The premium parlour is styled like an early-1900s apothecary and stocks a stunning range of precious metal body jewellery
Words Mary-Jane Wiltsher
For millennials like me, memories of that momentous first piercing may feature a visit to tween-favourite Claire’s (then Claire’s Accessories). Waiting in line between the scrunchies and plastic chokers, feeling the sharp clip of the needle gun, and choosing from tiny hearts, plain studs and yellow smiley faces to adorn newly punctured lobes.
Either that, or a trip to a local piercing studio. Probably a place offering a speedy drop-in service at a cheap price. For me, that was Hippie Heaven, Ealing’s answer to The Healing Fields, and the site of my second lobe piercing.
The world of piercing has become a whole lot more sophisticated and nuanced since then, and both recollections are a far cry from state-of-the-art piercing studio Sacred Gold, whose doors I step through for my first foray into premium piercing.
Located in Coals Drop Yard in London’s King’s Cross, the high-end parlour offers a meticulously curated experience from start to finish. First up, there’s the setting. With dark wood trim, intricate gold lettering and striking monochrome tiles, the studio’s interiors have a darkly swish vintage feel.
“I’ve always been infatuated by the look of apothecaries from the early 1900s,” explains founder Guy Saar. “I wanted to give Sacred Gold the same old feel with a slightly more upscale twist.”
Then, there’s the jewellery. Sacred Gold offers an extensive range of stunning Body Vision (BVLA) jewellery. For the uninitiated, BVLA is widely regarded as the leading manufacturer of precious metal body jewellery. The pieces are designed, handmade, and hand-polished in Los Angeles, and Sacred Gold stocks the largest selection in Europe. Precious, semi-precious and synthetic gems are available, all conflict-free.
“Our most coveted pieces are designs such as Serenity, Panaraya clusters, Marquise Fan, and more intricate gemmed rings such as Violet and Blaze,” explains Nicole Mitchell, head piercer at Sacred Gold. “Classic designs such as the TriBead and QuadBead, Hammered Discs, Prongset Diamonds, Tiny Stars, Classic Seam Rings, are always popular.”
In polished cases, gemstones such as diamonds, black diamonds, white opals and tanzanite wink through the glass, while topaz and sapphire flash cerulean tones. Bespoke pieces can be custom-designed for clients – Nicole is especially proud of a piece “made with lovely shades of pink sapphires” named “the Ashley cluster”.
Sacred Gold’s friendly front-of-house team guide me through the process of jewellery selection. I’m here for a nose piercing, and eventually choose a Mini Kandy turquoise gemstone nestled in a yellow gold setting. I wear a lot of turquoise rings, and more gold than silver, so the design is in keeping with my style and warming on my skin tone.
Plus, as a base metal allergy sufferer, it’s heaven to choose from such a wide and imaginative range of precious metal designs.
I decide to pierce the left side of my nose. There’s no right or wrong here – I want to balance out my parting, but many customers simply choose to pierce their ‘best’ or most photogenic side.
The piercing itself is swift and skilful, with surprisingly little pain. In a separate room, flanked by spotless white tiles, Nicole lays out her sterilised equipment and makes a tiny mark on my nose before checking I’m happy with the positioning.
She’s a calming presence and talks me through the procedure ahead in clear detail. She demonstrates how I should breathe as she makes the piercing: a deep breath in, and then – as the needle goes in – a long, slow yoga breath out.
I’m delighted with the final result, and 6 weeks later, thanks to the bottle of cleansing solution I’m given, the piercing is healing well, with no swelling or redness.
Before getting any kind of piercing, Nicole recommends looking through the piercers’ portfolio of fresh and healed piercings. “Check the hygiene and cleanliness of the studio, and don’t be afraid to ask questions,” she adds. “It’s so vital to have a good rapport with the piercer and front of house.”
“I always encourage people to come in and have a chat and a consultation beforehand to put minds at ease and answer any queries. Getting a piercing, or even styling existing piercings, can be a very intimate and special experience, not to mention fun! We are here to guide you, and facilitate the process – in the most comfortable and joyous way!”
Sacred Gold’s range of BVLA precious metal jewellery starts from £100.
Body piercing prices start from £20.
Sacred Gold, Stable St, King’s Cross, London N1C 4DQ