It seems like the best and the purest of precious metals used in jewelry, but when you’ve had your (un)fair share of allergies to different kinds of gold jewelry, it is only natural for you to question everything, including pure gold and whether it is safe, or not.
So, does pure gold cause allergies? Should you be worried about rashes or irritation from pure gold jewelry?
Keep reading to learn more about gold jewelry and the allergies you may have to deal with.
Why Does Gold Jewelry Cause A Rash?
Though regarded as one of the best kinds of metals for jewelry, most people tend to hand allergic reactions to gold jewelry. The reason for this is that the gold jewelry on the market isn’t made of pure gold, but gold mixed with other metals.
Pure 24k gold is too soft, (the Mohs scale of pure gold is about 2.5), and it cannot be used to make jewelry. To harden and strengthen the pure gold, metal alloys are added to the pure gold. This mixing creates different types of gold, like 10k, 14k, 18k, and 22k gold. While these options for the types of gold make gold jewelry affordable, it also comes with the risk of allergies.
Basically, the reason for the gold allergies comes from the metals added to the gold. While numerous metals are added to pure gold, the most common metal alloy introduced into the gold is nickel. Nickel is effective in hardening the gold, but the unfortunate bit is that the nickel added is the principal cause of the allergies.
Regarding the degree or the severity of the allergies, the lower karat fold pieces tend to be significantly more prone to allergies than the higher karat piece of gold jewelry. Essentially, the lower karat gold pieces will have less of the pure gold and more metal alloys – this equals more nickel, which could result in a higher risk of allergies.
The higher karat jewelry pieces, on the other hand, will only have trace amounts of nickel, which results in a lower risk of allergies or less severe allergic reactions.
So, while nickel makes gold jewelry stronger, there is also the risk of nickel allergies, which is the reason why most people are allergic to gold.
Does 24-carat gold contain nickel?
While not all gold will have traces of nickel, and most people don’t react to the 24k gold with 99.9% gold, pure gold contains about less than 0.1% nickel plus other metals. As a result, the 24k gold jewelry will likely cause allergies. The good news is that very few people are allergic to pure gold, well, unless you are one of the few unlucky individuals.
If you are too sensitive to nickel, you may want to avoid all kinds of gold jewelry. Some of the best options for you include the 14K, 18K, or the 24 yellow gold jewelry.
White gold and also yellow gold may have nickel, which is why you should choose alternative metals like pure sterling silver, titanium, platinum, or surgical stainless steel. You could also opt for jewelry made of polycarbonate plastic.
Can you be allergic to 24k gold? And why?
Generally, you can’t be allergic to 24k gold, and it may not cause allergies. The high percentage purity of pure gold or 24K gold means that you are dealing with a metal that is almost 100% free of impurities, which would mean no allergies.
Unfortunately, a small number of individuals are allergic to pure gold because of the possibility that the 0.1% that isn’t made of pure gold may contain nickel, hence the risk of allergies.
For the most part, however, the absence of metal alloys in 24k gold means that you shouldn’t be allergic to 24k gold.
If you are looking for pure gold jewelry and you aren’t sure about whether it will cause skin allergies or not, you will be happy to know that pure gold is often non-allergic. There are only a few cases where pure gold jewelry would result in allergies.
That said, pure gold is only often used in plating jewelry, and though it might be the best metal option for jewelry, it’s too soft, which is why jewelry is made of 14k, 10k, or 18k gold.
These would all result in gold allergies. Therefore, if you struggle with gold allergies, you may want to opt for jewelry made of alternative metals like sterling silver, surgical stainless steel, platinum, or titanium.