, to prevent the possibility of any metal allergies from jewelry purchased from CrystalsCrystals.com.
WHAT ARE METAL ALLERGIES?
People who are allergic to certain metals experience contact dermatitis when their skin is exposed to those materials. The metal in jewelry is a big contributor to these conditions because it rests close to the body for prolonged periods. Some individuals have metal allergies from childhood, and others develop allergic reactions later in life. Piercings are often triggers that cause allergies due to the metal particles being exposed to open wounds. Metal allergies do not go away, and repeated exposure can worsen the condition.
COMMON JEWELRY METAL ALLERGIES
Nickel is the primary metal that people are allergic to. Jewelry pieces containing this metal are high irritants because nickel dissolves in water and forms salts. Through sweating or washing, the salts get into the skin and cause itchy, painful reactions. Perfumes, soaps, and lotions on the skin can have the same results if there is enough moisture. Copper and cobalt are also responsible for causing allergic reactions in some individuals.
JEWELRY METAL ALLOYS
Some people think that they are allergic to gold and silver, but these metals only cause reactions in extremely rare circumstances. The more likely culprits in these situations are the alloys that are combined with the gold or silver to make the material harder and less expensive. Low-karat gold and silver are often mixed with nickel and copper, which are the sources for many allergic reactions. Copper is also used to make brass jewelry, which some people believe they are allergic to.
SYMPTOMS OF METAL ALLERGIES
Contact dermatitis (itching, red blotches, tiny raised bumps) is the main symptom of metal allergies. Reactions typically occur within 24 hours of exposure and disappear if the cause is removed and avoided. Symptoms appear around the area of skin that was in contact with the jewelry and may spread to other parts of the body. Allergic reactions range from mild to severe and can increase vulnerabilities to infections. The skin becomes red, swollen, and itchy in mild conditions. In more severe cases, the skin becomes dry and cracked, and blisters may form.
WHY DOES SOME JEWELRY CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTIONS
Whether you purchase jewelry at a retail chain, online, in your local department store or from an independent artisan, there is always a chance for allergic reaction. As costs go, so do the materials jewelry is made from. In less expensive jewelry there may be trace amounts of nickel and other alloys and plated jewelry can also contain nickel underneath a top coating. EVEN NATURAL LEATHER ... many are surprised to learn that even natural leather jewelry can cause contact dermatitis for lots of people. The process of tanning leather requires metal and traces are often left behind. Also dyes can be a culprit.
VARYING LEVELS OF SENSITIVITY TO VARIOUS METALS
As the properties of metals are upgraded, there are times when metals themselves produce varying types if sensitivity. If you know you have metal allergies IT IS IMPORTANT to note that even very small amounts of a metal you are allergic to can cause a severe allergic reaction when worn as jewelry.
When you can not determine the exact contents of jewelry metals, you can pick up a metal testing kit at your local jewelry supply store and perform a metal test at home before wearing these accessories.
Using a precious metal-testing kit, you can determine the type of metal an item of jewelry IS, or IS NOT. These tests are inexpensive, completely safe for the jewelry and can quickly help individuals determine whether or not an accessory is safe to wear.
"TEST AND SEE":
When shopping at CrystalsCrystals.com, any retail location or any website selling jewelry, finding items you like at affordable prices is great, but as well as the design elements that you love, you must remember that
discount pricing is usually directly related to the materials used in manufacturing an item. We strive to offer the best guaranteed quality items at the most affordable pricing, but when it comes to mettalurgical allergies it is very individual and specific. There are millions of brands of fashion jewelry in the marketplace, and while the majority of us can wear most brands of fashion jewelry with no skin issues, and can enjoy the deep discounts found in this retail category of jewelry, those who experience mettalurgical reactions know well the wisdom of purchasing all fine metal jewelry, or taking the "test and see" route. CrystalsCrystals.com supports the "test and see" route because that is the only way to find out if a manufacturer line of jewelry that you like is safe for YOU to wear.
