I receeived this message from a woman who wanted to know if she could wear gold body jewelry in a Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercing:
I'm interested in a vch piercing and my question is will a 14k curved bar be appropiate for this type of piercing?
I do ordinarily use a curved bar as initial jewelry for most VCH piercings. I begin the piercing with either 14 or 12 gauge, depending on anatomy and the client's preferences. If you are small built, then I'd suggest going with the smaller (14 gauge) at first, and you can go larger later if you prefer. The optimal length for the bar is anatomically dependent. So you will need your piercer to assist you in the selection of the right size. This company makes very high quality gold body jewelry and they have great customer service too!
There's a lot to know about gold body jewelry. Here's a section from The Piercing Bible about it:
Gold has a long history of use within the body. Its use in modern dentistry also attests to its safety. Still, specific implant designations do not exist for gold. It comes in many different alloys, so use caution when making a purchase, especially since gold is significantly more expensive than most other body jewelry materials. Cheap gold is never good gold. However, a high price tag alone does not guarantee quality or acceptability for wear in body piercings.
The term karat refers to the purity of gold. Pure gold, or twenty-four karat gold (24K), is highly biocompatible, but it is too soft for body jewelry. It must be alloyed with other metals. Out of twenty-four parts of metal, eighteen karat (18K) indicates that eighteen parts are gold and six parts are other elements (75 percent gold and 25 percent other elements).1 Some piercers sell fourteen karat (14K) gold, which is about 58 percent gold. Regardless of how many karats the gold is, the jewelry is safe to wear in the body only when inert elements are used in the alloy.
If there is too much silver, copper, or other reactive material in the mixture, even eighteen-karat gold can be problematic. Much of the white gold used for body jewelry is alloyed without nickel; for whiteness it contains palladium, an inert element in the platinum family. Colored golds such as pink and green should be avoided, since they usually include irritating elements.
Acidic body fluids can react with certain alloys and cause a dark discoloration of the metal. Frequent use of a gold-polishing cloth will usually resolve this problem. Gold is durable, but excessive exposure to chlorine (in pools and hot tubs) can cause gold jewelry to become brittle.
Gold has an undeserved reputation as being unsafe for initial piercings, but when it is alloyed for wear in the body, it works very well. Because of its high cost, many piercers do not stock a large selection of gold jewelry, so you may need to place an advance order if you wish to start a piercing with it. Regular fine jewelers are often unfamiliar with the need for inert alloys, smooth surfaces, and safe closures. Consult a piercer about the exact requirements before you place an order or purchase gold jewelry.
I hope you find this information helpful.
Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
President, Association of Professional Piercers