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Chain Reaction – Permanent Jewelry is Trendy Chic in Austin

An inside guide on everything to know about this dazzling and dainty style sensation

(photo courtesy of Amanda Deer Jewelry)

Parisians, darling, are years ahead in fashion. The permanent jewelry trend is said to have been born somewhere in the heart of the French capital. Whether that’s true, whether anyone cares, is beside the point. Let’s start at the top. Let’s dispel myths.

The first myth: Permanent jewelry fuses to your skin and bones. Wrong! What’s right? A little dainty piece of gold you just can’t take off. It’s welded to itself around your wrist, fingers, ankle, neck – whatever you like. 

Tight enough not to come off but loose enough not to be constricting, the trend is catching fire, or already has, depending on who you ask. Kendra Scott invited shoppers to “Get sparked!” just last month, the latest Austin jeweler to get in on the permanent jewelry action. Love Weld’s founder, Sarah Sides, proudly proclaims herself the first to have offered what she calls “Forever Bound Jewelry” here in Austin. She may have led the local welding parade in 2020, but Amanda Deer, Lisa Crowder, Nina Berenato, and Eliza Page each joined the party soon after. They call their take “Infinity Bracelets,” “Spare Finery,” “Get zapped!” and “Endless bracelets,” respectively. 

(photo courtesy of Kendra Scott)

Myth number two: Permanent jewelry is for women only. Obviously wrong! It need be none so dainty, either. Though most chains are delicate pieces of bijou, a chunkier side exists. Inside the Neighborhood Goods location of Love Weld, on the ritzy end of South Congress, we met a gregarious welder named Michaela. She explained how women often choose wispy chains in solid gold – Love Weld deals exclusively solid gold – but men keen on bulky metals choose from their new Be Bold collection. Similarly, metalworker Lisa Crowder shared a photo of a group modeling shiny wrist adornments. One particularly hairy wrist was in frame. A family came by for the patriarch’s birthday, she explained, and each one chose slinky bling from her shop. 

(photo courtesy of Amanda Deer Jewelry)


Amanda Deer designed a lightning bolt necklace worn by Storm in 2017’s Dark Phoenix, but permanent jewelry is a handy entry point for those unfamiliar with her stunning line. Ditto for Lisa Crowder, who returns to ACL with her permanent jewelry this year. Even Nina Berenato decided to offer a distinct deviation from her usual style with chains being the only non-plated work found in her bijouterie of otherwise exclusively gold-plated regalia. Berenato designed for Beyonce and other mega stars, and the gold-plated charms she offers make a unique calling card on a style otherwise quite different from the pieces she normally sells. 

“We’re just here to facilitate,” said Michaela, pointing out that customers get creative. Mixed metals are having a day in the sun. That’s not just wearing a gold and a silver bracelet at the same time (gasp!), but joining white and yellow gold in the same chain. 

Add-ons like charms and gems heap on the sparkle. Inside Amanda Deer’s gorgeous shop tucked in the corner of a 100-year-old stone building on East Fifth, the charms were birthstones, diamonds, and initials glinting in a showroom of Deer’s beautiful fashion collection all around us. 

(photo courtesy of Love Weld)

And sure, you may play right into the hands of marketers by deciding on permanent jewelry as a fitting commemoration for a birthday, anniversary, or other milestone. Bring a best friend or loved one, prompt the advertisements. These are all great reasons to engage in behaviors with such long term consequences. Just make an appointment ahead of time to prevent a clash with a bachelorette party or birthday celebrants. More than one jeweler we stopped into already had people at their welding table when we visited. 

Not to be outdone, Love Weld also offers not just extra bling, but a permanent tennis bracelet of round cut diamonds in sleek bezel settings. The chain is versatile enough to work as a ring, too, if sized for your finger. 

Choose your favorite metal with each jeweler. Look for solid gold in white, yellow, or rose at Love+Weld and Eliza Page, and find solid yellow gold at Amanda Deer, Lisa Crowder, and Kendra Scott. Gold fill is also available at Amanda Deer, Lisa Crowder, and Nina Berenato, and sterling silver is available at Amanda Deer and Lisa Crowder. 

(photo courtesy of Amanda Deer Jewelry)

Wear and Tear

Expect sparks to fly, as Kendra Scott suggested. Welding creates a flash of light during the brief, painless process of joining the ends of an adornment. You’ll pick your chain and have it measured first, of course. 

A former welder for New York City’s permanent jewelry trend leader, Catbird, told us that permanent jewelry inevitably stretches. Lisa Crowder confirmed. You may see some give with extended wear. You can also cut your permanent jewelry off if you need to, and many shops will even re-weld for a small fee. 


(photo courtesy of Love Weld)


(photo courtesy of Lisa Crowder)


gold bracelets (photo courtesy of Lisa Crowder)


permanent jewelry process (photo courtesy of Lisa Crowder)


ring and bracelets (photo courtesy of Lisa Crowder)

Otherwise, permanent jewelry should stay on and generally not tarnish in the case of gold and gold fill. As for silver, Crowder advised us that plenty depends on the wearer’s body chemistry. Your personal PH levels will dictate the way silver wears on your own skin according to the jeweler, but you can shine up your precious metals with a polishing cloth. 

Michaela at Love Weld told us a woman from Europe came in claiming her permanent bracelet lasted 20 years. Tres mignon. 

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