Worst Jewelry Yet?

Stephan writes,

We all know those horror stories about cheap and crappy jewellery but now I found impressive proof! When I talked to a doctor about cheap jewellery and risks he said he must have a rusty piercing barbell somewhere, having had a patient come in with a highly infected nipple-piercing which she was not able to remove after several days of pain.

This is a picture of that jewellery, which Stephen now uses as the perfect poster for their organization to inform people about what to look for in quality jewellery.


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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

124 thoughts on “Worst Jewelry Yet?

  1. it dissappoints me anyone would actually sell something they KNOW was not safe, also eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!

  2. Im surprized their nipple didnt just disconnect itself. Im pretty sure if I put that in my nipple, it would just run away from me in disgust!

  3. The thought of taking that out of my nipple gives me chills, and I don’t bat an eye at pretty much anything I’ve seen on here in the last few years.

  4. fuck! i know getting a crusty that you have to pull thru hurts-but THAT??? my god! i hope that poor girl found the douche bag that put that in her and hit him with a brick- square in the jaw.

  5. im not sure which is more upsetting, knowing someone who calls themselves a peircer uses this as a product or someone who chooses to get peiced without knowing their stuff. Im really glad to see people taking the initiative to educate people about this though! what a perfect example.

  6. Ignorance is no defence when it comes to ‘professional’ piercers purchasing cheap and nasty jewellery to be used on their clients.

    This is one of the best examples I have seen of how stupid it is to cut corners when if comes to body modification.

    I hope that whoever the piercer was is no longer trading.

    Thanks for the gruesome picture Shannon. A very necessary evil.

  7. Is it wrong if I find this more disturbing than the human waste container interview?

  8. What the fuck must that have been made of to rust up like that? Seriously. What metal was that? O_O I need to know!

  9. That is nasty. What is up with the jewelery design, too? Even if that bar weren’t rusty, the big divots on the balls are just begging to become bacterial condos.

  10. Thats the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in awhile….

    I wonder if there are more than just barbells made like that…what about captive bead rings? What if someone gets their clit pierced with a CBR that is made from the same people? Fuck…. there are so many thoughts running through my head and all of them make me wince in imaginary pain.

  11. The main issue here is ignorance – people just don’t know about the dangers of putting low quality stuff into their body. As always, it’s about education.

    What would be great is if every school pupil was shown this picture and told about the dangers of this happening to them. It’d stop a lot of DIY piercings, and maybe make people think twice about going to ‘some guy’ to get a piercing.

    I know if I’d seen that when I was at school, I’d have thought a lot more about my first piercing.

    It’s the same method as those images of the results of drunk drivers we were forced to sit through at school – I won’t even have half a pint before I drive…

    Although there’s an obvious difference between a drunk driver killing someone and a badly infected nipple piercing, but you get the idea…

  12. Wow, talking about equivalents of rusty nails… This looks so gross, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must’ve felt like to have that stuck in your nipple. Ouch!

  13. I cant even begin to imagine what it felt like to have that pulled out of your nipple.

    Do we have any way of finding out if it was the piercer who put that crap in her or if she got it herself and changed her jewelery? Thankfully Ive never seen a barbell that looks like that and if I ever do Im going to run away- far far away, just in case

  14. #10: I agree. I think my nipples would’ve ran away! I can’t believe that.

    I have to ask too, was the barbell bought by the person after-the-fact, or was it the original jewelery used by the piercer?

  15. Whowhooow!
    Thats a great picture to use in all sorts of campaigns.
    Thank God I never ran into such jewelry!!!!!!

    I feel sorry for the poor woman. What she must ‘ve gone through, having that in her body – I dont even Want to imagine!!

  16. Pretty horrifying, huh?
    What hack would put jewelry of this quality in someone? Who knows! But they could be interviewed for publicity and business on Bmezine.com!! Scratchers and hacks unite! Be glorified and loved for being YOU and being “unique”. Damn the man, right?
    How is this okay but some sketchy, dirty tattoo in a basement is?????

  17. Lexci, let me be very, very clear: Jae was interviewed because it’s a story that’s not often told, and, frankly, an interesting story that many could relate to, and my goal is to give a complete picture of this subculture. To suggest that every single thing I feature is something I support outright is completely ridiculous. No where did I say “hey, go get a tattoo by him” nor did I even link to his contact details, and he’s surrounded by extremely high end artist interviews.

    I don’t know why you’re so afraid that the public won’t be able to make the right decision given all the information, or so opposed to them being permitted to talk to people who you think are beneath you. The biggest reason that people go to low-end shops is that they’re NOT featured, not because they ARE. Only by showing a complete picture can people truly get an accurate picture of scene so as to make the right decision.

