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Belly button jewelry can be made from a number of materials, all of which are perfectly safe for long-term use. There are two basic types of belly button jewelry materials: natural and man-made.
Natural Body Jewelry
The best material is generally gold -- usually 18K or above -- since it does not tarnish. Platinum is also a good choice. Additionally, you can have body jewelry made from bone, shell, wood or gemstones. These ultra-natural materials are wonderful for more tribal looks, but do require specific cleaning and maintenance. Speak to your piercing technician about the best way to preserve your natural material jewelry.
Man-made Body Jewelry
Many styles of belly button jewelry are made with man-made materials, usually due to their flexibility in the body. Since the midriff moves a lot, the jewelry ideally will do the same. Popular man-made materials used in body jewelry are acrylic, glass, PTFE (i.e., Teflon) and Pyrex. Some of these materials can cause irritation in sensitive skin, so it's best to watch them carefully over the first week or so after your piercing. If you have allergies or sensitive skin in general, you may wish to stick with the tried and true gold belly button jewelry.