Ready to be welded?
Style-conscious jewelry lovers are smitten with “permanent” jewelry—pieces meant to lock on the body (like Cartier’s Love bracelet) or be soldered-on, making them 24-7 accessories that can’t be removed without at least a little effort.
Jewelry stores such as Brooklyn’s Catbird and jewelry brands including Aurelie Gi offer welded bracelets, and Tiffany & Co, recently debuted its answer to the Cartier bracelet (which famously has a lock and key): The Tiffany Lock collection (see above), which comprises four all-gender bracelets in 18k yellow and rose gold that feature a swiveling mechanism that helps it come on and off—a re-envisioning of the brand’s iconic padlock.
“The permanent jewelry trend actually started before the pandemic, but it really took off once people started returning to the ‘real world,’” says Winifred Gundeck, owner of Love Linked x Winifred Grace in Chicago, which added a permanent jewelry service early last year (each bracelet can be customized with charms and links that include diamonds, hearts, evil eyes, animals, plants, initials, and birthstones).
“During lockdown…folks had time to ponder what’s important to them. Some relationships failed, and those that survived grew even stronger. For many these bracelets have been the perfect way to celebrate that.” She adds that there’s also a cool factor to permanent jewelry, noting, “There are many who just really love the look and feel of a dainty chain bracelet that’s not weighed down by a clasp.”
Jewelry brand Aurelie Gi offers retailers a veritable catalog of options to offer their clients permanent jewelry styles via its new For Keeps collection of chain bracelets and, soon, anklets (the brand recommends picking up an Orion mPulse 30 Pulse-Arc welder to do the soldering).
Alisa Bunger, U.S. VP of sales and operations, says, “Our customization options make the pieces truly yours, something to remind you of a specific person or a special moment every day. While the jewelry can be removed, it’s a different level of commitment than with typical jewelry with clasps—we like to think of the For Keeps designs as next-level friendship bracelets.”
Jordan Louis, founder and CEO of LINK x LOU, a jewelry company that guides shoppers to a nation-wide matrix of 60 “linkers” (jewelers who do soldering of permanent jewelry) so they can get chain bracelets soldered on, says consumers love the ease of clasp-free jewelry, noting that it “eliminates the time and effort of having to take your pieces on and off, making walking out the door, going to bed, getting ready, working out—basically all of your daily habits—hassle-free.”
Offering 14k white and yellow gold chains in varying sizes that range from small to large, LINK x LOU also partners with local businesses to offer pop-up shops and private parties. “We’re an experience-based brand built on connection and sentiment, creating memorable pieces for individuals that are meant to stand the test of time,” says Louis.
Whether a permanent jewelry piece is for the buyer or meant to be a shared experience (you get one, I get one), brands are finding success marketing the twin concepts of connection and permanence. In the COVID-19 era, that makes perfect sense. As does the fact that global brands are looking to capitalize on the trend.
Alexandre Arnault, Tiffany & Co’s executive vice president of product and communication says the Tiffany Lock collection “is an elegant interpretation of an archival functional design. Defined by modern, clean lines and a breakthrough clasp mechanism, Tiffany Lock represents an exciting new pillar to our diamond and gold jewelry offering.”
It’s also the most intimate-feeling design Tiffany’s issue in years—and just in time. —Rakhee Bhatt
Top photo: Bracelets in Tiffany & Co.’s Locked collection (courtesy of Tiffany & Co.)