“I’d heard of permanent jewellery online, and through a few friends,” Gina Lentinello, founder of The Lovers, a new permanent jewellery pop-up in West Perth, tells Broadsheet. “I thought, ‘Man, I really want to experience that’, but I couldn’t find anywhere to do it here. Thanks to border closures, I couldn’t leave the state to get it done either,” she says.
“Forever jewellery” is exactly what it sounds like: gold and silver chains are permanently soldered to fit around wrists and ankles, so you can wear them for life. The trend has grown in popularity, but up until now, it was something Western Australians had to admire from a distance.
Lentinello, a jewellery designer trained at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, took matters into her own hands and began offering the service herself. In October, the Lovers pop-up space opened its doors, and Lentinello has been adorning wrists ever since. “I think the service has been really well received,” she adds.
The process of getting permanent jewellery is simple and painless. Firstly, customers choose their perfect chain, which ranges from $88 to $114, depending on style and material. Next, the chain is custom-fitted to the wrist, and a unique welding tool is used to solder the ends together in a flash of light. A quick check of the join with a gentle tug test and it’s done. You walk away with a high-quality, permanent keepsake.
“I think it really represents something special and, to me, I really like that it sparks a nice moment – whether that’s a sentimental experience, making a commitment to yourself, or doing it with a friend or partner,” says Lentinello. “I like to think of it as a jewellery tattoo, or [the] ultimate friendship bracelet.”
Should you have a change of heart, the jewellery can be easily removed with a quick snip. It can also be re-soldered. As Lentinello says, “It’s the commitment without the commitment”.
For now, The Lovers’ service is limited to bracelets. But Lentinello isn’t ruling out expansion into other permanent jewellery.
“I’m going to expand into anklets and possibly necklaces for the summer … We’ll be offering solid gold next month, and sterling silver, but we’re hoping to eventually [have] 14-karat white gold. I’m very mindful of making sure something will be a long-lasting and low-maintenance piece.”