During the past few years, the biggest hit in the hip hop world was the massive come-back of grillz. This old school status symbol came back with raging success among hip hop’s elite as well as the everyday hip hop fan as well. This is due to the fact that fashion jewelry manufacturers have released a modern version of the classic mouthpiece for today’s average consumer. For years grillz teeth jewelry, was rare and extremely expensive.

In the 80s, New York jewelry entrepreneur Eddie Plein opened up Eddie’s Gold Teeth. Early NYC based rappers such as Flava Flav and Big Daddy Kane eventually became clients and took this trend nationwide. Grillz are largely a status symbol. In the world of bling, the more ridiculous something is, the more it makes sense to do it. Who would be crazy enough to put precious metals in their mouth? Well, if you didn’t have that money, you couldn’t even consider it. That’s why this phenomenon was considered a status symbol for decades. Grillz were insanely expensive. Labor for grillz didn’t go into just creating the piece of jewelry itself. The customer first had to come in so a mold could be made. This is done the same way as dentists, with dental mold. After that session, the jeweler would spend a few weeks making the set of grillz by hand, one by one. Then the customer would come back in and get fitted. Of course if there were fitment issues the item would have to be modified. All the labor, combined with the fact that only precious metals were used, made grillz very expensive and exclusive.

In the early 2000s, everything changed. Fashion jewelry manufacturers, who were very successful at replicating all other forms of jewelry, created universal fitting grillz. These were pre-made, with no mold required. The item would come with silicone backing, which can be shaped into the shape of your teeth when heated up. Once it cools down, you get solid, custom-fitting fronts. This exploded into a raging success because of the convenience. There was no other time in history that you can buy two or three sets of grillz, and custom fit them yourself at home.

In addition to the convenience, these grillz were also very affordable. No longer were they being made in gold or platinum, but rather cheaper base metals that were then plated with gold or silver. The same finish and shine was achieved without the astronomical costs. Through the last few years, the designs of these grillz have improved and the quality control has definitely stepped up. Now the grillz were starting to look and feel identical to the expensive custom made models that all the hip hop stars were sporting.

In the coming months, even newer grillz styles will be released to the market. Styles will include more custom made styles designed after the versions made by Paul Wall and other jewelers to the stars. Quality will continue to improve and prices will become even more affordable for everyday hip hop fans. Grillz are a great collector’s item for any fan of old school or modern hip hop. They are a great way to complete a Halloween costume as well.