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Trying on earrings for pierced ears


#1

Under the heading “Price tags?”, which was mainlt about another
topic, Cynthia mentioned:

      You know, there are individually wrapped alcohol wipes that
come in a box - sell for under $2 at a drug store.  Very quick and
neat and I just let the customer do the cleaning of the earring post
before  trying them on - and I'll double clean it myself before
returning it to the case. 

I was interested to read that. Am I correct in my assumption that
these are for pierced ears? Most, maybe all, shops here in the UK
will not allow customers to try these on. You can hold them up
against your ear, but not insert the posts. They don’t allow returns
if you change your mind after buying either. I don’t know if this is
a legal thing or they are just avoiding possible problems. Shops here
selling body jewellery (yes, ears are part of the body, but things
like navel studs are what I mean) usually have a sign saying that they
don’t accept returns by law. I was wondering, is it usual in
N.America for customers to be able to actually try them on? What
happens elsewhere?

Kevin

#2
 I was wondering, is it usual in N.America for customers to be able
to actually try them on?  What happens elsewhere? 

Kevin

It’s not that usual . I’m not sure in which states it applies, but
there are health ordinances against trying pierced earrings on. I was
under the assumption that New York was one of them.

RW


#3

I, for one, would never want to try on pierced earrings, I wouldn’t
even want to borrow a pair from my best friend. I cannot think of
anyplace I have ever run into the practice.

A somewhat related question. I have a flyer from a body piercing
shop… I understand ear, navel, nipple, cartilage, etc., but what
are Industrial, Labret, Monroe and Madison piercings?

Donna Marie


#4

Hello Kevin - Yes, I was referring to trying on pierced earrings. When
I started selling to the public almost six years ago, I questioned the
safety of trying on pierced earrings. Personally, I did not look into
the laws here (in Honolulu) - but, merely called several high end
jewelry stores locally about their policy and also asked a relative
who is a nurse. The reputable high end jewelry stores that I
contacted all used alcohol and allowed the trying on of pierced
earrings. I went no further with my research. It seemed that for my
purposes, the disposable alcohol wipes were a very sanitary and
manageable solution.

However, I agree that this is a good topic for evaluation. It is very
interesting that the policy (law?) is so strict in the UK - perhaps we
are too lax in America? Hopefully, someone with better knowledge about
the medical implications or the laws could step forward. I will now
bow out of the discussion - but am very interested in the feedback -
good question. Thanks ahead. Cynthia


#5

Kevin,

The organization that puts on the shows I go to are great about
relaying the applicable laws of the state we are showing in (examples
fire codes and sales tax considerations). I know that there are some
states with laws prohibiting the trying of earrings, however it is
not common here. I will check the organization who puts on our shows
to make sure that they are aware of the concern and see what their
reaction is.

Larry Seiger


#6
  I have a flyer from a body piercing shop... I understand ear,
navel, nipple, cartilage, etc., but what are Industrial, Labret,
Monroe and Madison piercings?  

I asked the same question of my neighbor’s teenage son (the one
with 4 earrings ). He looked at me for a minute and said
"…ummm’…I don’t think you wanna know." Whether the generation gap
or the gender gap is at work here, I can’t tell…but if anyone out
there can identify what is getting pierced, let us know so we can
design appropriate adornment for it (may I snicker?) Dee


#7

There seem to be a lot of queasy jewelers out there. As long as the
piercing has fully healed and the customer is not subject to
infections in their holes, what is the real problem here if they are
wiped off with alcohol, or the equivalent, each time. Please remember
that after the piercing is fully healed it is not much different from
any area of outer skin. Do you clean each ring after a customer tries
them on? Let’s not forget where all those customer’s hands have been,
but I doubt anyone cleans each ring tried on in alcohol.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
@spirersomes
http://www.spirersomes.com


#8

all - “should customers be allowed to try on earrings before forking
over payment … stay tuned”:

frankly, i would have difficulty convincing a female customer to pay
$100 & more for a pair of my earrings if she couldn’t try them on to
check the weight, hang, size against face, etc., therefore, as soon as
a customer picks up a pair of earrings i pick up one of the little
packets of alcohol wipes already mentioned & clean them right before
her appreciative eyes - this solves the problem in an obvious &
satisfactory manner. of course, i also tell a customer with dicey
looking lobes that “trying on earrings would cause irritation” -
without telling her the irritation would be mine! ive


#9
I, for one, would never want to try on pierced earrings...

