Gold is an unreactive precious metal. Aside from being highly valuable, it is favored in making jewelry because it’s a hypoallergenic metal. The unfortunate bit is that in its purest form, gold is a soft metal and isn’t durable. As a result, it has to be mixed with other metal alloys to harden it, hence the reason for the different karat gold.
The lower the karat, the lesser the gold content. For someone with sensitive ears, you may be wondering whether low karat gold is good for you. In this post, we attempt to answer the question by looking at what 10k gold is and what it’s made of.
What Is 10 Gold Earring Made of?
As explained, gold has to be mixed with other metals to give it more durability. The content of gold in the resulting gold alloy is noted by its karats. The lowest karat gold legally recognized in most countries beginning with the US is 10k gold
10-karat gold means that the gold alloy is made up of 10 parts gold and 24 parts of other metal alloys. The common metals used include silver, zinc, copper, platinum, nickel, and palladium among others. The percentages of 10k gold are, 41.7% of pure gold, and the rest of the 58.3% is shared among the various metals included depending on the color of the gold.
The three common colors are white, yellow, and rose gold. White is made up of pure gold mixed with white metals such as silver and zinc. It also normally has a rhodium plating for the desired white finishing unless palladium has been used.
Yellow 10k gold on the other hand is a result of mixing pure gold with silver, zinc, and copper. The 10k rose gold gets its rosy hue by mixing pure gold with majorly copper and a very small percentage of other metals like zinc or silver.
Is 10k Gold Good for Sensitive Ears?
Sensitive skin is different from having an allergy, although you can have both.
With sensitive skin, you will feel tingly, or itchy and sometimes experience redness in the affected area. Ears are especially the most sensitive parts when it comes to jewelry.
This is because, unlike other jewelry that is made to lay on top of your skin, earrings are designed to go through the skin.
10K gold is the least pure gold alloy hence most likely to affect you if you have sensitive ears. For this reason, 10k gold earrings are not good for sensitive ears. This is especially for new fresh piercings, unlike old healed piercings.
Why 10k Gold Is Not Good for Sensitive Ears?
As mentioned, 10k gold is the least pure gold alloy. It contains more parts of other metal alloys than gold itself. This means that it has a higher chance of containing allergens like nickel than higher karat gold.
Most 10k gold jewelry is costume jewelry and is commonly plated, filled, or vermeil. This means that the jewelry has a layer of gold coating on a base metal that will be exposed soon since the layer of gold will chip off easily.
The base metal underneath will start to react with sensitive skin.
Some 10k golds are worse than others when it comes to sensitive ears. White 10k gold is less hypoallergenic than 10k yellow and rose gold.
This is because white gold is more likely to have nickel which is considered the most common allergen when it comes to jewelry.
Pros and Cons of 10k Gold Earrings
10k gold has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to jewelry making. They are as follows:
- Because 10k gold is made of more parts of other metals than pure gold, it is significantly cheaper than higher gold karats. They are a great option if you’re looking for beautiful gold earing pieces at a more affordable price.
- As mentioned, pure gold is soft on its own. Mixing it with other metals makes it harder and less prone to scratches. 10k gold is made of less gold than other metals hence it has more durability compared to high karat gold. This means you can wear 10k gold earrings for a long time before they wear off.
- Less hypoallergenic.Compared to higher karat gold, the presence of excess metal alloys than gold makes 10k gold more likely to react with the skin. This is because it likely has larger amounts of nickel compared to other karats. Because ears are the most sensitive parts, it would not be advisable to wear 10k gold earrings with sensitive ears.
- Lacks a rich color.The beauty of gold lies in its rich color and luster that lasts over a long period. The more gold content is in a gold alloy, the more intense the color will be. The 10k gold has the least gold content, hence the color is paler and unattractive. This means 10k gold earrings won’t be as appealing as 14k 0r 18k gold earrings.
10k Gold Earrings Alternatives
If you find that your ears easily react to 10k gold earrings, it doesn’t mean that you should stop wearing earrings altogether. There are alternatives to 10k gold earrings and they are as follows:
- Try wearing higherkarat gold earrings (at least 14K 18k is a great choice). As mentioned, the more the gold content the more hypoallergenic the gold is. You will be less likely to find traces of nickel in higher karats of gold compared to 10k gold. It may cost more, but it’s a safer and better option if you have sensitive ears.
- Consider wearing earrings made with hypoallergenic metal(Surgical steel or other material). Gold is not the only hypoallergenic metal. If you find your ears are still irritated by higher karat gold, then you can try other metals like surgical steel. They are pure metals and nickel-free.
- Coating and plating. By doing so you prevent the skin from getting in touch with you’re 10k gold earrings. You could coat or plate the earrings with an unreactive, hypoallergenic metal. Alternatively, some people say that coating with nail polish also helps.
10k gold jewelry is cheap and durable if you are looking for gold pieces of earrings at a more affordable price.
It is, however, not a good idea to buy 10k gold earrings if you have sensitive ears.
If your heart is set on gold pieces then you may need to sacrifice and pay more for better quality gold. Otherwise, you can choose safer metals like surgical steel.