While it may have started as a one-time event or an occasional service, more jewelers and designers are now offering permanent jewelry as a regular part of their business, as customers make this fashion accessory a bonding experience with family and friends.
Permanent jewelry now encompasses everything from anklets to bracelets to necklaces in multiple metals. You see companies such as Stuller advertising its chains and permanent jewelry equipment on social media sites. Instagram ads offer permanent jewelry classes for jewelers interested in adding this service to their stores.
If you check the hashtags around permanent jewelry on Instagram and other platforms, you’ll find more than 20,000 hits, including people sharing the experience of getting their pieces welded onto their arms or ankles. In other words, it’s everywhere lately.
That’s why jewelry designers including Paloma Wilder have started calling this season “the summer of bond,” noting how permanent jewelry pop-ups are dominating her work these days. The Milwaukee-based designer now has a regular practice of bonding pretty much every weekend.
“The bracelets have really rocked my world,” Wilder says. “I knew it would be big, but I didn’t understand how big. I am pretty much inundated with questions and appointments on a 24-hour basis right now.”
Baribault Jewelers co-owner Raeann Baribault-Schwartz says permanent jewelry evolved from a trend to a long-term store offering because it is a “memorable, fun experience that people can do together,” including birthdays, life events, bridal groups, and more. It’s a visual reminder that links people together, she says.
“The combination of the symbolism and on-trend style of these endless dainty chains having no clasp represents endless love, friendship, and support for one another,” Baribault-Schwartz says. “The pieces are pretty, easy to style, and beautifully and easily layered, and we think this is why this trend is such a hit.”
Plus, people can add or remove these classic chains, which makes them simple to layer and match with other jewelry, says Christina Baribault Ortiz, the other co-owner of Baribault Jewelers.
“With our permanent jewelry collection, we are offering top requested styles including the paper-clip link, the curb link, and the cable link chain,” Ortiz says. “We love that these link chains are open enough to see each individual link and also in 14k yellow gold, it pops beautifully on any skin tone.”
People also can personalize their permanent jewelry, adding charms or initials as they want, says Amy Peterson, cofounder of Detroit-based Rebel Nell. This has continued to evolve the process, making it popular among celebrities, Instagram influencers, and people of all ages.
“Our limitless bracelets are welded to your arm for as long as you want them to be. You select the chain and exact length for your wrist,” Peterson says. “Each limitless bracelet comes with your choice of a Rebel Nell charm, but you can add many more.”
Elaine Jaeger of Elaine B. Jewelry in Cincinnati and Ferndale, Mich., says her “forever linked” permanent jewelry has become a “huge part of our business.”
“It has become a big draw,” Jaeger says. “One of the coolest things about it, and why I feel like so many people are having success with it, is it is one of the few things people cannot buy online. It’s so site specific they have to come into the store and do it personally.”
Top: Milwaukee-based designer Paloma Wilder says permanent jewelry has exploded for her business, adding pop-up shops where she welds chains to people’s wrists most weekends this summer. She expects the trend to continue based on its popularity (photo courtesy of Paloma Wilder; photo by Colleen Kubiak).
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