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Hypoallergenic Metals for Jewelry

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Jewelry increases the joy of life.

A white gold necklace with rubies, a diamond ring, a pair of emerald earrings: it is always bliss.

However, sometimes it may cause allergic reactions like itching and irritation on sensitive skin.

The cause of these effects is metal allergy.

Some may not play well with the human skin.

Happily, there are choices which are considered safe which we list below.

1 . What does hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic is a term used in cosmetics and jewelry.

It means the materials used in production are less likely to cause any negative reactions.

Nevertheless, this is a not a guarantee: zero allergic effects cannot be guaranteed.

Especially in skin care, such a claim cannot be made.

In jewelry, as the items are worn for many hours, irritation may occur.

Thus makers do opt for hypoallergenic metals to reduce unintended reactions, as much as possible.

These are preferred due to their skin friendly properties.

Hypoallergenic metals usually do not contain nickel.

For example, even if you do not have copper allergy, an alloy of copper with nickel may give a hard time!

This is the common cause for metal allergies of people with sensitive skin.

Hypoallergenic jewelry is recommended for people with metal sensitivity.

In this article, you will learn about its symptoms and the most safe choices.

2. What Is Metal Sensitivity?

These are inflammations that often arise from using pieces made from allergenic metals.

Some of these symptoms include; rashes, blistering on the skin,  joint pain, muscle pain, reddening of skin, and swelling.

A recent study reveals that metal hypersensitivity is a common health condition that affects about 10 to 15 percent of the world.

The estimation shows that close to 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel.

Also, about 1% to 3% of people is affected by cobalt and chromium.

This should especially receive more consideration for sensitive ears and piercings.

Thus, it is imperative that you choose hypoallergenic pieces, to stay safe from allergies.

3. Main Hypoallergenic Metals and Their Properties

These include platinum, titanium, copper, stainless steel, fine silver, argentium silver and sterling silver.

3.1. Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is very widely used.

And happily, it is mostly hypoallergenic, especially when it does not include any trace amounts of nickel.

So, if your skin is not sensitive to pure silver, a sterling piece is unlikely to cause any irritation.

This is a stronger version of silver, which is too soft for jewelry.

Also known as 925 Silver, sterling silver contains 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% of  zinc, copper etc.

As long as the remaining part has zero nickel, there should not be any problems.

Because only a very small number of people do have allergy to silver.

3.2. Argentium silver

Argentium silver is another hypoallergenic alloy of silver, very similar like sterling silver.

It includes germanium to make it harder.

Two most common percentages of Argentium silver are 93, 5% and 96% rich in silver.

These are known as Argentium silver 935 and 960, respectively.

Just as in sterling silver, if the user does not have direct allergy to silver or germanium, there is a tiny probability that it will cause any allergic reaction.

3.3. Aluminum

Aluminum is another pure hypoallergenic alternative commonly used for making necklaces and bracelets.

It is free of lead and nickel.

So, if you’re looking to avoid skin irritation and other allergic reactions, you can opt for aluminum.

3.4. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is among the most popular choices.

It is fashionable and comes with a very approachable price tag.

Just make sure you pick 316L stainless steel pieces.

This type of steel has a low-level of carbon and zero nickel in its alloy or is trapped in the core.

It is surgical stainless steel widely used in implants.

It is very resistant to corrosion and it does not tarnish.

With surgical level 316L stainless steel, allergic reactions can be minimized.

Therefore, most 316L steel pieces are suitable for sensitive skin.

Another pro of stainless steel is that is its easiness to clean.

3.5. Gold

Gold is the king of precious metals, but not all shiny lovely pieces are safe.

Luckily, gold is hypoallergenic.

Furthermore, yellow gold is very special: it is extremely non-reactive to the body.

This is why it has been used as a teeth crown for hundreds of years.

Gold comes in different karat counts with a variety of colors.

Fine gold is 24K gold.

18-Karat gold has 18 out of 24 parts in gold or it is 75% rich in gold.

The 24K gold is 100% pure gold, making it too soft.

The 14K gold is suitable as it is hard enough.

When we come to color,  rose gold can be made with an alloy with copper, while white gold can be made when mixed with palladium and zinc.

There are also many gold-plated or gold-filled jewelry on the market.

Always check the content to avoid allergies.

niobium in raw form

3.6. Niobium

Niobium is another hypoallergenic metal.

When it is free of lead and nickel content, there is a high bet it will not cause any itching or similar unwanted effects.

Hence, it is good for people with allergies.


Your bling should not only look great, it should also feel wonderful when you put them on.

So, when next you’re out shopping, check for the content and make sure they are all hypoallergenic.

A simple rule of thumb is to stay away from nickel allergy.

This is especially true when buying it as a gift.

You may not know if he or she is allergic to nickel, so just exclude those pieces.

By making a little effort to check the mix, you can safeguard yourself and your loved ones from metal hypersensitivities.

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