TOUR Jewelry Index 

2003  Terms of Sale Unimax


Threading for Gold Jewelry: 
Choose External threading for Gold.
Customers don't want to lose those gold balls and will blame defective manufacturing.  

Internal gold threads are softer than steel threads.
A customers might over-tighten the balls and strip the threading.  They will damage the threads and blame you.
Avoid this problem, choose external threading. 

In the run-up to modern USA piercing (1990-5) internal threading was standard because that's what the few piercing  jewelry manufacturers were making. There was no external threading to speak of.

Twenty-five years ago, the new external threading was rough, (and sometimes sharp) and hard to insert.
New external threading began developing as a less costly alternative, cheaper than internal.  We preferred internal because there were no threads to get caught inside the piercing but we also wanted to make piercing more affordable and have a lower price for customers if possible.

By 1995 external threads became smoother (metric) and there were no more insertion problems so external became the "best" choice for piercing.  "Internal-only" enthusiasts looking for market share (encouraged by the internal-only manufacturers) began claiming alleged superiority of internal because it was "internal."  Internal is not superior because it is internal and has no rational support. 
Before 1994 it was true, but by 1996 it was a fabrication  to promote sales.

We were a pioneer of introducing gold body jewelry into shops.  Internal was the first kind sold sourced from Gauntlet, a pioneer. The problem of stripping appeared right away and a steel threaded male post was pressed into the ball with steel sleeve in the bar but slight over-tightening pulled the sleeve out and also produced discoloration. The steel post and sleeve caused discolorations in the gold so this was abandoned and external replaced internal.

Eventually a good externally threaded bar could be made that held very well with only a rare stripping problem.
If balls easily become loose that is a different problem: a length threading problem 
that has nothing to do with internal vs. external. There is no rational debate and no one can rationally defend internal as superior.

Today a demand has been created for internal gold threaded jewelry which is now being produced with 10 Kt post and thread to help prevent the stripping.  A confusion obscures this issue because traditionally-produced internally threaded jewelry made in the USA has a higher finish level than most imported goods.  

We recognize and appreciate the high lustrous finish produced by USA manufacturers but not because it is internal, but because it is polished to a wonderful degree of perfection.  USA producers can make the finest body jewelry in the world.

Gold body jewelry is now being made by regular jewelry trade manufacturers who see a market for themselves to expand.

As a final word: -- and a concern expressed by some:

Internally threaded jewelry accumulates dirt and bacteria in that tiny hole in the internally threaded bar and cannot be cleaned adequately, even with an ultrasonic (except for larger gauges).  Externally threaded bars avoid this problem.  The hole in the threaded ball is larger and can be cleaned.

Internal is standard for large gauges (because the threaded diameter would be too large for external) and chosen specialty items such as prong settings or designs that have no ball.

Tongue and Body Gold Cleaning: 
Special considerations in the mouth.
                Foods containing salt, and smoking, will likely discolor the bar.
                There is nothing wrong with the gold.

                To remedy take it to a jeweler to have it buffed back to original finish.
                "420" smokers will leave a black tar on the bar.
                 Body fluids can discolor gold but they too can be buffed back.
 
Buyer Beware: Gold content can be compromised.
Anyone may make a business card claiming factories in other countries,
rent mailboxes, shared office space and phone numbers.

Some examples of scams:

The Scam:  9Kt 10Kt and 11 Kt substituted for 14Kt Gold

The Scam:  Hollow Balls and Bars. 

The Scam:  Gold Plating over brass or other metals.
---We actually caught an importer doing this for navels.
Test: (Hard to scrape or cut even with a razor.)

The Scam: Curves represented as a certain gauge measure less.
Test: (Check with a Micrometer, not your gauge wheel.)

The Scam: The balls are hollow.
Test: (Look inside the ball.)

The Scam: The ball is "loaded"
Test: (Spin the ball on a table and see if it wobbles like loaded dice.  Look at the threading inside the ball for a different color.)

The Scam: Bars are shaved, not round.
Test: (Roll a BB on a flat surface.) Look to see they are smooth.

Only buy your Gold from someone who has a reputation in the industry.