People whose ears are sensitive to certain metals, mainly nickel, will find it necessary to hunt for and buy nickel free earrings. These are earrings that are safe for use, especially for those whose ears are unable to tolerate even the slightest contact with nickel. However, before you actually buy such gold earrings you should find out whether the earrings you intend on purchasing are in fact what they say they are. The fact of the matter is that many such earrings may have some form of cheap plating. This plating may itself contain nickel or will wear away with time, exposing under the plating metal containing nickel.
Gold earrings are very popular, and gold is one of the most common metals used in all kinds of jewelry, especially fine jewelry. However, when the gold is a lower carat, chances are good that it contains some nickel. Therefore, be careful to buy only pure gold, otherwise known as 24-carat (24k) gold. Gold of lesser purity tends to be weak, and contains embedded nickel. Contact with this nickel can inflame ear lobes or cause itchy or cracking skin.
Some earrings are made with 22ct gold earrings plating. If you purchase gold plated earrings, look for earrings made from 24k gold plating that is eight to ten mils thick. A generous pure gold plating over a surgical stainless steel base is ideal.
Silver is another popular metal from which earrings are made, however, silver jewelry often contains nickel. Some earrings are silver-plated and, again, contain nickel. The safest bet if you want silver earrings is to look for earrings made from surgical stainless steel polished to a high, silver-like luster.
If a pair of earrings is made from surgical stainless steel, then again it may contain a minute amount of nickel. The good news is that this nickel is strongly embedded, or bonded, on a molecular level. This means there is virtually no risk that your ear will make direct contact with the nickel in such an earring.
An alternative option for anyone interested in nickel free earrings is to gold stud earrings look for earrings that are made from platinum. Here again, whatever little nickel is present in the platinum is be strongly embedded, or bonded, and so there is little risk of irritating your sensitive ears. However, keep in mind, platinum costs even more than pure gold.
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