Just for the flip side: I, for one, would never buy a pair of
earrings without trying them on. I sold antique jewellery for several
years–when a customer is putting that amount of money into truly
eye-catching pieces, pieces which one would never dream of 'altering’
to make them sit or suit better, I feel (s)he must have the right to
try them on if (s)he chooses. I always provided alcohol wipes and a
mirror with good lighting. I also always offered to try pieces on
myself, which many found very helpful for visualisation, regardless of
whether they were purchasing for themselves or for another. This was
good customer service. Imagine how disappointing to return home with
a mortgage’s worth of exquisite craftmanship only to find that they
droop on your floppy earlobes, or sit too low in relation to your
features. (I am writing from Canada, by the way. We’re less
hypervigilant Re: some things, b/c we’re not such a litigious culture.
[yet?])

Would someone please hurry up and answer Donna’s intriguing
bodypiercing questions?

Andy


#10

It is the state, county and city which have authority and enforcement
powers in all issues of health and safety for customers. It is not the
roll of any federal agency to address this issue.

OSHA’s purpose is to protect employers from damage awards to their
workers. The word ‘occupational’ is the operative one.

Jeannie


#11

Jeez, of those mentioned the only one I know is Labret - under the
bottom lip. I can only guess at the other ones! I must be getting
to be middle-aged. --Arts


#12

I’ve got the answers. Serious Squick alert! If you have a weak
stomach, you REALLY don’t want to know.

Industrial

Labret
http://www.themodernprimitive.com/piercing/barry/images/labrets.jpg

Monroe (also called a madonna)
http://www.bme.freeq.com/pierce/biglist/madonna.jpg

Madison
http://www.bme.freeq.com/pierce/11-surface/A00626/high/eizo04.jpg


#13

Dear Kevin, It is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania to try on
pierced earrings. I don’t let anyone try on earrings in my shop. I
think it is a good idea before wearing any earring that you purchase
to clean it with alcohol, this way you know for sure that if someone
tried it on it is clean for you.

Roxan O’Brien


#14

Ouch! Eek!

Having said that, I’m fascinated with the extreme, so I had to go
find out what those piercing terms meant. Short definitions follow. You
can find out lots more at
http://bme.freeq.com/pierce/biglist/index.html.

Industrial: Multi-pierced ear using a single piece of jewelry,
creating an industrial scaffold Labret: Lower lip piercing Madison:
Surface piercing at the base of the neck, in front Monroe (also known
as a madonna): An off-center top lip labret

For possibly more than you wanted to know about the topic of body
piercings, go to: http://bme.freeq.com/pierce/biglist/index.html

Christine


#15
      I have a flyer from a body piercing shop... I understand ear,
navel, nipple, cartilage, etc., but what are Industrial, Labret,
Monroe and Madison piercings? 

Okay, curiosity got the better of me and I had to surf the net to
find out about the above piercing. I found a site that was a little
too informative. It turns out that these are pretty tame piercing
compared to the others that can viewed on the site that I found
(definitely not for the faint of heart!). An Industrial is a rod that
extends from the top to the bottom of the ear cartilage. A Labret is
a piercing in the dimple of the chin (not too far below the lower
lip). A Monroe is a piercing that resembles Marilyn Monroe’s beauty
mark. A Madison is a piercing at the base of the neck in the
indentation between the clavicles. For those wanting to view for
themselves, the web address is www.bme.freeq.com .

