When it comes to wedding rings and nickel allergy... frustrating is an understatement. I say that because I'm currently dealing with the issue myself.
I introduce you to my beautiful wedding rings that, for almost two years, have given me no issue:
...and this is what they do to my skin sometimes:
My rings are white gold coated with rhodium. Since the gold contains nickel, they're coated with rhodium to protect my skin from flaring up. When we bought the rings, we were told they'd have to be re-dipped in rhodium once or twice a year. No biggie, right?
After about two years, I began to see the reactions in the photos. I went without my rings for a week to see if my skin cleared up and it began to immediately.
My husband took them back to the jewelry store, the rings were dipped in rhodium and ta-da all done! Except after a number of days... I noticed that there were two smaller spots on my engagement ring where they didn't get completely coated... and I react to the TINIEST bit of nickel. My doctor said that I react just like poison ivy.
I decided to see if I could get away with it, though.
So far... NO LUCK.
Here's where life comes in to complicate things. My husband chose this jewelry store because an old high school friend's family owns it. We didn't really choose it out of convenience. As it turns out, they're closed on the weekends and we work full time. Being a few towns over, it's a pain trying to get over there during the week. I'm currently looking at other local jewelers that are easier to access. Sometimes I consider getting it re-set in a different metal.
Beware that most gold contains nickel. Especially white gold, so you have to specifically ask for it and ideally test it.
Here's the breakdown on gold purity:
24 karat = 100% gold
18 karat = 75% gold
14 karat = 58.33% gold
12 karat = 50% gold
10 karat = 41.6% gold
As long as you stick with 24 karat, you're good to go. The one downside is that it's softer than those with less karats.
Aside from pure gold, the other options are:
- sterling silver
- any metal coated with rhodium
Platinum is the most popular, but also the most expensive. Sterling silver isn't as bright as the other metals, but it's the most affordable. It tarnishes easily making this metal high maintenance. Palladium is a great choice as it's bright, low maintenance and more affordable than gold and platinum. The downside is it's newer to the market which makes palladium more difficult to find. Stone is a great option is you're going for something more alternative. My husband has one of these and my main advice is to get sized at the same jewelry store you order it through. Stone rings can't be re-sized, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time. Rhodium coatings are another great option, but a lifetime financial commitment (it's about $40 each time for us) and therefore added maintenance.
If you're considering getting a tattoo, make sure to talk with your tattoo artist about the ink. A lot of black ink contains hard metals including nickel. You can find ink with ingredients on the more natural side, though ;-)
How do YOU cope with your nickel allergy when it comes to wedding rings? Post up in the comments!