Its a mixed blessing that I have a bit of a jewelry allergy (I can’t wear pierced earrings for any length of time). On the one hand, I’d love to keep many of the earrings I make so I could wear them. But – if I wore them, I couldn’t sell them, and then where would I be? I would be one lots-of-earrings-having, no-money-having gal.
The Online Jeweler Magazine has a nice article on jewelry allergies, focusing on the main culprit – nickel. Nickel is a frequent cause of “contact dermititis,” or, as I call it, “oh god my skin is itching and turning red what is happening to me did something bite me no I don’t think so”:
One out of every seven people is likely to suffer from a nickel allergy… Nickel sulfate hexahydrate is a metal frequently encountered in jewelry and clasps or buttons on clothing and is the #1 cause of contact dermatitis.
Two factors make self-diagnosis a challenge. First, contact dermatitis may appear several days after contact. Second, a nickel allergy can appear at any point in one’s life. One can react suddenly and adversely to a piece of jewelry long-owned and frequently used. If the allergy is due to nickel, it is likely to become a life-long nuisance once it has developed.
Nickel, you rascal. You’ve been causing me rashes yet saving me money for years.
Turns out that pure copper is a good alternative for people with nickel allergy. I just purchased some copper materials and plan to introduce a line of “bronzed” copper gemstone necklaces, earrings and bracelets for winter (stay tuned).