If TikTok has already tempted you to try some wild trends (see: Chia Pet home decor or Y2K-style hair gems), then the world of permanent jewelry will come as no shocker. And if you’re really in the know, you’ll recall when the pieces first gained traction last summer after editors and stylish New Yorkers alike fell in love with Brooklyn-based jewelry brand Catbird.
Since then, permanent jewelry has made its way onto the wrists of stylish celebs like Jessica Alba, Meghan Markle, Jasmine Tookes, Emma Watson, Rashida Jones, and virtually every fashion editor in the game. So it’s no surprise welded bracelets have become one of the hottest jewelry trends of 2022.
Recently, the trend has taken off online, with best friends looking for a trendy way to declare their dedication to each other — and, often, film a cute TikTok in the process. My bestie and I have matching tattoos of a taco, but perhaps permanent jewelry is a bit more reasonable for most.
In particular, welded bracelets seem to be favored over rings, necklaces, and other pieces (all of which you can also shop). You can find simple or statement-making varieties at a myriad of locations, like Catbird, Astrid & Miyu, and more.
If a long-term commitment to minimalist jewelry has your interest piqued, here’s everything you need to know about welded bracelets, including where to get one for yourself.
What Are Welded Bracelets?
Permanent jewelry is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Rather than attaching a bracelet using a traditional clasp, welded bracelets are affixed using a welding tool so that they cannot be taken off. This makes the bracelet permanent and eliminates the annoying maneuver of trying to clasp your own bracelet with just one hand (a nearly impossible task if you live alone).
You can’t just weld on any cute bracelet, though. Stores that offer permanent jewelry have a selection of options online or on-site that are welding-friendly. The most popular styles are delicate, single-chain bracelets, but you can opt for chunkier styles or add charms for a more personalized look. Most brands offer styles in 14k gold to prevent skin irritation and tarnishing.
Catbird describes the process of welding on permanent jewelry as getting “zapped,” but don’t let the verbiage scare you. Unlike getting a tattoo, it’s a pain-free process. After you’ve made your selects — including the material and chain design — your wrist will be measured to ensure the best fit. A jeweler will then weld the bracelet shut using a small jewelry welder, often placing a protective material between your wrist and the bracelet to prevent any skin contact during the process. Overall, it’s a quick and easy.
If you do end up wanting to remove the bracelet, you can remove your seamless piece with a pair of scissors, according to Astrid & Miyu. You won’t be able to reattach the bracelet without going to a jeweler. Still, they can last as long as you want them to, and you can even add (or remove) charms later on to switch things up.
Where Can I Get A Welded Bracelet?
Not all jewelers offer welded bracelets, but given the rise in demand for permanent jewelry, more and more trendy retailers are offering the service. Below, check out a few of the most popular jewelry brands you can look into for a piece that’ll last a lifetime.
Catbird’s signature Forever Bracelets start at $98, with nine chain styles and the option to add diamonds or charms. The Forever Bracelet comes in yellow, white, and rose 14k gold options, and you can get zapped at one of the two locations in New York City.
Astrid & Miyu originally launched in London, and they’ve since grown to boast eight locations in London, one in Manchester, and a new location in New York City. They have four permanent bracelet styles to choose from, all available in white or yellow 9k gold and starting at £120.
Loveweld is known for its variety of welded bracelet, anklet, necklace and ring options, with bracelets in white and yellow 14k gold starting at $100. The brand has five locations in Texas (two are located in Austin), one in New York City, Denver, and Albuquerque.
Marisa Mason is a small business with two California locations (one in Oakland, and one in Santa Barbara) offering both white and yellow 14k gold welded bracelets, with the option to add gems and charms. They price their bracelets by inch, at anywhere between $22 and $50 per inch.
LINK X LOU has locations in 24 states, from Arizona to Wisconsin, so if you can’t pop over to New York City on a moment’s notice, they may be your best bet for a permanent jewelry appointment. They offer welded bracelets, anklets, necklaces, and rings, in both white and yellow 14k gold.