There’s nothing more disappointing than buying a new piece of jewelry only to abandon it after one wear when it leaves your skin swollen or itchy. Yet this is a frequent experience for many metal allergy sufferers.

Metal allergies and nickel sensitivity in particular, is one of the most common allergies in the U.S. and abroad. And prolonged exposure to the metal can lead to a variety of harmful reactions. Still, avoiding the alloy isn’t that easy – and when it comes to jewelry it becomes nearly impossible. It’s in everything!

Even items marked nickel-free or hypoallergenic may be hiding a high enough percentage to turn your skin red. So how can you make sure the jewelry you’re buying is truly allergy-friendly?

To help, we’ve put together a handy infographic to show you what to look for, what metals to avoid, and how to salvage all those non-hypoallergenic jewelry pieces you love.

Let’s go!

nickel free jewelry

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How can you test your jewelry for traces of nickel or copper?

There are at home metal testing kits. These can be purchased off of Amazon for under $50 or directly from a seller. Each kit should come with a solution and test swabs to rub over your jewelry. If the swab comes back pink, red, or purplish in color, the jewelry contains nickel.

What happens if you have a piece of jewelry you love but it contains nickel or copper?

Once you’ve found nickel in your jewelry there’s no need to toss it! If you have a piece you really love, have a jeweler plate or re-plate it!

Plating your jewelry will help create a protective barrier between the metal and your skin. Just keep in mind that plating fades over time, so you will have to re-plate your jewelry in the future depending on use.

Also, plated jewelry may require different jewelry cleaning techniques, so double-check before you start washing!

In the end

Knowing what to look for and sticking to truly hypoallergenic metals like titanium or niobium will save you a lot of time and money.

And we at Titanium Style are happy to help you find exactly what you need!