    People only understand risks by discussing them and understanding them, whether it be bad jewelry or bad tattoos. Discussing something is never a bad thing, and you’re not going to get far with an argument that I need to begin censoring things because they offend your or anyone else’s standards.

  18. wow the funny thing is i jsut pulleda nostil screw out of a gril that got pierced at a flea market

    and the jelery was black and coroded but not like that but still very gross

  19. The reason I’m “so afraid” (“Concerned” is a better word) is because I actually WORK in a shop (with a business licence and heath board inspected facility that we HAVE to uphold to the MINIMUM standard let alone more…) and I get people coming into the shop ALL the time talking to me about what they read on this site.
    I don’t have to tell you that BME is an ENORMOUSLY popular site and there’s no exception in my region. Modblog is just as popular.
    A flip attitude towards dangerous practises is just that – dangerous! I appreciate that you’re shedding light on shady subjects, but often the approach is more glorified than educational.

  20. wow that actually made my stomach upset, and my nipple cringe (is that possible-lol)

  21. Lexci – You can’t seriously believe that by putting up both a high end artist and a low end artist drives people to the low end artist? It shows the two next to each other so people can see what a big difference it makes to actually seek out a high end artist, while at the same time humanizing the low end artist so people can understand why they are there.

    The fact is that by giving COMPLETE coverage, business is driven to high end shops. When complete coverage is NOT given, then lower end shops are able to pretend that the difference is not so great.

  22. When people come in and are astounded my shop charges over $100/hour for a tattoo when their buddy charges $50/hour and a case of Canadian in his kitchen, we have a problem.
    It’s not about the money – but about the inevitable, limited coverup (not to mention the potentially lethal staph infection) when the dude realizes he’s made a mistake the hard way.
    DJ Minor? Fucking TOP dude. I thoroughly love when you post piercers and tattooers who are advocates for safe piercing, ethical practises (saying no) and quality jewelry and tattoo.
    Many people simply don’t realize what a good tattoo looks like.
    Or that their piercer is using jewelry that could rust stuck into their piercing.
    What I’m saying is there’s more focus on the “bad” than the good. That’s unfortunate for such a huge outlet.

  23. If you don’t believe people who have access to “educational materials” about high quality tattoo artists don’t continue to get work done by significantly inferior tattoo artists, take a look around IAM. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find poor quality knock-offs of higher quality tattoos.

  24. christyn – I’m actually saying the opposite. I’m theorizing that by not also prominently talking to people on the lower end of the scale, people get the false impression that it doesn’t matter… So it’s important to not only feature the top end.

  25. The majority of people are stupid.

    It doesn’t matter whether you people them one shining example after another of perfect work or excellent artists, the dumb ones will end up getting pierced by their friends or tattooed by scratchers or buying jewelry on eBay time and time again.

    It goes back to the whole “if your friends jumped off a cliff” thing. Each person needs to decide FOR THEMSELVES how much research they want to put into something – anything – and what the potential consequences are. This applies not only to body modification, but to buying a new car, or choosing a doctor, or any other potentially life-affecting decision.

    It is unfortunate that the internet (not just BME) has so many examples of poor mod work, but that’s just an accurate representation of life and people and their mods in general. I don’t think changing the focus of BME would help much. People would still be stupid, and then BME would just be an unrealistic portrayal of life.

  26. and it isn’t even about trying to get people to go to high end shops because there are so many shops in vancouver, calgary and one especially in edmonton that show themselves off as a high end shop, charge outrageous amounts for their work, while still producing nothing but crap and giving shit jewelry at beyond top end prices. i believe it should be more educating people about asking for companies where these shops order from and proof that they are using the top of the line jewelry for piercings and even if possibly teaching people out there to ask for proof on classes for cross contamination, blood borne pathogens, first aid and so forth which i think should be set as minimum standards. as well showing portfolios of their work which still astounds me that people go to shops seeing crappy work in portfolios for piercing or tattoos, knowing that there is better in magazines and tattoo conventions but still pay to get these hacks to do work on them. kinda tells you where today’s society is headed.

    sorry for my rant but it upsets me so much to see some of these places succeeding so much when they truly shouldn’t.

  27. Why oh why is there an inset on the bead when it’s an external? That’s a cavity begging for bacteria even if this hadn’t rusted so badly…

  28. Not only is it rusty, it’s also externally threaded :O

    owchhhh my boobies hurt now. >__<

  29. With the design of the balls there, it makes me think this bar used to be about twice the thickness of it’s current diameter (the threads being stepped down), is that right? If so, that must have taken a while to rust away that badly..

  30. and my potential point was – how do you leave a piece in long enough for it to corrode away to that extent? I mean, shit yeah it’s nasty that someone stuck this in some other person, but wow..

