Which Jewelry Metals are Hypoallergenic

Open up your jewelry chest, and what will you find? Metal is overwhelmingly the go-to material for jewelry because it is attractive, malleable, and durable. Whether you tend to wear fashionable costume jewelry or have more expensive tastes, including gold and diamonds, you’re likely stocked with personal accessories made mostly of metal

While many different types of metal are used in jewelry manufacturing, they are not all created equally. Precious metals like gold and silver are very soft and need to be mixed with other metals, resulting in an alloy, the chemical combination of metals. Nickel is often used in alloys because it is in the top five most abundant elements on Earth and mixes easily with precious metals to form the best alloys for jewelry-making.

Unfortunately, using nickel in jewelry can be problematic for nearly 20% of Americans who have a skin allergy to the element. Luckily, there are hypoallergenic options for those of us with sensitive skin. But what does hypoallergenic really mean?

In this article, we will explore:

  • What is hypoallergenic jewelry?
  • Best types of hypoallergenic jewelry
  • Specific options for hypoallergenic jewelry

Related: How to Tell If You’re Allergic to Your Jewelry


What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

A quick search for the definition of hypoallergenic returns the same vague description: “unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.” In the world of jewelry, hypoallergenic means that the material is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. 

Jewelry manufacturers can achieve the hypoallergenic label by limiting the nickel content in their products to levels that are less likely to irritate. While it is generally accepted that hypoallergenic jewelry relates to nickel content, it should be noted that nickel is not necessarily the only culprit when it comes to skin allergies caused by jewelry.

If you suffer from skin sensitivity with jewelry, it is critical to know which metals your jewelry is made from. You must determine which metals are truly allergy-free for you. With the guide below, we provide options for the best hypoallergenic jewelry.

chin and embellished hoop earring

The Best Hypoallergenic Jewelry 

As a rule, the closer to pure a metal is, the higher the likelihood of being designated as hypoallergenic. A few of the best hypoallergenic metals commonly used in jewelry are:


LaCkore Couture handcrafted jewelry is made of the finest materials, with all metals dipped in hypoallergenic 24K gold or silver. Let our experts at LaCkore Couture find the perfect necklace, ring, or bracelet to have ready for your next occasion and skip the worry about skin irritation. 

Platinum  

A premium choice for hypoallergenic jewelry is platinum, a shiny silverish-white, corrosion-resistant metal. Platinum’s natural properties make it an excellent jewelry-forging material without the need to add significant amounts of other metals in alloys.  

Platinum is mined along with rhodium, palladium, and other metals in Columbia and America. It is an element that is much rarer than gold and, therefore, much more expensive. When used in jewelry, it is typically alloyed with other hypoallergenic metals, including ruthenium, iridium, and cobalt. Because it is so pure compared to other metals used in jewelry-making, it’s a great option for people with sensitive skin.

Palladium 

Palladium can be a more affordable precious metal in the same group of elements as platinum. Like platinum, palladium is also shiny, silvery-white, and hypoallergenic due to its purity. 

Palladium differs from platinum in its density. The less-dense palladium element is more malleable and may need to be alloyed with harder metals. Palladium by itself is brittle, but when used as a metal alloy in white gold, it can be a substitute for nickel to produce a hypoallergenic version of white gold.


Related: 5 Ways a Bracelet Can Elevate Your Look

Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver 

Rhodium is an element found as a byproduct when mining for platinum; therefore, it can be quite expensive, and its availability ebbs and flows in conjunction with platinum supply. Rhodium by itself is brittle and difficult to work with. While it is generally too expensive and brittle to be used alone to create jewelry, it is commonly used as a plating metal.  

When rhodium is used in plating, a very thin layer is placed over gold, silver, or other metal base metal. This adds luster and strength properties while also providing a hypoallergenic barrier. Rhodium can be used over a not hypoallergenic metal, but eventually, the plating may wear off and cause a skin reaction. 

Rhodium-plating over sterling silver may be one of the best hypoallergenic options for jewelry. It uses both hypoallergenic base and plating materials.

Sterling Silver 

Genuine sterling silver, also called 925 silver, can be hypoallergenic. Sterling silver has at least 92.5% pure silver with other metals mixed into the other 7.5%. The other metals in sterling silver can include:

  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Germanium 
  • Silicon
  • Platinum
  • Nickel

If you are looking for hypoallergenic sterling silver, you will want to make sure that nickel is not one of the metals used in the alloy or that the amount is insignificant.

Gold bracelet


24K Gold 

Up to this point, all of the hypoallergenic jewelry metal options we have covered have been silver in color. Luckily, you are not limited to silver-colored jewelry if you are sensitive to nickel. Yellow gold can be hypoallergenic, depending on the purity.  


Gold purity is measured in karats, with a maximum of 24 karats, which means 24K Gold is pure gold. Since 24K gold is 100% pure gold, it contains no nickel and is hypoallergenic.

The downside to pure 24K gold is that it is very soft; therefore, it is rarely used in making jewelry in its purest form. Most of the gold jewelry you find are of lesser karat, 14K or 18K gold, mixed with harder metals. 

Related: The Hottest Jewelry Trends for this Winter

Final Thoughts on Hypoallergenic Jewelry

Skin sensitivities can add an extra challenge to your jewelry shopping, but if there’s one thing to learn from it, it’s that you can lean on your jeweler to help choose which metals are in your jewelry. All LaCkore Couture jewelry is handmade from the highest-quality metals, and we can help you pick the best materials that will feel great on your skin. All of our jewelry comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Gold-plating is a more practical way to use 24K pure gold in jewelry, and that’s why at LaCkore Couture, we offer 24K gold plating in most of our collections. Check out our beautiful collection of gold necklaces, which are the perfect hypoallergenic option you can wear today!