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A Deep Dive Into Tether Materials and Finishes

Posted by Phoebe Dowling on

We receive a number of questions from day to day regarding the materials we use. That’s why we wanted to give you the scoop on Tether’s materials and plating for clickers and Modern Hoops, two of our most popular product categories. Tether uses a variety of high-quality plating processes and materials to ensure our jewelry stays beautiful and safe for as long as possible under real-life circumstances.

One of the most common types of plating for jewelry is electroplating, which is essentially the electrolytic transfer of positively charged ions belonging to the plating metal onto the surface of the negatively charged base material via a liquid salt solution. Electroplating has the potential to produce hazardous waste as a result of the required chemicals and their reactions, which is why we go to great lengths to ensure that all of the strictest environmental and safety guidelines are followed during our manufacturing processes. We use electroplating for many of our Modern Hoop styles, which are cast in high quality brass or 316L stainless steel. Gold and Rose Modern Hoops are electroplated using 18 karat yellow or rose gold. Because an electroplated finish is a bit more delicate, we recommend to keep your Modern Hoops out of water (don’t shower or swim with them) and to avoid leaving them unprotected in a humid environment such as the bathroom.

A clicker worn in a septum or helix piercing is more likely to be worn for longer periods of time and in more potentially reactive environments than a pair of earrings might. For this reason, we wanted to bridge the gaps between beauty, longevity, safety, and durability for the design and materials for our clickers. 

Our Obsidian, Gold, and Rose colors for clickers are achieved through high quality physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes, which take place in a vacuum chamber, and essentially blast one metal onto another base metal using high heat, electricity, and gases to bond them together. Since this process takes place in a vacuum, produces no hazardous waste or chemical byproduct when performed properly, and requires no liquid bath, it is dramatically safer for technicians to perform and for the environment at large. Physical vapor deposition yields a much longer lasting and more stable color surface than electroplating, which helps keep the finish looking good as new for years to come. Additionally, all of our clickers can be safely sterilized in an autoclave.

For more care and materials info, check out our FAQ or shoot us an email if you have specific questions.

To health and sustainability!


18K electroplating environmentally friendly frequently asked questions gold health and safety ion plating Jewelry science materials physical vapor deposition PVD Stainless steel

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