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What is a BCR?

What are they?

A BCR, or ball captive ring, stands as one of the most favoured types of body jewellery in the UK. Often referred to as CBRs (captive ball rings), these accessories can be worn in nearly any piercing due to their availability in various sizes and gauges.

All styles of BCRs feature a ring with a small opening and a ball or bead that securely fits into the opening, keeping the jewellery in place. The ball typically has a slight indent on either side to accommodate the ends of the ring.

BCRs are crafted from diverse materials, including surgical stainless steel, titanium, niobium, and acrylic for the rings, while the beads come in materials such as steel, glass, stone, acrylic, and more.

Captive rings are well-suited for many piercings because their rounded, closed shape minimises the likelihood of snagging on clothing, among other things. The tight fit of the beads also reduces the chances of losing the rings, as they cannot fall out as long as the bead is securely in place.

How do I use them?

  • The safest and most straightforward method for changing your BCR is to visit your piercer. They typically provide jewellery changes free of charge and possess the appropriate tools for working with tight-fitting jewellery.
  • If you cannot reach your piercer and need to change your jewellery independently, follow these guidelines:
  • Choose a well-lit location, such as your bathroom, as BCR beads are often small and challenging to handle, making them prone to being dropped. Cover or close the sink drain to prevent the bead or ring from accidentally going down the drain.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and warm water. Then, lather up your new jewellery with more soap, rinse, and dry all surfaces thoroughly.
  • To remove the bead from the ring, firmly hold the ring between your thumb and forefinger, and tightly grasp the bead between the thumb and forefinger of your other hand. Twist the ring slightly while applying pressure on the bead, and it should pop out.
  • Insert the curved barbell into your piercing.

When replacing the bead, align it between your fingers so that you can see the indents on both ends. Rest the bottom indent on the end of the ring opening, hold the ring firmly, and carefully push the top indent into the ring opening.

Consider using specialised tools like a ring opener, which stretches the ring to release the bead, and a pair of ring closing pliers, which tighten the ring back to the correct size to secure the bead. Piercers typically use these tools for changing BCRs as they are more convenient and place less stress on the piercing.

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