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PVD & Plated Body Piercing Jewelry, Is It Safe? Body Piercing Basics EP 121

In the 121st episode of DaVo's Youtube series Body Piercing Basics, DaVo goes in-depth into whether PVD coated, plated, and Black Jewelry is safe. This video covers what PVD and plating are and the risks of wearing black jewelry.

This Video will premier on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 at 2 pm CST.

Show Notes:

What is PVD Plating?

Physical Vapor Deposition is a vacuum coating that creates a thin-film coating. This is done by vaporizing the material and causing it to bond atom to atom bases to the base metal. Basically, you are blasting the material into the base metal. Staring first with a layer of Titanium nitride and a thinner layer of the surface material.

PVD coating has a number of industrial applications from tools to medical equipment and Titanium Nitride is considered biocompatible.

With plating, you are adding a thin layer of metal on top to the original material by dipping the base metal into the plating material. Unlike PVD where there is a more molecular bond, plating is less durable. While plating can appear to look better, the PVD is more resistant to wear, scratches and won’t chip the way plating will. Also because PVD is done in a Vacuum environment there is less likelihood of contaminates.

Why would you want PVD Plated Jewelry?

  • Affordability

  • Black (issues)(can’t get Black with Anodizing

Anodized Vs PVD

  • Anodizing only adds a thin layer with all the properties of the base material. So it is more biocompatible than PVD.

  • You can not anodize Ti Black or Red. Niobium can be but it usually creates a very rough surface and wouldn’t be acceptable for fresh piercings.

  • PVD adds Titanium and the coating material. Making it suspect whether it is still biocompatible.

  • With high kart weight gold, there is a very limited risk of allergic reactions. Unless the person is allergic to gold or it is a gold alloy.

What are the different types of plated Body Piercing Jewelry?

  1. 24kt PVD over Ti

  2. Black PVD over Ti

  3. gold over SSS

  4. Ti over SSS

  5. Rubber over SSS

What about Black Titanium?

The biggest issue is the limited information on what they are using as the coloring or third-party verification of the compatibility. Often it is only listed as a “coloring agent” and in some cases, it's said to be graphite-based. Usually, the suggestion is that it shouldn’t be pierced with.

Should and when should it be avoided?

  1. If is plating over SSS. It is usually a sign that it is not implant grade or lower quality sss

  2. If there is no third-party verification of the base alloy.

  3. If the piercing in the area is going to have a lot of wear(like the mouth) or in contact with bodily fluids like in genital piercings. Especially with black.

  4. Black Ti or SSS should only be used in healed piercings and should be avoided if you are sensitive to metal.

  5. If it is from low-end manufacture or supplier, the black could in fact not be PVD but is either rubber coated or painted. Both could be dangerous.

  6. Black Gold is rhodium plating over white gold which has poor durability. Often instead of wearing off, it flakes off and then collects and damages the piercing.

If you have a question you would like to see covered in a future video, please comment or contact DaVo at

I aka DaVo have been a professional body piercer and the owner of the Axiom Body Piercing Studio in Des Moines, Iowa since 1994. My focus on education and helping clients make safe and informed decisions on getting pierced has always been a large part of my business practices and services. With my website and increasingly on youtube, I hope to expand and inform others outside of my small part of the world. I always encourage questions and comments, so if you have one, please comment.

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All images used as used in the spirit of Fair Uses. If you are the photographer, piercer, or owner of the piercing and would like to be credited, please contact DaVo at

The links below are affiliate links and part of the proceeds will go to DaVo, the Axiom, and Body Piercing & Tattooing Staff.

Suggested Aftercare Products:

  • For Premixed Saline DaVo suggests. NeilMed Neil Cleanse Wound Wash First-Aid Sterile Saline Solution 6 fl oz Each -
  • Band-Aid Brand First Aid Products Tru-Absorb Gauze Sponges for Cleaning Wounds, 4 in x 4 in, 50 ct -

All footage was filmed using a Canon EOS 80D Camera with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - and Canon EOS R  - with Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens -

Audio - Recorded with Shure MV7 - with a Tascam DR-40x -

For more information on DaVo and the Axiom Body Piercing Studio go to

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Contact DaVo at or by phone at 515-262-5989
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Skin Kitchen Tattoo and The Axiom Body Piercing Studio are located at 3800 Douglas Ave./Des Moines, Iowa 50311
Tattoo hours are Thursday - Monday 1-8 pm
Piercing hours are Thursday - Monday 2-8 pm