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Stainless Steel Metal Content of Piercing Jewelry
Amounts to: Trust a Reliable Supplier and look for a shiny surface.

Mill Certificates for Stainless Steel jewelry provided by suppliers of body jewelry are fraudulent. They violate ASTM explicit agreements for use of terms such as submitted or supposedly required for ASTM-F138, -F136 confmity. It is consumer fraud to use such terms to get customers to pay ten times the price by claiming jewelry is F138 compliant. Body jewelry is never ASTM F138 compliant.

Mill Certificates are not valid for Body Piercing Jewelry.

The "Certificate" sent by some suppliers is misrepresented as proving that the jewelry is made from the material specified in the certificate. It is not allowed to be used like that. ASTM threatens to prosecute for misuse of their materials.

A "Mill Certificate" only certifies a particular batch of material "hot from the over" asit were, and is valid 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 other hands before it lands in another fabricators hand and may change the metal. People insisting on "Certificates" don't know that the certificate is for the purchaser of the original melt from the mill and is provided, along with a report of the test results so the purchaser knows what they are buying. 
Mill Certificates do not apply nor certify a product. The final product has to be re-certified by the jewelry maker by testing every batch and enrolling in an ASTM program to make such a claim.

The original "Mill Certificate" is not valid for body jewelry.

Distributors even mix different shipments together. 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. But, there has never been a need for a chain of custody.

Stainless Steel 316L, commercial factory grade
(non-F138) coming from Korea, Thailand, China etc.


Using ASTM F138 316LVM is OVERKILL



ASTM Standards assert that safety in use is the defining argument for safety.
Safe and effective usage proves safety.

There is no scientific or rational argument to support the assertion that ASTM F138 (formerly called 316LVM) is necessary or any better for body jewelry application. The argument for 316LVM has no merit and must be discarded as from a fringe element with a private agenda to sell F138 jewelry within the piercing community. Currently  this fringe group has embarked on a offensive to influence health departments with bogus arguments to force you to buy their expensive product, because the industry doesn't see the need for jewelry ten times the price with no added value or benefit for the customer.


Non- F138 Certified, commercial factory grade 316L
has been SAFELY used for more than 25 years
 - in millions and millions of piercings
 - by tens of thousands of piercers.

Safe "Usage" is the standard ASTM uses as
proof of acceptability of a material used
in a specific application.

Commercial, factory grade 316L SS is the U.S. Industry standard
in the application of body jewelry, for body piercing jewelry
and should continue to be the standard body piercing material.

Attempts to mislead piercers that ASTMF138 is the standard,
or should be the standard is not based on fact nor scientific evidence but an attempt to gain market share for corporate sponsors: - (payola).

There is no added benefit or value that a customer would get
simply by changing the material used.

Paraphrasing Fontana’s textbook on Corrosion Engineering,

A ridiculous example (to make a point) would be insisting that auto makers make cars from tantalum so that your car would not corrode when driven through a lake of hydrochloric acid.  … p8
This is the argument for ASTM F138.

There is not a single defensible argument
to make all body jewelry from ASTM F138 material.
It is merely to make profits for the suppliers.


Concerning threading, internal is a sham as well.

 I exposed the defenseless claim that piercings were being torn up inside by using externally threaded jewelry. After this was exposed as a lie a new laughable lie was invented:  "micro-tears."  Ridiculous!


It is quite possible to mix together 316L among F138 and who is to say that might not be going on.  Trust a reliable supplier.
Better yet,
don't waste your customer's money on F138 because the metals is not superior or better in any way for boy piercing jewelry. This is not implant surgery where the jewelry is submerged in the harsh liquid of the body.

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

Do not be fooled.

For piercing jewelry F138 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 would melt at 800 degrees Centigrade rather than 1100 degrees Centigrade? This is in effect what the difference is for piercing: NO DIFFERENCE FOR THE APPLICATION OF BODY PIERCING.

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

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. Do you buy Apple products?

ASTM standards are the accepted way to describe what something is
for trade between a buyer and a seller so those using the specification are talking about the same material.

Body piercing jewelry and tools are not rocket science products.

When it comes to LOWER COST, Asia is a global source everyone knows that. No longer should anyone consider China as inferior by definition.

The cost of the stainless steel in a piercing jewelry is affordable, the rest is labor. A barbell from Asia costs fifty 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% of the plane) are MADE IN CHINA. 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. Don't patronize them.

"Accountability" means there is a price to pay.

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: jewelry can be made in Asia and then polished and assembled here and pocket the difference. You are not able to tell the difference if both are polished.

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 in NY have been going out of business.
Sales people who use this gimmick want you to pay more so they make more.

This is a real phone call I had:
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.

It would make no sense to install Formula 1 motors in
New York City taxis because those engines can power taxis at 180 mph.

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.


The following certificates support our claim that the balls and bars are Stainless Steel 316L are not inferior to any other 316L, but there is no way to tie your body jewelry to these certificates.

I worked in a steel mill, Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna, NY as an inspector of bars and billets.
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