If you are doing research on different kinds of jewelry, you will notice rather quickly that most metal jewelry is actually made of metal alloys.
And if you are allergic to most jewelry, the first question that will pop in mind is whether the alloys contain nickel and if you should avoid them because they may cause allergies.
In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about metal alloys, what they are made of, and whether they’d cause allergies or not.
Do metal alloys contain nickel?
An alloy can be defined as a mixture of metals or metals that are combined with at least one other element. The most common metal alloy in the jewelry world, for example, is the gold alloy, which is made of copper and gold, hence the formation of yellow, white, or rose gold.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the common metal alloys and what to expect from them:
Does alloy contain nickel, and why?
Not all alloys contain nickel, but most metal alloys will have nickel as a key component. The nickel used in the alloys often comes in different forms, from the pure nickel used commercially to the low-nickel concentration in varieties like the MONEL, INCONEL, and INCOLOY alloys.
The reason why nickel is the most common metal in alloys is that it is a hard, ductile metal, which is known for its high level of corrosion resistance (natural). By using it as an alloy, the properties of nickel are transferred to the other metal that it’s alloyed with, which is why nickel is the most common metal in alloys. Nickel boasts superior physical and chemical properties, which is why it’s used in most industries, including but not limited to the jewelry industry. Nickel is also cheap.
The other reason why most alloys feature nickel is that it blends easily with other metals thanks to the silvery-white natural color of nickel, and also because there is a version of nickel with a more golden tinge.
Nickel is also malleable, and it can be worked into any change easily and without compromising the metal’s strength and durability.
Does zinc alloy contain nickel, and why?
Zinc is commonly used as an alloy, and it forms different metals depending on the common metals added to it. One of the common alloys of zinc is brass, and it is made of zinc and copper, with the copper in brass ranging from 55% to 95%.
Zinc is also alloyed with other metals, with the most common zinc alloy made of nickel and tin. These zinc-nickel alloys are incredibly more resistant to corrosion at 10X. Nickel is the reason for the alloy’s high corrosion resistance.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that the presence of nickel in zinc alloys is functional as it boosts the corrosion resistance of the other metal in the alloy.
Does gold alloy contain nickel, and why?
While gold alloys are made of pure gold and copper, zinc, or nickel, it’s an undoubted fact that despite the use of metals like copper and even silver in making the gold alloy, nickel often finds its way in the alloy.
Though available in smaller quantities, the nickel aids in strengthening the gold while also enhancing the color of the gold, for example, in white gold. And since nickel is a cheaper metal option, it is often alloyed to the gold.
Does Silver alloy contain nickel, and why?
Silver alloys often contain nickel, and one of the most common silver alloys is nickel silver. Nickel Silver is an alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel, and it is silvery. However, it doesn’t have any elemental silver added to it, and the alloy contains nickel silver instead.
Nickel is added to silver oftentimes because it enhances the silver color while also offering/ enhancing the ductility of the metal and boosting its mechanical properties.
Does titanium alloy contain nickel, and why?
Titanium is regarded as the most hypoallergenic metal, which is why it’s used widely in the medical world, especially in implants. However, not all forms of titanium are 100% hypoallergenic, and they may contain trace amounts of nickel, depending on the type of nickel. The safest, biocompatible nickel is the ASTM F136 titanium.
That said, you should know that titanium is often alloyed to be used as an alternative to stainless steel. With this in mind, there is a possibility of titanium implants and titanium jewelry containing trace amounts of impurities like nickel.
In such cases, the nickel may be there to enhance titanium’s corrosion resistance, but there is a risk of an allergic reaction to the nickel.
Does aluminum alloy contain nickel, and why?
Yes, aluminum alloys like aluminum nickel contain nickel, and it is one of the common forms of aluminum alloys with nickel.
The good news is that the amount of nickel in the aluminum is only in trace amounts, and it may not elicit severe allergies.
Note that nickel is often added to aluminum to improve its mechanical properties and to strengthen it. It also boosts the corrosion resistance of aluminum while slowing down its oxidation rate.
Does alloy jewelry contain nickel, and why?
The most common alloys used in jewelry making contain a mix of at least two metals, commonly brass and nickel. Copper is also used in jewelry making, and it’s also an allergen.
Often, alloys contain nickel because nickel is a powerful and affordable bleaching agent used to not only whiten some metals but also to harden, strengthen, and add ductility to the other metals.
So, because of its physical properties, the allergenic properties of nickel tend to be overlooked as jewelry is made with small amounts of nickel, whether it’s being alloyed with gold or sterling silver.
Most alloys used in jewelry contain nickel.
While nickel is the main cause of nickel allergies, it’s still used in jewelry because it enhances the properties of the other metals, strengthens, and makes the rest of the metals and the resultant jewelry more durable.You could think of nickel as a necessary evil.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.