, which is awesome. I'm not sure why that regulation isn't in use in the States!


The Unbreakable!

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/23/2012 at 9:24pm
Consider the source

 I mean, really?! are you gonna trust unimax or Anatometal.

This is no different than the piercer across town telling people I lie to them and their piercing will heal in two weeks.

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/23/2012 at 9:31pm
And as far as "made in (insert third world country) and assembled here does not make it made in USA", I have been to the IS facility and seen first hand that their jewelry is IN FACT made in the US as I know anatometal is.

This is propaganda.

Give me enough time and I could write a compelling argument that sticking your dick in a blender is a good idea

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: AlecTrosex
Date Posted: August/23/2012 at 11:26pm
I have said for ages, that if you rubbed motor oil and broken glass in your piercings and never had a problem, good for you; I will keep doing sea salt soaks.
Am I going to buy sterile premixed isotonic wound wash because it is better than mixing my own solution? No. Will I only put 316LVM F-138 steel in my body? Yes. Vacuum remelted stainless steel has far fewer impurities than non-remelted 316L stainless steel. I have seen stress tests done to 316L and 316LVM. I would much rather pay a little extra for an obviously superior product.

Posted By: MontanaPiercer
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 12:08am
I can think of a thousand things in everyday life, more important than a problematic piercing, where budget considerations play a role.

Tires. More important than the type of jewelry you wear. Car safety features. More important. Food.... do you buy all fresh, local organic? Or do you shop at walmart.  Do you visit the doctor to the stars, or do you get treated at the local community clinic? Tattoos, I love the work of the some of the $500 an hour guys, but I can't afford it. Does that mean I shouldn't get tattooed?

People get pissy if you they are not offered a choice, and you spend your days trying to convince the average customer why your jewelry cost more but is a better choice. Capitalist economy demands a price range for products.  If people aren't willing to purchase the Cadillac, I would still be happy they bought anything off the lot, even a Yugo.
I am not saying don't offer people the best, but I think you should understand, that no matter how much you want them to, the average client doesn't care. Don't ignore or ostracize a  huge customer base.

"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby

Posted By: Keiran1980
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 7:39am
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." - John Ruskin.

I tend to buy most things at a basic quality level. Unless I can't get better I don't go for something I know to be of a shitty level of quality, but I rarely can justify the best either.
Although for mods I tend to go for good artists using good materials. Not 22K gold or anything but titanium where possible. Another thing I spend money on is books - I always go for nicer editions if I have enough money.

"Everyone is from somewhere.
Even if you've never been there." - Ian Anderson

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 6:05pm
People dont care because they dont know the difference. Thats a cop-out and a lack of being a good salesman, both for yourself and your products. Where does the cutting of corners end once you start down that road.

Please know that I dont mean any offence by any of this, most of you on this thread know me well enough to know that. There are plenty of people in this industry that DO NOT CARE about their clients enough to offer them the best or even decent jewelry and standards. I know none of you are one of them. There is nothing wrong with taking a stand and going against the grain and offering ONLY top of the line. You're right, some people will not care and go down the street and get hacked up. The good part of that is, there is a great chance that person will one day be YOUR customer because after they get something shitty, they know where they can find the good stuff. I will not compromise my ethics to make a buck. There's a few words for describing people like that.

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 6:10pm
ANd how many times have you had someone come in with a brand new pair of Jordans, or some expensive ass handbag and then bitch about the price of a decent piercing with quality jewelry. These people pretend to know about quality in other areas, they just don't know any better about mods because no one ever took the time to EDUCATE them. AND THERE IN-LIES THE KEY TO ALL OF THIS 

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: MontanaPiercer
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 8:36pm
They don't want to be educated, they just want to 'scene'. We can't even get them to stop saying gauges.


"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 8:51pm
I disagree

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/24/2012 at 9:07pm
" - Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. " William A Foster

" - Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. " Henry Ford

" - Quality, quality, quality: never waver from it, even when you don't see how you can afford to keep it up. When you compromise, you become a commodity and then you die. " Gary Hirshberg

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." Ben Franklin

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: MontanaPiercer
Date Posted: August/25/2012 at 1:48am
This is a Wal Mart world, I don't share your optimistic outlook on any significant change in industry standards as a whole.  We can talk again in a few years and see if the APP can pull its membership rates to double digits. I'm betting what you will see in that time is a further proliferation of the $20 shops tucked in every nook, cranny, beauty salon and head shop in the country.

