Last week I decided to treat myself to a piece of permanent jewellery — a pretty reward from me, to me, for powering through a challenging year.
I’d heard a lot about the Soldered experience from Australian jewellery label Sarah & Sebastian, mostly that appointments were difficult to nab and were seldom available for how popular the service is becoming among jewellery obsessives.
So when I found a miracle appointment free for the following day, I booked without hesitation.
What is permanent jewellery?
Though still a fairly rare offering, permanent jewellery refers to pieces with permanence that are welded or soldered onto your person. Permanent jewellery will have no clasps for removal, and would require the wearer to cut their piece should they wish to have it taken off.
Permanent jewellery is typically made from durable materials like yellow gold or white gold to ensure it won’t tarnish or dull over time in the ocean, shower or during daily wear.
The pros and cons of permanent jewellery
Having a piece of jewellery welded onto your person is a special and sentimental experience. Many choose to undergo a soldering experience for friendship bracelets or with a partner, while others will fly solo (like I did).
The piece never comes off, meaning you’re unlikely to ever lose it, plus it’s a really nice way to mark a special moment in your life and be reminded of this every time you look down at it.
As for the cons, I can foresee someone growing tired of their permanent jewellery could seek to have it removed after a while, particularly if a relationship has soured between them and the person they got it with.
There is also a chance that someone would have to cut off their bracelet should their hand or wrist swell in injury, pregnancy, or with weight fluctuation.
Where to get permanent jewellery
Australians can undergo a Soldered experience at the Sarah & Sebastian store in Mosman on Sydney’s North Shore. The label has previously done pop-ups in locations like Brisbane and Melbourne, but the Mosman store is currently the only store location offering the experience permanently.
Sarah & Sebastian offers Soldered appointments on Thursdays and Sundays. The label releases appointment slots at the start of every month, with a fresh set of appointments going live today. Those interested will need to move quick, as the slots are often snatched up fast.
The price of your Soldered piece will vary depending on the chain you choose. The most affordable of chains costs $160 for a simple fine chain, while the most expensive of chains with three white diamonds will set you back $400.
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My Soldered experience
I arrived at my Soldered appointment five minutes early. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the store requires you to sign in, apply hand sanitiser, pop on a mask, and fill out some quick paperwork.
During a short consult with the jeweller, I chose my 10k chain, of which there are four styles to choose from: A plain fine chain, diamond chain, Figaro link chain, or the bold link chain (my choice).
The jeweller (also wearing protective gear), fit the chain to my wrist perfectly before applying a miniature ring and soldering the piece on using a tiny blowtorch. A protective mat is worn on the wrist to shield the wearer’s skin from the heat.
Next, the jeweller tests the durability of the bracelet with a few strong tugs before polishing the piece. The whole process takes around 10 minutes, though I’ll now wear my special bracelet for life.