Rose gold is trendy, stylish, and elegant, with cool color hues that suit different skin tones and complexions. You may be thinking of getting a nice set of rose gold jewelry because you cannot wait to rock this stylish jewelry design.
But before you do, you may want to learn more about rose gold, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Is rose gold hypoallergenic or nickel-free? Can you wear rose gold earrings or a rose gold ring without having to worry about rashes, itchiness, or other forms of skin irritation?
What is rose gold jewelry?
Before we look at different rose gold alloys, we’ll first take a look at rose gold, what it is and how the beautiful rose gold color is attained.
So, what is it?
Rose gold can be described as the result of what happens following the fusion or mixing of pure gold with different metal alloys. This metal mixing is essential because pure gold tends to be too soft to be used or crafted into jewelry. Notably, mixing pure gold with other metal alloys results in three main types of gold alloys – rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold.
Out of the three gold alloys, rose gold is the most popular option because it works for pretty much everyone, and it’s also affordable. And today, rose gold is becoming the go-to gold alloys for specialized jewelry and a preferable choice for most people.
What makes rose gold different from the other forms of gold is that rose gold results from the mixing and bonding of pure, 24k gold with an alloy of copper. And depending on the gold to copper rations, you will find different gold varieties, including red and pink gold, besides the rose gold. Essentially, a higher content of copper would leave you with a piece that is more on the red side, meaning you get a redder rose gold rose piece. The use of little copper, on the other hand, would result in more yellow than rose/ pink rose gold. Therefore, the gold-to-copper ratios should be balanced well for that perfect rose gold hue.
It’s also important to note that some of the rose gold pieces will have copper plating, leaving you with jewelry that boasts that nice pop of the copper color. And by using copper usually means that the jewelry’s base color is quite close to the rose gold color.
But that is not all; it is also important to keep in mind that although rose gold is often made from the fusion of pure gold with copper, other metal alloys could be incorporated into the blend. An example of the other metal often present in rose gold is nickel, or silver at other times.
So, is rose gold hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, rose gold isn’t hypoallergenic, with the presence of copper being the reason why rose gold is allergenic.
What this means is that despite the affordability, durability, and stunning finish and flair, rose gold won’t be the best jewelry metal option for you, especially if you have sensitive skin and are allergic to copper. However, it’s often free of nickel, and if you are not allergic to copper, you won’t suffer from allergies when you wear authentic rose gold jewelry.
Does 14k rose gold have nickel?
Yes. As mentioned above, one of the other metals that’s used to make rose gold is nickel, besides copper. The nickel is believed to make its way to the rose gold piece from the casting processes, and the nickel would result in allergies.
While nickel allergies are rare in rose gold, the risk of an allergic reaction to nickel is higher when you have 14k rose gold. With only 58.3% pure gold, and the remaining percentage made of alternate metal alloys, which would easily collect more nickel from the casting process.
Does 18k rose gold have nickel?
Yes, but only in trace amounts. Nickel would also find its way into the rose gold from the production or the casting processes.
Can you be Allergic to Rose Gold?
Yes, with rose gold jewelry, there is always the risk of allergies because of the trace amounts of nickel that makes their way to the rose gold from the casting process.
Besides nickel, you might be one of the few people that experience allergic reactions to copper. Copper allergies are quite rare, though, and besides the risk of your skin turning green from the copper and the copper salts formed when the copper reacts with air or moisture, the reason for the irritation experienced when you wear rose gold jewelry could be because of nickel.
It’s important to note that some of the possible metal compositions or percentages that make different kinds of rose gold are as follows:
14K Rose Gold – this variety of rose gold consists of 58% pure gold, 32% copper, and only 10% silver.
18K rose gold – this contains 75% pure gold, 22.25% copper, and only 2.75% silver.
22K Rose gold, also referred to as Crown Gold, is made of 91.667% gold.
That said, the metal percentages for rose gold may vary depending on the jewelry manufacturing company because jewelers will always have different recipes for their rose gold jewelry.
Now, going by the information shared here about the percentages, it’s apparent that rose gold doesn’t have any nickel that is added in intentionally. But don’t let this fool you because these other metals used as alloys often come with impurities, and nickel is one of the most common impurities and the reason for the allergies. Also, your rose gold piece picks up nickel during the casting process.
Rose gold Allergy vs. Irritation
Did you know that developing a rash after your skin comes in contact with some kinds of metals in jewelry isn’t always because of allergies and that sometimes, that happens because the skin has been irritated?
Essentially, you could be allergic to the specific metals that the jewelry is made of. In such cases, the rash would be a result of your skin being in contact with a specific metal that you are actually allergic to. In such cases, the skin reaction is referred to as contact dermatitis.
On the other hand, the rash could be the result of mere irritation. There are many instances where this would be the case, for example, when a rash develops because of the moisture trapped under your jewelry. When this happens, the trapped moisture irritates the skin. This would also be the result of the buildup of debris, lotion, soap, as well as dead skin. Notably, there could also be the buildup of debris in or around the jewelry’s crevices. In such cases, the debris turns into the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and the bacterial buildup would result in irritation of the skin, and consequently, a type of dermatitis called occlusion dermatitis.
So, to rule out the cause of the rash or the irritation, first, clean the piece of jewelry and skin. Wear jewelry only after drying up your hands and skin, and keep the jewelry clean and dry always. If doing any of this resolves the problem, then you are not allergic to the jewelry, and you had skin irritation.
However, if the rash and the itchiness persist after the hygiene and moisture issues are resolved, then you are probably experiencing an allergic reaction to a specific metal in the jewelry, often nickel.
What kind of jewelry Are You Allergic to?
If you have an allergic reaction to jewelry, it likely means that you are allergic to nickel. You could have tests to confirm this, but nickel is the most common allergen in jewelry.
How to deal with rose gold jewelry allergy?
- Get a patch test to confirm the allergy. If confirmed you would be prescribed corticosteroids to reduce the rash and severity of the skin irritation.
- Buy hypoallergenic and nickel-free jewelry
- Get jewelry plated to avoid allergies
- Apply clear nail polish as a temporary solution.
Rose gold doesn’t have nickel as a primary ingredient, but it often contains a trace amount of nickel, which is why it isn’t hypoallergenic. Read more posts here or visit this page to read our latest posts!