Metal allergies do not have to keep you from wearing beautiful and fashionable jewelry. CrystalsCrystals.com is committed to the code of offering not only beautiful, but "safe and healthy" jewelry to our customers.
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE:
You can always shop with confidence at CrystalsCrystals.com knowing that each purchase comes backed by our solid return policy. Other than final sale purchases, all other purchases can be returned for any reason within 7 days and in the same condition as received. Simply return it to us for a refund or credit toward a future purchase, which will be processed within ten (10) business days. We believe that though all customers read item descriptions it is not until you receive the item and wear it that you will know for sure that you wish to keep it, so our open return policy and fast refund processing ensures that you can navigate the "test and see" approach and enjoy shopping the beautiful jewelry designs we offer.
HYPOALLERGENIC METALS AND EARWIRES
A lot is changing for the better in the jewelry industry with important new technologies in the creation of beads, gemstones, and metals. As well the law is changing and keeping a close eye on maintaining a safe and healthy marketplace for the purchase of jewelry to be sold in the United States. Legislations outlawing dangerous products which have for too long been sold in mainstream American retail spaces are slowly and gradually being removed from the markeplace. These are much needed measures for improvement to help keep us all wearing safe jewelry, especially our children.
CrystalsCrystals.com does not sell jewelry intended for wearing or use by children under the age of 12 years old.
Children are a big segment of the jewelry industry and growing each year, this growth helped precipitate the removal of cadmium containing jewelry from American retail spaces. CrystalsCrystals.com supports these full disclosure and safety practices and via this page we will keep you informed, as we are informed with updates.
Jewelry Findings is an old world term used to describe the components which go into the making of jewelry, and includes items such as clasps, earrings, crimps, and metal beads. CrystalsCrystals.com offers a selection of sterling silver, gold-filled, 10-24 karat gold, and surgical grade stainless steel chains and earwires ... the highest quality jewelry findings available to us. When our clients desire a chain for a pendant, or different earwires to replace the original earwires, we want to provide the best possible one-stop jewelry shopping experience. All earwires and wire used in the creation of jewelry made by CrystalsCrystals.com is know by us to be 100% lead and nickel compliant, durable, non-tarnish and categorized as hypoallergenic.
JEWELRY FINDINGS & WIRE USED BY CRYSTALSCRYSTALS.COM
ALL wire-wrapped jewelry originating from our design showroom is made with 100% lead & nickel compliant, sturdy, non-tarnish hypoallergenic wire, or .925 sterling silver, sterling filled, 14K gold or gold filled wire as per order.
If you want a specific wire size, specific wire color or specific types of earwires, chain, or findings simply e-mail us with your preferences - it's that simple. As couture designers we pay attention to the finer detail and your preferences can be met. When ordering you can ADD A NOTE to us when you place an order with your preferences for earwire style and metals - and you will receive your item the way you want it.
All earrings designed at CrystalsCrystals.com's design studio are shipped with .925 sterling or gold-plated french hook earwires (all french hook ear wire styles includes a set of earnuts to prevent the wires from slipping out of the ear). In the case of clip style earrings, surgical steel or silver plated 100% sturdy, non-tarnish lead and nickel compliant earclips. 14K and gold-filled earwires are also available and can be changed per your order. Lever back earwires in sterling silver, 14K gold and gold-filled are available per your order. In the case of rare and vintage jewelry the original earwires and findings are not removed to maintain the authentic creation of the item, but vintage earrings can almost always have the original earwires replaced with silver or gold.
When necklace or pendant items originate from the CrystalsCrystals.com design studio they can include a chain. Chains we use are either sterling silver, rhodium plated sterling silver, rhodium plated surgical steel, 10-24 karat gold, or gold-filled.
Please send your specific requests to us: Customer Care
FINE METALS COMMONLY USED TO CREATE JEWELRY:
Higher carat Gold jewelry is suitable in just about every type of jewelry and it retains is shine and appearance with regular cleaning with a jewelry polishing cloth. Gold requires relatively little maintenance. As gold and silver jewelry can also dull over time, having a jwelry cleaning and polishing cloth handy is wise. When purchasing gold jewelry, look for pieces that are higher than 14 karat. Anything lower than 14k can contain trace amounts of nickel and other alloys that can be allergens. Individuals with copper metal allergies should avoid color-plated gold, such as rose gold as the color coating can contain copper.
