There are conflicting views about whether sterling silver jewelry is truly nickel free so who better to address the issue than The Nickel Allergy Experts at Athena Allergy, Inc.?
Most jewelry allergies are caused by sensitivity to nickel, so detecting whether there is nickel in jewelry is always the place to start. In the case of sterling silver, the problem likely is rooted in its manufacture. Silver is a soft metal that must be alloyed with other metals to be usable for jewelry-making. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver that is typically alloyed with copper. In some cases other metals, including nickel, may be used as an alloy. This is likely the cause of what is being reported as an allergy to sterling silver when in fact it is the more common allergy to nickel.
Often rhodium is used as an alloy to strengthen the silver as well as to provide tarnish resistance. Rhodium is considered a safe, hypoallergenic metal that, along with platinum and titanium, rarely cause allergic reactions. Since rhodium is often used as a plating for gold and white gold, once this plating wears thin, nickel that has been alloyed with gold can cause skin irritation. So, once again nickel is a likely culprit when gold and white gold appear to be causing a skin rash.
The sterling silver post earrings offered by Athena Allergy have been tested to assure their manufacture has not included any nickel. They come with the guarantee to never test positive for nickel and to never cause those uncomfortable nickel allergy rashes. In addition, these earrings are cute and stylish!