Don’t Let Your Nickel Allergy Stop You From Buying A White Gold Wedding Ring
Having an allergy to nickel is at times problematic. Most of the time, you won’t come into contact with it, making it one of the least risky allergies. You may avoid nickel products, but there still products out there that contain smaller amounts of Nickel which still can cause the same intense reaction. One of these is white-gold, used in fashion jewellery and wedding rings, which can make deciding upon wedding or fashion jewellery a less carefree experience for those with Nickel allergies.
In 2000, The EU completed research on Nickel allergies and the content in jewellery. They found that around 20% of young females and males have an allergic reaction to Nickel, which causes a red and unpleasant rash to appear on the skin. Research further suggests this sensitivity is often caused by ear piercings that come in contact with Nickel within the first year of piercing and more regularly occurs in women.
So when it comes to white-gold jewellery what can a person with Nickel sensitivity have? It is well known the White-gold that contains alloys of Nickel is a cause of the reaction, even though EU standards have limited the amount of Nickel allowed in white-gold and other alloyed metals. However, if you do like the look of white-gold even though you have an allergy, there are palladium based white-golds available on the market. Look out for these white-gold which should be labeled as non-allergenic or free of Nickel.
Secondly, there is the choice of Rhodium plated white-gold which will act as a protective layer against any Nickel touching the skin. However, Rhodium plating does have its problems as it eventually rubs away, leaving your hand in contact with any Nickel causing an allergic reaction and giving it a more brown or golden colour.
Thus the off white colour of the ring you originally liked is gone and you are left with a ring that brings out rashes. For the Rhodium coating to continue working, you must replace it every 3 years in order to maintain your ring.
If you do intend to buy white-gold wedding rings despite an allergy to Nickel, avoid buying outside the EU as many places have no regulations upon levels of Nickel. The EU has increased the use of Palladium in white-gold and decreased the percentage of Nickel in Nickel based white-gold and other metals, making hall marked and fashion jewellery far safer and decreasing the likelihood of further allergies. China and Japan, despite being outside the EU, have followed in the EU’s footpaths over Nickel allergies by regulating it within the same manner, whilst America always labels if any jewellery does contain Nickel.
By any means the best overall way to avoid an allergic reaction to Nickel is to avoid Nickel based jewellery and opt for pure silver, gold, platinum and palladium.