Permanent Bracelet: What To Expect

Picture this: you're scrolling through your TikTok For You page and you stumble upon a user who says that they're getting a permanent bracelet. It looks like they're in a normal jewelry store, but one of the jewelers seems to be welding a dainty little bracelet on their wrist. You see a quick spark and, suddenly, the bracelet is in one piece, and there's no clasp! If you're anything like us, you're probably both confused and intrigued.

Permanent bracelets — also called welded, flash, fused, or infinity bracelets – have been trending on social media and in the jewelry industry for a large part of the past few years, but what really are they? Are they actually permanent? How much do they cost? Where can you get one? Maybe you've never even heard of permanent bracelets before, or maybe you've decided you want to get one and are doing some last-minute research before going through with it. No matter what you know, if anything, about this unique trend, we're here to answer all your questions.

What is a permanent bracelet?

Permanent bracelets are pretty much as straightforward as they sound — they're (usually) simple chain bracelets that are welded or soldered together directly onto the wrist. Because they do not have a clasp, they can't be taken on and off like regular bracelets. Jeweler Hannah Keefe, who owns and operates the brand HannahK in Los Angeles, told Vox that the first permanent bracelet she ever made was a result of her just experimenting in her studio.

Since permanent bracelets first came onto the jewelry scene, their popularity has skyrocketed. Leigh Plessner, the chief creative officer of Catbird, one of the jewelry stores well known for offering permanent bracelets, told The Zoe Report, "The response since our stores reopened [after lockdown] has been incredible. It's really encouraging to know customers visiting New York make zapping and a trip to Catbird a part of their itineraries."

Sriya Karumanchi, the marketing manager at Catbird, explained that the actual process of getting a permanent bracelet is quick, easy, and painless. The entire appointment should take no more than 15 minutes altogether. According to The Zoe Report, the welding process itself takes only a few seconds and doesn't hurt at all.

Why do people get permanent bracelets?

People get permanent bracelets for a number of reasons. For Julia West, getting a matching permanent bracelet with her best friend, Katie, meant that they'd never again have to worry about losing the object that reminds them of one another, West told Vox. "It's really special to have something that is so permanent. I mean, I know that it is able to come off if I need it to, but it's a nice reminder that she's there, and she has the same one," she explained.

On the other hand, some people get a permanent bracelet alone. As another woman, Courtney Taylor, told Vox, she did it to symbolize the work she put into bettering her relationship with herself after a painful breakup. "I'd done a lot of inner work and was finally beginning to rebuild my confidence and self-worth," she said. "[The bracelet is] a gentle adornment that I am wrapping around myself, holding me like the promise I made to hold myself."

Permanent bracelets are somewhat similar to tattoos — some people get them done because they have a significant, symbolic meaning, and others just like them for the aesthetic. When comparing her permanent bracelet to a tattoo, though, Karly Delatorre, a fan of permanent bracelets, told Vox, "The bracelet is far more sparkly than any tattoo and seems more timeless to me. I can picture myself getting tired of a tattoo on my wrist, but the sweet dainty chain matches everything and just makes me look more put-together."

How much does it cost to get a permanent bracelet?

The cost of a permanent bracelet varies depending on where you're getting it done and the specific jewelry that you choose to get welded. For example, according to Catbird's website, what they call a "forever bracelet" can cost anywhere from $98 to nearly $350 based on the actual design of the jewelry. The least expensive option, their Sweet Nothing bracelet, is a simple yellow gold linked chain. Their most expensive, on the other hand, is the Diamond Fizz Sparkler, which is, again, a simple linked chain, but it has a circular diamond mounted right in its center.

The prices are largely based on the quality of the jewelry itself. As Leigh Plessner from Catbird told The Zoe Report, "Our Forever Bracelets are all made from solid 14k gold, which is very low-fuss and won't turn stain your skin or lose its golden gleam."

Where can you get one?

Not every jewelry store offers the permanent bracelet experience, but stores like Catbird, Love Billy!, and Finn in New York City and HannahK in Los Angeles, California, have become well-known and even beloved for offering the trend to their customers. To get a permanent braclet at any of these locations, making an appointment first is a good idea. While Catbird accepts walk-ins, Chief Creative Officer Leigh Plessner told The Zoe Report that both of Catbird's New York locations (in Williamsburg and SoHo) have, on average, about 85 appointments a day.

