About the Metals

It’s important to know what you’re wearing in your piercings, especially if you deal with metal sensitivities.

Do you have any hypoallergenic piercing jewelry?

I do not label any of the metals that I offer hypoallergenic because, technically, no such thing exists outside of the marketing world – it’s possible for someone to react or develop a sensitivity to anything. Because of how common and severe the reaction can be, I will always disclose on my product listings if the metal used contains nickel.

With that being said, titanium and niobium body jewelry is highly regarded as being a good alternative for those with sensitivities to other metals.

Metal Overview

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s a quick breakdown of each type of metal that I use in my piercing jewelry:

Argentium Sterling Silver:  The sterling silver that I use in my work is a high quality alloy of silver, copper and germanium called Argentium silver. It’s recycled, made in the USA and nickel free.

  • Color:  Bright white
  • More Info: In addition to having a higher silver content (93.5%) than traditional 925 sterling silver, it’s also slower to tarnish. Because all sterling silver will tarnish, sometimes very quickly, jewelry where the silver post goes through the actual piercing is only recommended for short term wear. Jewelry with sterling silver components will require periodic maintenance to keep the piece looking new and tarnish-free. It should never be used in unhealed piercings.

Niobium:  I use Type 2 Niobium wire and sheet metal in my jewelry work, which is an unalloyed, high quality, commercially pure material.

  • Color: Grey
  • More Info: Due to its low toxicity and virtually no susceptibility to tarnish, niobium is often suitable for those with metal sensitivities. It's one of my favorite metals to design with and wear in piercings! It also takes on a rich, velvety black color when it undergoes a special heat treatment.

Titanium: I use grade-1 commercially pure titanium – it’s made in USA and is not an alloy.

  • Color: Grey
  • More Info: Titanium is an excellent light-weight alternative to steel, it's easy to forget you're wearing it!

316L Stainless Steel: Although 316L stainless steel is a common metal used for piercing jewelry, it should be noted that it does indeed contain nickel.

  • Color: Grey
  • More Info: If you are sensitive to nickel, you should not wear 316L stainless steel. 

14/20 Yellow Gold-filled: Gold-filled wire is a core of jewelers' brass that has been bonded using heat and pressure to an outer layer of gold alloy. I use gold-filled wire to wire wrap the beads onto some of my hoops - any of my gold-filled wrapped hoops are also available in solid gold, please contact me for a price quote and availability.

  • Color: Yellow
  • More Info: The notation "14/20" means that 1/20th of the gold-filled wire is made with 14-karat gold. 

14-karat solid palladium-white gold: I use a nickel-free 14 karat palladium white gold alloy for my jewelry - it's made using 20% palladium, which replaces the nickel content found in traditional white gold alloys. The alloy consists of gold, palladium, copper, silver and zinc. Palladium is a white-colored precious metal that's very similar to platinum.

14-karat solid yellow gold: The 14 karat solid yellow gold that I use is nickel-free - it's an alloy of gold, silver, copper and zinc. 

18-karat solid yellow gold: The 18 karat solid yellow gold that I use is nickel-free - it's an alloy of gold, silver and copper.

14k-karat solid rose gold: The 14 karat solid rose gold that I use is nickel-free - it's an alloy of gold, copper, silver and zinc.

What's an alloy? Because pure gold is too soft to use alone for most jewelry applications, the gold is mixed with other metals chosen for the color, strength, and other desirable properties they can bring to the finished product. The karat number (14-karat, 18-karat, 22-karat and 24-karat) refers to the gold content in the alloy. These alloys are referred to as solid gold, because the metal is a solid gold alloy throughout the entire piece - as opposed to being gold plated or gold-filled. 24-karat is considered fine gold, and the only one that is pure gold not alloyed with any other metals.

Have a question that I didn’t cover? I’m always happy to answer any questions that you may have about the metals I use in my piercing jewelry – please don’t hesitate to ask!

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