  31. I don’t think it was THAT rusty when it was removed – this thing have been removed a few weeks/months before the picture was taken – but still … also a “little rusty” is a catastrophy if it happens “IN” your body :-O

  32. oh god, that made my boobs cringe!
    i was just about to change one of my nipple bars, i’ve now changed my mind.

  33. *ahem*…

    Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew .



  34. Shannon: Any chance of posting that picture in high res for us to use, or would the poster be ok with that?

  35. that just looks like steel to me, not stainless
    more frightening is if it had been autoclaved, somthing of this low quality would have already started to rust… which leaves the possibility it was never sterilised to begin with!!!

  36. Shannon, Andy makes a good point. Is there any way that we in the industry would be permitted to reproduce any of the ‘horror’ pictures featured in modblog for educational purposes.. eg)school talks, documentation of risks etc?

  37. Tiff – It’s 100% fine by me, and I agree, it’s a good idea. I don’t want to repost this one at high res without Stephan’s permission since he’s using it for that purpose, but I’d be happy to start doing that.

  38. Thats incredibly fucking gross.

    I don’t know how someone could leave a piercing in for that long, and NOT notice its rusting.

    The balls don’t even look like steel. It looks like shiny tin or aluminum.

  39. AHH. AHH. AHH.

    shitplay, deep body cavity penetration, self-castration and extreme anal stretching don’t even come close to making my skin crawl.

    but this … this makes my skin crawl. ahh. noo. no no no.

  40. Eww Eww Eww Eww Gross! I can’t wait to show this to my ‘friend’ who just paid $20(us) to get both her nipples pierced… The ‘piercer’ explained to her that you are supposed to pierce the areola to prevent migration and of course they are crooked, but you expected that. I believe everything that came out of that ‘piercers’ mouth was the equivalent of verbal diarrhea. So kids the moral of the story is you get what you pay for…

  41. When I was piercing in Dallas it was an extremely busy location.
    People would come in all the time arguing about how they could get two piercings for the price that we were charging.

    Even after explaining jewelry quality, safety, and sterilization… some would still go down the street and have inappropriate jewelry put in.

    I think the change as a whole starts in the shops FIRST.
    If there is a min standard of crap, then people are going to go by what they can just to fly under the radar… That is a known fact.
    If anything is truly going to change for the better it really has to start with the piercer and the shop owners.

    EX: While in Denver 4 years ago I stopped into a shop that I heard was looking for a piercer. The owner was in and had a piercing to do. He walked over, put on a pair of unsterilized gloves, took a needle out of a container of a bunch, grabbed the jewelry out of the display counter that the person had chosen. He then Sat the needle and the jewelry on a paper towel and sprayed them with a foaming spray. Then proceeded with the piercing. I nearly fell on the ground!
    Afterwards I asked him why he didn’t autoclave the needles and jewelry, and he said that by the law in Denver the jewelry has to be sterilized by cleaner, autoclave, or ultrasonic.
    I asked if he ever used his autoclave and he said ” Oh yes, For tattoo tubes”
    I left completely dumbfounded.
    He knew that he could use the autoclave but by law it didn’t state at the time he HAD to use it so he chose not to.
    That was the owner of the shop!
    He didn’t care and because he was doing inexpensive piercings he was busy all the time..
    Customers for the most part don’t know.. They assume since they are going into a shop and the piercer sounds professional that they are..
    Not that they are stupid but when the standards are so low for these types of things, people are going to fly by at the min.

    I know plenty of piercers that I would go to and trust 200%
    to put quality jewelry in my piercings and I know I don’t have to worry about anything while there other than my new piercing.
    I however know what to look for.

    The customer that just turned 18 and really wants her piercing and mom’s not going to pay for it, may not know and she’s on a tight budget so she gets the $25.00 piercing with the bad jewelry. The piercer was cool and seemed knowledgeable but…

    It really does start in the shop.
    There truly does need to be more laws and set regulations on what is and is not appropriate jewelry, sterilization, technique, etc… in the States.

  42. oh my god oh my god oh my god, owww I can’t believe anyone would have that in their body. *cringes*

  43. I hate seeing piercings like that one cause it makes me feel queasy, thinking I’ve got a rusty bomb in my tongue (I always think of my tongue when I see rusty piercings)
    This actually reminds me of when I got my nipple pierced and the jewelry started to turn black and I had to change it to spare my booby. And I didn’t pay 2 bucks for it either, it was at a respectable shop (and I really hope/think it was a one in a million thing)

  44. Where I live, in Syracuse, NY, USA, there are many tattoo/piercing shops. One right down the street from me cuts hair, too (ewww) and advertises “any piercing for $22″. I gladly make the trip downtown, pay to park, and pay more for quality work & quality jewelry (by John Joyce @ Scarab) because it is worth it! I don’t understand why anyone would want to put substandard work or jewelry in his or her body! I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but this is the only body I get, so it is worth it.