"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/25/2012 at 8:22pm
Why would you even want to be a part of a profession you feel so poorly about?

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/25/2012 at 8:36pm
APP membership = approx. 400+

Of which I AM ONE, and proud of it! And yes, I live where there are $20 hack shops that use crap jewelry, and yes, I lose SOME customers to them. The difference is, I NEVER pass up the opportunity to try and educate a client. And believe it or not, I win most of them over. I have a healthy clientel and i make a decent enough amount of money that Ive stuck with it for over 18 years. What I tell my clients is the TRUTH, that I CAN back up with evidence.

Whenever i feel differently is the day I hang it up.

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: Cale
Date Posted: August/25/2012 at 9:08pm
I raised all of my prices just in the last six months now that I only use jewelry from Industrial Strength, Anatometal and Intrinsic. Yeah I lose some business to the cheaper shops but I also gain a lot of business, and even more business from the shops doing bad/cheap piercing. I've also noticed the change in clientele and the amount of money people are willing to spend on jewelry now that I carry quality organics and gold. People who care do exist! And many people really are just uneducated, so a little information can really go a long way! :D

Miss Cale
True Blue Tattoo ~ 303-989-6824
305 S Kipling St, Lakewood, CO 80226 - facebook.

Posted By: MontanaPiercer
Date Posted: August/26/2012 at 3:12pm
I don't pierce. I am speaking on observations. Also based on 20 years of involvement. 13 Professionally. My opinions on the 'average' piercing customer is re-affirmed almost every day. Yes I burned out, and yes I grew tired of dumb asses.

I looked at the shop list for APP, I didn't count them all but I don't think there are 400 shops on that list. look like 100?, and I didn't see 400 piercers names.  There is 5  APP shops in 1000 miles diameter of Billings, with the closest being 250 miles away. There are HUNDREDS of shops in that same area. A straight piercing is a straight piercing, so you jack up the required credential-ism and jewelry production standards as an attempt to separate yourself from the working masses. That's fine. Good for you, whatever, but there are thousands of working piercers in the world who are not APP members, and I refuse to believe they are all hacks.

Offering the customer the best is ethical, demanding they purchase the best is pretentious.

"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby

Posted By: BigMikeHOOKED
Date Posted: August/27/2012 at 5:22pm
Nobody said non-members are hacks. NO ONE! And we are not trying to separate ourselves from anything. It sad that you have such a low opinion of an organization that is there to HELP piercers and set a minimum standard.

Does using jewelry from the likes of CAM make someone a hack? well, we all have an opinion.

And for the record my opinions on clients are also re-affirmed every day in a positive way, but you take the good with the bad and strive for better. Or you don't.

You've met me. Do I seem like an elitist to you? Just like any group or organization, there will be people involved that other people dont see eye-to-eye with. And yes, some people think they're too cool for school. But to knock an ENTIRE organization based on that is unfair. Kinda like saying all non-members are hacks. Its an assumption that is unfounded

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale

Posted By: MontanaPiercer
Date Posted: August/27/2012 at 5:59pm
One question? Where is the call for 'minimum standards' coming from? Is it the working masses or the minority. The minority. Your standards are not the world's standard.

Piercing started in primitive cultures, and still happens today using the same methods they have used for millenia. Now the piercing police wants to tell them and every piercer not following their rules, that they are doing it wrong? The best is NOT necessary. The best is a luxury.

You want to talk about facts, how about the fact that hundreds of thousands of piercings are done each year without adhering to your inflated 'standards', the vast majority heal fine. That means for most people that level of 'standards' is just fine, and people have a right to do it that way if they want. Legislating elitism is not cool regardless of how 'noble' you think it is.

The APP forgets that body modders throughout history have got along just fine without them. APP could continue on forever or fall apart tomorrow and the vast majority of this industry, and almost every human on earth, most who have never even heard of the APP, will continue just fine.

ALL piercers, good or bad have a right to work. It is the customer's duty to make sure that work is good enough for them, and if it is, nobody has a right to stop it from happening. All piercers also have a right to determine for themselves how they work, and what materials and equipment they use.

Customers have a right to adhere to their own budgets, who cares if they spent 150.00 on shoes. If they don't want to buy high dollar jewelry, they certainly don't have to.

I will always support that choice, and the right to their journey using whatever methods they wish. using whatever tools and materials they wish.

It's like a religion. You can't just be happy with the people who 'believe' but you have to shove it down everyone else's throat too.

To hell with that.

"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby

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