While many individuals who have to deal with sensitive skin already know that nickel, copper, and steel can cause irritation and should be avoided whenever possible, many are not as familiar with the metals that can be used in fine jewelry that do not cause such reactions. The truth is, there are many metals that are fairly safe for people who have sensitive skin, and Apples of Gold offers many beautiful pieces in these skin friendly metals.
Gold is by far the least irritating metal that is used in jewelry and is the one that is most readily available. Yellow gold, the most common gold color, is predominately pure and contains little filler material. The higher the karat the less filler material there is in the gold. Unfortunately, high purity yellow gold can be very expensive, but it is still one of the leading options for people who have to worry about sensitive skin. Yellow gold earrings and other jewelry pieces and accessories are a staple to many collections.
White gold is not a naturally occurring metal and is made from a mix of gold and silver. Since the components are fairly neutral and benign, white gold rarely causes irritation or skin issues when it worn for extended periods of time. However, some people with nickel allergies may experience mild to more acute skin irritation if they are allergic to nickel, depending on the severity of their allergy, as most of the white gold in the jewelry market contains nickel, which is used to make yellow gold appear more white. White gold jewelry is available a variety of shades which are obtained by using more gold or more silver in the mix and rhodium plating jewelry (rhodium s from the platinum family and hypoallergenic). White gold is somewhat more durable than pure mixtures of gold and it is usually a little more affordable too.
Rose gold is a mixture of a variety of metals. Rose gold has a soft, pink color usually derived from mixing in trace amounts of copper. While it is usually fine on the skin, those with extremely sensitive skin could have a reaction. Opting for a mix that has a softer coloration and thus less copper can be a great option. Rose gold is a great option for those who want a hypoallergenic metal and still have something different than the white and yellow metals. Rose gold bracelets and other pieces are also popular for men as well as women.
Silver is generally a great option for those with sensitive skin. It is harder than gold and much more affordable. The purity of the silver impacts the quality. You want to go with pure sterling silver to avoid green tinting of the skin or the silver itself, such as .925 pure silver. Keep in mind, however, that there may be a small percentage of other alloys, such as nickel and if you are sensitive to nickel or impurer alloys, silver may or may not be the right metal for you. Silver is very versatile and has been used to create many amazing pieces of fine silver luxury jewelry.
Titanium is among the most hypoallergenic metals available in the jewelry market today. Titanium wedding bands and other fine jewelry pieces are fast becoming favorites for those with sensitive skin and tight budgets. Even though titanium much stronger than steel, it is much lighter than most of the precious metals used in jewelry. These pieces won’t cause irritation for those with metal allergies or sensitive skin.
Platinum, while the most expensive of the metals listed, is also among the most hypoallergenic precious metals available. It is generally 95% pure (950 grade) and baser metals like nickel or silver are not used in the mixture. Rather, most manufacturers use platinum-family related alloys like iridium and ruthenium which are generally hypoallergenic. Platinum wedding bands, while expensive, are well worth their weight in metals (being generally 1.5x heavier than 14k gold). They also do not need to be rhodium-plated like white gold to retain their white luster, so they retain their white look forever and are the perfect jewelry metal for longevity.