Some jewelers, like Love Billy!, host pop-up events where customers can get permanent bracelets, so it may be helpful to follow these brands on social media for updates if you're interested. Other companies, like Angela Monaco, even offer customers the opportunity to host personal events where guests can get permanent bracelets at a private party. As the jeweler's website reads, "We'll host you and your group of four or more for special after-hours Lazer Links parties complete with bubbly and seltzer!"

Can permanent bracelets be removed? If so, how?

Yes, despite what their name infers, permanent bracelets actually can be removed — and customers don't even need any help from the professionals to do so! According to Catbird, a permanent bracelet can be taken off simply by cutting it with scissors. "We recommend carefully cutting it (ideally at the small ring that connects the two ends of the chain, to maintain the integrity of the chain)," the jeweler advises. And, get this, if it's removed properly, a permanent bracelet can actually be reattached by the jeweler for a fee. Catbird, for example, charges $10 (plus tax).

"The thing I like about these is that it's permanence with an easy opt-out option. A lot of times when we talk about permanence, we get overwhelmed with the idea of making a decision that we will later come to regret. This is something that you can put on and it will stay with you loyally until a time in which you prefer to not have it," jeweler Hannah Keefe of HannahK told Vox.

Why are most permanent bracelets gold?

If you're doing some research on permanent bracelets, you'll probably quickly notice that most, if not all, of them are gold. This is largely for two main reasons. Firstly, gold generally tends to be more durable and holds up much better than other popular metals. Silver, for example, is known to tarnish easily, which is definitely unwanted when it comes to a bracelet that may remain on your wrist for the rest of your life. The second reason most permanent bracelets are gold: Gold will virtually never set off a metal detector. This means you don't have to break your bracelet just to get through airport security, Vox reported.

However, we can't deny that this news is rather unfortunate for those of us who prefer silver jewelry to gold, but many permanent bracelet jewelers offer different varieties of gold — including a white gold that can mimic the look of silver.

Do permanent bracelets really last forever?

According to Love Billy!, permanent bracelets really can last a lifetime, just like their name suggests. "It's as permanent as a combination lock," the jeweler revealed on its website. "It's on there until you don't want it anymore." As such, it's extremely unlikely that a permanent bracelet will ever simply fall off your wrist.

Responding to a frequently asked question about what one would do if their bracelet were to fall off, the brand wrote, "We would ask, 'What the hell were you doing?' Then we would say, 'It's ok, bring it back and we'll put it back on.' The chain will stay on with normal wear. Everyone in our office is going on 2 years with theirs. Jewelry is jewelry, though."

Because these bracelets are permanent, some brands, like Catbird, allow you to accessorize your jewelry with charms like diamonds and stars. And, again, if you ever do get bored of your permanent bracelet or want to switch up your look, you can always take it off!

Is there any other permanent jewelry on the market?

Permanent jewelry is not exactly a new concept. As The Zoe Report explained, Ancient Egyptian culture is proof of this, as Pharaohs were almost always buried with jewelry in order to ensure that they would have it in the afterlife. Additionally, Cartier's very popular Love Bracelet is similar to what modern jewelers now refer to as permanent bracelets, as it can only be put on or taken off by using a screwdriver. 

Despite a wide variety of jewelry having been made essentially permanent over past centuries, most of the big names in permanent jewelry have stuck with only offering bracelets. Why? According to Catbird, their tests showed necklaces, chokers, and anklets just weren't the best options when it comes to welded jewelry. However, some jewelers, like Love Weld and Link x Lou, do offer other permanent jewelry options, like anklets, rings, and necklaces.

How old do you have to be to get a permanent bracelet?

Age requirements for permanent bracelets vary based on the individual jewelers offering the item, similar to many other aspects of the process. The general consensus seems to be that anyone who is 10 or older can get a permanent bracelet. However, according to Catbird's website, while 10-year-olds and younger can receive the bracelet, anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult in order to get a permanent bracelet.

Other jewelers have a lower age requirement. "With parental consent and accompaniment, we will weld anyone over the age of 3 years old," asserts Brave Daughters jewelry service. Nevertheless, those under 14 years old need to be accompanied by an adult, just as Catbird requires. Still other jewelers specify that anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in order to receive a permanent bracelet.