Ear & Body Piercing/grades of titanium


Can you tell me what the best grade of Titanium is in body jewlery?  Is medical grade the highest grade and is this different than 23grade? Is the medical grade much more expensive?  Do you know what % of people are allergic to medical grade if any?

My articles at http://jewelry.piercing.org/ and http://brnskll.com/shares/titanium-standards-why-not-g23/ explain that the two most effective Titanium standards are alloyed ASTM F136 and pure ASTM F67, the most common being the former as it is stronger, harder and easier to polish. Both are used for permanent surgical implants.

Grades are not relevant, but specifications for surgical implant are important for body jewelry, and must be certified by the vendor from their material source. This certification process, and the particular refinements that must be made for the material to meet these specifications require more from the manufacturer, and therefore are sold at a higher value than other materials that do not conform.

The main purpose of requiring such specifications is biocompatibility, making a consistent material compatible with the human body to prevent allergic reactions and problems with healing and undesirable scar tissue.

These surgical implant specifications state:


X2.1 The alloy composition covered by this specification has been employed successfully in human implant applications in contact with soft tissue and bone for over a decade. Due to the well-characterized level of biological response exhibited by this alloy, it has been used as a control material in Practice F981.

X2.2 No known surgical implant material has ever been shown to be completely free from adverse reactions in the human body. Long-term clinical experience of the use of the material referred to in this specification, however, has shown that an acceptable level of biological response can be expected, if the material is used in appropriate applications."

Ear & Body Piercing

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Brian Skellie


I can answer questions in regards to and not limited to: jewelry safety, specifically material, shape, proportion, and related issues; aseptic technique and sterilization as it applies to piercing safety; ethical issues of technique and bedside manner; the aftercare and recovery process for piercings. *Available for consultation.


Body artist and founder of Piercing Experience (1992), http://brnskll.com/ and SciCan Authorized Dealer of STATIM Sterilizers and related infection control products http://statim.us/

Currently serving on the APP Board of Directors as President, formerly as Global Media Director 2013-2014, International Liaison 2010-13, Treasurer 1997-99. Over fifteen years with ASTM and APP.

The Point Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing

I regularly participate and teach in many APP and related body art educational programs. I keep current certifications for OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, and CPR.

Awards and Honors
APP President's Award, Best Freehand Piercer, Best of Atlanta

Past/Present Clients
Tens of thousands of one on one client experiences as the founder of Piercing Experience in Atlanta, GA, USA http://www.piercing.org/ *Body jewelry design and safety expert: Member ASTM committee F04(www.astm.org)and former Member AAMI (www.aami.org) Research advisor and educator for the APP for over a decade(www.safepiercing.org) teaching advanced studio setup, sterilization and equipment management, freehand piercing, aseptic/sterile technique and much more. Distributor and Body Art expert for SciCan StatIM sterilization and infection control products. http://statim.us/ and http://piercers.com/

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.