    Maybe BMEshop should carry “risk” posters for shops to put on display. I’d sure stop to read one with this photo on it!

  45. I nipples agree with all above and have shrunk into my chest.

    Is there any info on the manufacturer, supplier or shop that were party to this supply chain?

    Now for my 10c (smallest denomination here in NZ).

    Given the jewelery design is poor, if a customer comes into a shop and the shop claims to source jewelry from a reputable supplier who uses appropriate materials (say wildcat as they have major market share here). Other than looking at the quality of the finish and design how can a customer get assurance that the material is what they say it is, run an assay to check the shops claims?

  46. possibly asking for proof of purchase from a reputable jewelry maker but even that can be faulty. i believe we need to put higher standards on health regulations, because the regulations here in alberta are so slack it is fucked. a lot of times when they do random checks they will just walk in, take a quick gander at things and walk out with a check mark saying the shop passed. a shop doesn’t even have to be finished it’s building as long as it some of it finished the owner can be open for business. fuck because the owner at one of the shops already closed down here was able to open up his shop without an autoclave or utlrasonic cleaner because he said he was using nothing bus disposable tattoo stuff but was also wanting to offer piercings. WTF

  47. >>>Someone put this in their body?!?!

    No. Somebody put something that looked like genuine quality body jewellery into their body and this is what resulted. Sadly I know of several establishments that buy cheap jewellery and there will always be a market for it from those who choose market-stall piercers.

  48. HOLY BEEE JEEEEEZUZ!!!! thats horrid…ooo my nipples are hurting!! :( :( :( :(

  49. Pingback: Saint Sabrina’s » Why Jewelry Matters

  50. Doesn’t metal have to be exposed to air to oxidize? If it was in a piercing, how did that happen? I’m no rust expert, but that’s what I thought.

  51. Ew, I saw that my local Dollar Tree sells tongue barbells and banana barbells with acrylic balls, $1 each. DO NOT WANT! I live in such a ghetto area…anyone that would go the cheaper way when it comes to their body like that doesn’t deserve to have the piecing in the first place. If you can’t afford it, wait. Don’t go to the hack down the street when the APP shop is $20 more.

  52. OMG!!!!That is really NASTY!!! I hope the person it was removed from is ok now. EEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

  53. just think if that were in her tongue instead of her nipple…*pukes a little* :O

  54. it’s amusing how upset people get about jae and what not. i tattoo in a profesional studio. i know alot of amazing artists that have started out like jae and the fact is alot of shops the apprentices teach themselves the majority of things anyway the only differance is the equipment to do the right things should technically be available. and on the comment #91 it’s funny cause my fiance who worked in the same studio as me as a piercer before having our son went to work at a chain store of piercing/beauty therapy and basicly the same deal not autoclaved jewlery improper technique and skin prep and this shop is the same prices as my studio but easily 5 times if not ten times busier than us and not even doing a piercing above 16 guage this included genitals and the “senior” piercer had done a weeks worth of training. my fiance refused to several piercing she felt unapropriate before leaving half way thru her first day.

  55. *high-pitched noise emitting from back of throat as nipples completely invert*

    I’d really like to know where the came from, although I guess we never will. Dollar store? Claire’s? I hope her poor nipple healed well after that! This is why I pay for good titanium/nobium jewellery, and twiddle my thumbs as I wait for it to be shipped. That is the most horrific piece of body “jewelery” I’ve ever seen, in recent memory anyhow.

  56. I’ve looked through the several hundred pages of Mod Blog and other websites featuring mods. I’ve seen some of the most impressive and yet grotesquely horrifying feats of the human body.
    …and still yet, I look at this and say, “HOW THE FUCK?”

  57. By the looks of the oxidation it is steel.
    The sodium content in the human body will
    oxidize steel rapidly.

    Might be the manufacturer or supplier. Someone
    fucked up and placed a steel threaded bar in
    replace of a stainless one. That would suck it
    were an implant.

    If you want to be sure you don’t ever get
    steel jewelry, hold a magnet to it. If it is
    magnetic, it is steel. If not its some other
    alloy ie stainless steel, niobium or titanium.

  58. i still dont understand how manufacturing crap like this meant for piercings is legal.

  59. I kow externally threaded stuff is not the best to use, but the threads on the ends are SO blunt and not tapered. Jewelry like this should be illegal! Some co.is only in business for the money; also buyer beware!!

  60. Holy crap!
    Yuk! That is so disgusting.
    So poeple, don’t buy cheap jewellery.. Or thnk twice and check twice it’s quality before you do.

  61. Thats what you get when you buy from a shop without a reputation, or when you buy cheep junk to save money.

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