For many of us, we may struggle with skin irritation and allergies to certain kinds of metal. Below is a list of all the materials I use and what they are made of. My main purpose is to make soulful jewelry and I would hate for something you have no control over to stand in the way of that. As I move forward in my journey, materials are subject to change. However, my goal is to work with allergen-free products and quality metals. Feel free to reach out with any questions or suggestions for products. I am always open to trying out new items!
All of the silver chains I use right now are made from stainless steel. This type of metal is an iron and chromium alloy, which makes it resistant to rusting and corrosion. Although stainless steel can contain nickel, it is still considered a hypoallergenic metal. Be careful, as it may cause a reaction in those with hypersensitive skin.
Currently, I use gold-plated brass chains. This type of jewelry is made from a metal alloy made by combining copper and zinc. Unfortunately, it is not considered hypoallergenic. Gold plating brass is simply a process of applying a thin layer of gold to the surface of another metal, typically brass, containing nickel or zinc. As such, this type of jewelry may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin or allergies. If you take good care of your brass-plated jewelry and don’t wear it often, it can last for many years. However, if you wear your jewelry often, it will tarnish more quickly.
I currently use a tarnish resistant wire from Wire Elements by The Beadsmith. It is made from 99.9% copper and is color coated with silver. Although this material is not hypoallergenic, I am working to find a better alternative for those with sensitive skin. My goal is to start working with stainless steel wire in the near future.
Earring & Necklace Findings
All earring and necklace findings are made from stainless steel or sterling silver. Although stainless steel can contain nickel, it is still considered a hypoallergenic metal. This metal is made of alloy, which can include chromium, steel, and nickel. For the most part sterling silver uses copper as its alloy, as copper itself is also a hypoallergenic metal. With both metals combining, sterling silver is hypoallergenic.
Spoon & Key Rings
The material can vary from one ring to the next, but most spoons are made with stainless steel. However, some are made from sterling silver or have silver plating. In either case, both are considered hypoallergenic. Although, be careful if you have hypertensive skin. Typically, keys are made of brass or a nickel-brass mixture, which means they are not hypoallergenic.
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. Sterling silver is hypoallergenic and is more than fine if you have particularly sensitive skin or ears.
A Personal Care Guide
Like any product you buy, you want it to last long and keep its quality. When wearing handmade jewelry, be sure to limit the amount of time a piece will be in water. Take all jewelry off before showering and store away from moisture. Sometimes just warm water and dish soap are all you need to wipe down your jewelry. You can also dip a cloth in vinegar and gently rub the piece. The vinegar can be mixed with salt to add extra cleaning power. A paste of lemon juice and baking soda is sometimes used to clean copper.
Keep in Mind
- Harsh jewelry cleaners may damage semi-precious stones as well as crystals and freshwater pearls and is not recommended.
- Chlorine and direct sunlight can severely damage sterling silver and semi-precious stones so please avoid prolonged exposure to both and be sure to store your jewelry out of direct sunlight.