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Sterling_Silver_and_Allergies

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					Title:
Sterling Silver and Allergies

Word Count:
472

Summary:
Reaction to sterling silver may not mean allergy

to sterling silver but a metal known as nickel,

which is the most common metal allergy. Nickel-

free does not always mean allergy free. Gold,

platinum, silver and other metals may contain

nickel.


Keywords:
sterling silver, allergy, allergy-free, nickel, nickel-free, allergies,
metal allergy, metal allergies,


Article Body:
Sterling Silver and Allergies

The truth is people are not usually allergic to silver or sterling
silver. Rather a metal known as nickel, which has been used in sterling
silver. Sterling silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5%
other metals, traditionally copper, and sometime s some manufacturers will
use nickel in sterling silver as a less expensive alternative to other
metals.

Why Sterling Silver?

Pure silver is too soft to produce any functional pieces and loses shape
too easily. Other metals are added to improve ductility, firescale,
tarnish resistance, and reducing casting porosity.

Why Nickel?

Nickel, is a hard and ductile, silvery white metal that has been mistaken
for silver in the past. Nickel is commonly used in jewelry including with
precious metals and not just cheap or costume jewelry such as gold, white
gold, sterling silver and platinum. Nickel gives white gold it’s white
color by alloying it with gold. Nickel adds many other properties besides
color, such as strength and durability, and it has a strong lustrous
effect.

Metal Allergy Occurrence
Allergies to nickel occur in approximately 10% of the population, and
nickel is the most common metal to cause an allergic reaction. An allergy
to nickel used in jewelry usually causes a reddening of the skin, as well
as itching or burning in the area of contact and sometimes blistering of
the skin, or a rash. There are differences in severity of metal allergies
and sometimes if you do not have a severe allergy to a certain metal then
a piece of jewelry containing a very small portion of that metal may not
cause a reaction, whereas a piece of jewelry containing a high amount
will cause a slight reaction.

Metal Allergy Development

While some are genetically predisposed to have a reaction to some metals,
others can develop a metal allergy over time with regular exposure. This
is common among most kinds of allergies. So, it is possible to have a
favorite piece of jewelry, regardless if it is made from a precious metal
such as gold or platinum or silver, that has been worn many times or
consistently for years suddenly cause a reaction.

Nickel-Free is Not Necessarily Allergy-Free

Nickel free jewelry is also more expensive as it uses other higher priced
metals in place of nickel. It should not be assumed t hat nickel free
jewelry is actually allergy free. People can be allergic to any type of
metal including brass, copper and very rarely gold or silver. It is
recommended that if any jewelry causes any discomfort, such as the
symptoms described above, you should seek a metal allergy test from your
physician to make certain you know what metal is causing this. Otherwise
you might make the wrong assumption and wind up buying a whole new
wardrobe of jewelry that may cause a reaction as well.