Everything You Need to Know About Removing Permanent Jewelry

Permanent jewelry, by its name, is intended to be a lifelong adornment that remains on your wrist, ankle, neck, or finger. Often, it symbolizes a commitment to a significant other. However, the term 'permanent' should not be taken literally in this context. While permanent jewelry is welded securely around your limbs, making it more challenging to remove than pieces with clasps, the removal process is actually straightforward and quick, typically taking only a few minutes. In this article, we outline the recommended removal process as advised by our founder, Brittany Renbarger.

The Short Answer

How to Remove Permanent Jewelry

Remove permanent jewelry by locating and cutting the jump ring that connects the piece’s two ends. You can use a pair of scissors, wire cutters, or nail clippers to achieve the cut. Be sure to specifically cut the jump ring as doing so enables you to have the permanent piece rewelded in the future. Of course, be careful not to cut yourself by snipping the jumpring from overtop.

The Long Answer

Removing permanent jewelry need not be complicated; the short answer above suffices. However, for those seeking detailed instructions, please see the comprehensive guide below, curated by our founder Brittany Renbarger.

Note: Step 1 is particularly crucial, as it might determine whether removal is necessary at all.

1. Consider if Removal is Necessary

If you are determined to remove the jewelry due to changes in personal style, you may skip this step including the very last step. However, if you are undecided, consider the following scenarios where removal might be necessary or unnecessary:

When Removal is Necessary

  • Allergic Reactions: If you experience sensitivity to the metal, causing irritation, redness, and swelling, removal is advisable. Learn more about the safety of permanent jewelry here.
  • Breakups: If the jewelry symbolized a past relationship and no longer holds that value, consider having it removed.
  • MRI or Surgery: Remove all jewelry, including permanent pieces, prior to an MRI or surgery to avoid complications with imaging or surgical procedures.
  • Significant Damage: If the jewelry is significantly damaged, removal might be necessary for replacement or repair.
  • Work Policies: Some workplaces, such as healthcare or manufacturing, prohibit jewelry. Confirm with your employer if removal is required.
  • When Removal is Not Necessary

  • Airplane Travel: Modern security systems at airports are designed to handle small amounts of metal in jewelry. Rest assured when you reach the TSA.
  • Readjustment: If the jewelry is too tight or too loose, rather than removing it, consider having it readjusted by a professional jeweler. Discover how tight permanent jewelry should be here.
  • Routine Medical Examinations: Except for MRIs and surgeries, removal is generally not necessary for other medical tests.
  • 2. Identify a Removal Tool

    Below are the recommended tools for removal, along with tools to avoid. It’s best to apply common sense here, utilizing what’s immediately available to you (if listed).

    Appropriate Tools

  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutters
  • Nail Clippers
  • Cutting Pliers

  • Of those 'appropriate' tools listed above, the most precision can be achieved with a pair of wire cutters or cutting pliers. Nevertheless, the actual action of removal will be consistent regardless of the tool used.

    Tools to Avoid

  • Knives
  • Lighters or Torches
  • Chemicals
  • Saws

  • Again, just apply common sense in regards to the device you use to remove your permanent piece. It goes without saying, but all the tools listed to avoid pose risk of bodily harm in the case of any minor slip-up.

    Professional Removal

    If you're not comfortable with self-removal, or if it's simply more convenient for a professional to take care of this for you, then that’s an option you can consider. Specifically, you can contact the provider who welded your permanent jewelry in the first place to see if they also offer removal. Typically, they will possess professional tools crafted for jewelry work (and removal).

    3. Locate the Jump Ring

    Under the assumption that your intention is to have the permanent piece rewelded in the future, it is paramount to locate the jump ring, which you will be cutting in the next step. The jump ring is where the two ends of the permanent piece are welded together. In other words, it’s the link that secures the permanent bracelet, anklet, or necklace around your wrist, ankle, or neck. This is precisely why it’s so paramount to locate. If you remove your permanent piece by cutting another link, it will be much more difficult to reattach in the future and may damage the integrity and appearance of the jewelry.

