Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How To Change A Captured Bead Ring

Here's a question I got recently on how best to change out a captured bead ring from a nose piercing. This style of jewelry works the same no matter what the type of piercing it's in, so really, this tutorial will work for any piercing with this type of ring.

"Hey...glad to find you here, we've got a question! My daughter has had her nose pierced for about 2 years. She has been wear nostril screws or L-bars but just a few days ago, she had her piercer put in a ring. It turns out she needs to be able to take the ring out for her job. In as much detail as possible, can you tell us how we should be doing this. It doesn't seem to come out very easily at all. The opening where the ball was doesn't allow enough space to get it off/out of her nose."

My answer:

You are correct the ring doesn't leave much room, but that's because that's the position it needs to be in to hold the ball. Captured bead rings get put in and out by bending the ring open. HOWEVER, make sure you do NOT bend the ring open by pulling the two ends away from each other so that the ring deforms into a U-shape! Or in other words, don't move the ends <-- [bead space] -->. You want to bend the ends away from each other in what I'd call north and south directions, so that the ring circle starts to have a bit of a spiral shape. This will make a much larger opening but not stress the metal as much. It also lets you line up the ends properly again to put the jewelry back in later.

There are two types of tools that can make dealing with captured bead rings easier. One is called ring spreaders, and these work opposite conventional pliers in that they open their jaws wider as you squeeze closed on the handles. These let you open the ring just the barest amount to capture or release the tightly-gripped bead. The other helpful tool is called O-ring pliers and they have curved tongs at the ends. These are use for reshaping and closing body rings into smooth circles. A perfectly round circle is more aesthetic and comfortable to wear.

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