Permanent Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know About the Forever Accessory

Model wearing permanent gold bracelets from Catbird


Trends come and go, but timeless fashion is forever. If you're a jewelry aficionado looking to invest in a piece, you'll want to focus of CPW—or cost per wear—to really decide if it's worth your money. Permanent jewelry may be your best investment. The pieces are welded onto you, meaning they won't come off without some concerted effort and a pair of scissors.

New York's Catbird is home to the original Forever Bracelet, a slinky piece that is custom fit to your wrist via zapping. The process is a few quick zaps that welds the chain onto your wrist without a clasp, guaranteeing a perfect fit. The result? A no-maintenance custom piece of jewelry you'll wear and cherish forever. People have many reasons for purchasing a Forever Bracelet or a piece of permanent jewelry. It could strictly be for looks, or something sentimental between two friends. Many couples get zapped prior to their wedding together to signify the special occasion.

"For many years, we had been experimenting with the concept of permanent jewelry. Our in-house jewelers would solder chains in the studio using the 14k gold materials we had on hand. Once we acquired our first set of arc welders for the studio, we started to test the concept with 'one night only' events for customers," Catbird founder, Rony Vardi, tells Byrdie. "After a few record turnouts, we knew it was a service meant to be offered in the shops. We love the community it’s created—there’s countless photos we’re sent of sisters, daughters and moms, couples, and friends all commemorating something with the Forever Bracelet."

If you want to educate yourself on permanent jewelry, or are unfamiliar with the new and buzzworthy trend, we have you covered. Keep scrolling to read all about the jewelry, have your lingering questions answered, and a list of additional brands that offer the service.

What Is the Application Process Like?

"You’ll sit with one of Catbird’s trained in-house jewelers to review your chain and charm options. Our jeweler will then snip to size that speaks to you and custom fit it to your wrist at different lengths so that you can decided on the fit that is best for the look you’d like," Vardi shares. "Most of our customers will go for a slightly tighter fit as the 14k chain will very lightly stretch over time."

What Is "Zapping" and Does It Hurt?

"Zapping is Catbird’s method for creating our signature Forever Bracelet, a ritual to commemorate milestones and celebrate the small thrill of permanency," says Vardi. "We offer several signature 14k solid gold chains, help you custom fit it to your wrist, and zap it into a permanent, seamless loop."

The welding process is similar throughout brands that offer the service. The process itself is completely painless and only takes about a minute.

How Do You Remove It? What If It Breaks?

To remove your permanent bracelet, simply take a pair of scissors and snip it off. If it happens to break off, you can save the chain and get it re-Zapped at one of Catbird's shops.

Will the Jewelry Rust or Tarnish?

Ultimately, it will depend on where you get your jewelry and what materials they use. If you get your bracelet from Catbird, they guarantee that your bracelet will stay sparkly for as long as you keep it on.

"Because we work in 14k solid gold, you can truly sweat, sleep, swim and live life in your Forever Bracelet without worrying about fade and tarnish," says Vardi. "Essentially you wake up everyday to an unfussy but shimmering jewelry look built in."

How Much Does It Cost?

You will want to check ahead of time at the shop you plan on getting your jewelry to confirm prices. At Catbird, prices start at $98 for the Sweet Nothing chain and go up to $348 for the Lover's Chain. You can also add a diamond for an additional $118 and a star charm for an extra $48.

What Type of Jewelry Does Catbird Offer?

"Our Forever Bracelets are made with 100% recycled gold, and our wider Catbird line is made with over 95% recycled gold," shares Vardi. "It’s a sustainability benchmark we are so proud to have reached, after a lot of internal work to ensure that as we grow we maintain sourcing standards that meet our commitment to our people and the planet. More so, wearing a piece of solid gold that is made well means you are shopping consciously, choosing to buy that which lasts."

You can also add charms or ethical diamonds to your Forever Bracelet at an additional cost.

Other Permanent Jewelry Brands

Link x Lou: Link x Lou offers custom-sized permanent welded necklaces, bracelets, anklets, or rings. Additionally, each month the brand donates a portion of sales to local organizations.

Astrid & Miyu: Beloved brand Astrid & Miyu recently launched four solid gold seamless welded bracelets available in 9ct white and yellow Gold.

Marisa Mason: Marisa Mason offers either a permanent bracelet or anklet. For a fun addition, you can add a vintage or contemporary charm to your custom piece. Chain prices are between $22 and $50 per inch while charms start around $30.

Love Weld: Love Weld describes its concept as a "sophisticated 14k gold friendship bracelet." Visit one of their many locations in Texas, New York, New Mexico, or Colorado.

The Alkemistry: The Alkemistry London offers three gold hues to choose from: Yellow, white or rose. The brand also donates five pounds from every permanent jewelry sale to the charity Women for Women.

Related Stories