Platinum jewelry is a beautiful silvery-white color that shines, and this metal is naturally hypoallergenic. Platinum jewelry is usually comprised of less than 10 percent alloys.
Sterling silver is an alloy containing at least 92.5% silver. The most popular sterling silver alloy is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. To prevent tarnish while on display in department stores and high-end jewelry stores, some sterling is plated with rhodium. Most people can safely wear good quality sterling silver, but a few are allergic to silver or copper. In order to be called Sterling Silver, the metal must possess at least 92.5% pure Silver, but the other components can vary. Sterling silver is considered a standard among silver grades and provides strength to ensure that pieces like silver bracelets, rings and necklaces can withstand regular use.
When shopping for white-gold jewelry, consider Palladium. This silvery-white metal looks like platinum and produces less allergic reactions. Palladium alloys replace rhodium and nickel in white gold so that the accessory is less likely to cause any type of jewelry metal irritaiton or metal reaction.
NIOBIUM & ARGENTIUM
Niobium is less expensive type of hypoallergenic metal that is a good alternative to precious metals. Findings made with niobium are 100% hypoallergenic, so those with known metalurgical allergies may want to consider niobium findings and chains. Niobium comes in a variety of vibrant colors and CrystalsCrystals.com offers jewelry designs with Niobium wire, chain, earwires and findings. ARGENTIUM silver wire and findings are also available. Argentium silver contains 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent alloy. Argentium is a hypoallergenic substitute to copper and still maintains the beautiful appearance of sterling silver. This material has the added benefit of being tarnish resistent.
While metal allergies are rarer in men, 6 percent of men suffer from contact dermatitis vs. 25 percent of women, men also need hypoallergenic alternatives to sterling silver and 14k gold. In addition to the materials listed above, men can choose jewelry from the materials listed below.
Titanium is a highly durable metal that is also hypoallergenic. Many men's rings incorporate this metal for its desirable properties. Titanium jewelry resists corrosion even with exposure to sweat and chlorinated pool water. Some gold jewelry uses titanium alloys instead of nickel or other metals. Titanium contains no nickel, a metal responsible for jewelry allergies. Titanium is available in a number of finishes. Titanium jewelry will not fade in color.
Stainless steel jewelry has become increasingly popular in recent years due to it's strength, and changing tastes and style trends that lean toward a more industrial look. Commonly used in a variety of industrial applications, Stainless Steel has found its way to fashion where it's used in everything from men's jewelry to necklaces to earrings for women. Stainless Steel was developed to be impervious to staining or corrosion and was adopted by heavy industry. Today, stainless steel is a sturdy material choice for men's jewelry and is actually gaining favor with women also. It if used often in designs featuring an industrial, street look with a touch of flash.
High-tech ceramic is a synthetic material primarily used in watches and rings. Since there is no metal, this material is considered hypoallergenic and it is highly durable. Some men prefer ceramic jewelry over metal for its lightweight feel and solid colors that do not chip or fade over time.
Tungsten is a hypoallergenic metal often used as an alloy for gold jewelry. With a brushed finish, tungsten jewelry is highly resistant to scratches.
RARE, VINTAGE AND COLLECTIBLES
For many years Crystal McCarey was an auction and estate sale representative for GEMTVUSA.com, attending auctions and estate sales throughout California, and the Western region of the United States, including Nevada and Arizona. CrystalsCrystals.com's shopping cart will soon offer one-only fine jewelry, collectible timepieces, estate gems, private auction jewelry, custom designed collector jewelry and rare vintage jewelry items. These items are carefully described to disclose as much information as possile in the item description. It is particularly important to note these specifics when purchasing rare, vintage and collectible items.
All featured graphics are created by Crystal McCarey and used for illustrative purposes only.
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