    Generally, the jump ring will be a circular link that’s larger in scale than the rest of the permanent piece’s links. However, this is not always the case, as jump rings can also blend in seamlessly with the rest of the piece’s links. Furthermore, the jump ring can be minute in scale, which can also make its identification hard.

    If you find yourself struggling to identify the jump ring due to the aforementioned factors, then you may find the tips below helpful:

  • Feel for a Slight Bump: Run your fingers gently along the length of the bracelet. The jump ring might feel slightly different in texture or may have a small bump where it connects.
  • Look for a Slight Color Difference: Sometimes the jump ring may have a slightly different color or shine compared to the rest of the bracelet.
  • Use a Magnifying Glass: If the jump ring is very small, using a magnifying glass can help you see the tiny details more clearly.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you’re still unable to locate the jump ring, consider visiting a jeweler. They have the tools and expertise to identify it without damaging the bracelet.

  • Tip: If the jump ring is not obvious on your permanent piece, you can try marking it with a permanent marker so that you don’t lose sight of it. Alternatively, you can take a photo to show where the jump ring is in relation to the rest of the piece.

    4. Snip the Jump Ring

    Once you have located the jump ring, removal can begin using your tool of choice. No matter your tool choice, the following rule applies: apply precision. Better put, you want to exercise caution in snipping or cutting the jump ring to minimize the risk of puncturing yourself. Not to mention, if the jump ring is particularly small, this will require you to be precise.

    Apply your tool to the ring and begin to cut. It’s that simple. Keep in mind that a single cut may not be sufficient in disconnecting the jump ring. Rather, it may take a series of cuts, which reiterates the point to be precise and patient. Eventually, the jump ring will be removed.

    Something else to consider is the material of your permanent piece itself. As it turns out, certain materials may be harder to cut through than others. For example, when considering the pieces we sell at PinkTag, 14k gold-filled pieces are typically harder than sterling silver due to the core material they are bonded with (often brass or another base metal), which might require slightly more effort to cut through.

    Another Tip: If you have an extra person at your disposal, it’s wise to seek their help. Specifically, they can help by raising the permanent jewelry to create an extended gap between the piece and your skin. Simply, this person can place two fingers underneath the piece, form a ‘V’ with their fingers so that the jump ring is somewhere near the middle, and then raise their two fingers upwards.

    5. Securely Store the Permanent Piece

    Once the permanent piece has been removed, and considering that you will have it rewelded in the future, we recommend storing the piece in a plastic baggy or ziplock bag. Really, just store the piece where it won’t accrue any damage and where you won’t forget about it.

    Permanent Jewelry Removal: Step-by-Step Summary

  • Determine if Removal is Necessary: For MRIs, surgeries, allergic reactions, and certain workplace rules, removal is necessary. In getting through TSA, a routine medical examination, or having a readjustment, removal is not necessary.
  • Secure a Removal Tool: We recommend removing permanent jewelry with one of the following tools: Scissors, Wire Cutters, Nail Clippers, or Cutting Pliers.
  • Locate the Jump Ring: The jump ring is typically larger than the rest of the links that make up a permanent piece. If not, you can feel for a slight bump or use a magnifying glass for identification.
  • Snip the Jump Ring: Using an appropriate tool, be precise and patient in cutting the jump ring. Once it is disconnected, your permanent piece will also.
  • Re-Welding at PinkTag

    As Louisville, KY’s go-to source for permanent jewelry, we provide continued support in the scenario that you need a piece rewelded. Specifically, we charge a $20 fee for rewelding your permanent piece. Get started by booking an appointment using our booking page.

    Other Permanent Jewelry Topics

    Kayla Hafling


    Kayla Hafling is the acting General Manager of PinkTag Boutique. Like her sister Britney - owner and founder of PinkTag - Kayla is a proud mother with a 'sixth sense' for women's fashion and style. On a normal day, you can find her assisting with the day-to-day operations of PinkTag at their physical storefront in Louisville, KY.

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