Rochelle Zanini


#16

Alcohol is pretty much useless as an agent of sterilization. You can
grow nasty little things in it, as the entirety of the medical world
will attest.

Any store that uses those little alcohol wipes does so out of
well-meaning ignorance, or, they are pulling off a little showmanship
designed to suggest their customers health is protected.

I agree with Peter Rowe. Hands are indeed dirtier than the peirced
ear holes. Unless there is an infection, they pose no more risk with
than clip earrings - both of which are cleaner than the faucet handles
in any public restroom.

Bleach, the best antiseptic, will discolor silver, (I don’t know about
gold) and could do harm to stone colors and epoxies.

So what to do? Relax, and if you must, put them in an ultrasconic
with good amonia, or by hand, with soap and water, sprayed off with a
steamer, or, just forget it. If your customers seem to have an ear
problem, do what you feel is right…

Jeannie


#17

What about using hydrogen peroxide or even a colloidal silver
solution? 3% H2O2 or 3% silver should not hurt the stones or the
metals and should disinfect thoroughly. I have mixed H2O2 and cleaning
solution in my ultrasonic for years for heavily encrusted estate gold
and silver jewelry, and have soaked opals and emeralds in it, all with
no adverse effects. And nothing grows in a silver solution.

Jim Marotti
Lancaster, TN


#18

Hi! I’m in New York and I believe that both here and Pennsylvania
there is an ordinance by the Health Department that prohibits trying
and returning pierced ear earrings and body jewelry. Personally I
just think it is common sense not to try them on (I would not try
them on if shopping) and I do not allow customers to do so.

Good luck, Vera

PS: I have surgical background and alcohol is NOT a sterilization
method. It is used to clean surfaces from debris, but that is it.


#19
A somewhat related question.  I have a flyer from a body piercing
shop... I understand ear, navel, nipple, cartilage, etc., but what
are Industrial, Labret, Monroe and Madison piercings? 

I had no idea what “Industrial” is, so I had to look this one up.

Industrial is piercing from the top of the ear out to the outer edge.
It goes in and out of the ear. (in the upper cartilage area.)

Labret is piercing the area under the lower lip

Monroe is the upper lip (had to look this one up, as well.) (I’ve
only seen them offcenter, like a beauty mark)

Madison is the hollow at the base of the throat. (This is considered
one of the “extreme” piercings.)

Kat


#20
Alcohol is pretty much useless as an agent of sterilization.  You can
grow nasty little things in it, as the entirety of the medical world
will attest. 

G’day; I would like to know from whence came this I can’t
quite go along with that. I would guarantee that nothing at all can
live in ethyl alcohol 90% concentration or above. I don’t think it
very likely that even 60% alcohol would allow life for more than af ew
seconds.

I don’t know much about the alcohol wipes, but a piece of fresh paper
tissue well moistened with full strength alcohol - or even methylated
spirit - straight from the bottle, then used to clean earring wires
and posts would be a safe bet.

Another safe sterilent, is sodium or potassium meta bisulphITE I
habitually use 1 - 2% sodium meta bisulphite (NOT bisulphATE) for
sterilizing my well rinsed bottles preparatory to refilling with
homebrew. That is what most homebrewers use too.

I just now placed a piece of cleaned sterling silver in a 2% solution
of sodium meta bisulphite, and after 5 minutes, found it was
untarnished and unmarked. I couldn’t test it for bacteria, as I no
longer have the appropriate equipment or culture media, but I am
pretty sure it was clear of bacterial contamination too.

Whilst I’m at it, furthermore, watercress taken from a stream is
almost invariably contaminated with bugs of various types and should
be placed in a plastic lidded box, the box at least a quarter filled
with sodium bisulphITE, shaken well, left for 5 minutes, then the wash
the cress well under the tap. Delicious! - And safe.

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