Jewelry Making Tip of the week:
This week I received a question about nickel in jewelry wire. Many people are allergic to nickel and need jewelry that is free of nickel. I did not have a good response to this question so I had to do some research. Here is what I found:
Some silver wire is made as an alloy that does include nickel. The nickel helps to harden the wire. The way to avoid nickel in silver jewelry is to purchase either Fine Silver or Sterling Silver. Sterling Silver is also called 925 silver and frequently has 925 stamped on it. Sterling Silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Fine Silver is 99.9% silver with only traces of impurities. Both Sterling Silver and File Silver are nickel free and should not cause allergies due to nickel content.
Gold is almost never used in jewelry in its pure form. Pure gold (24K) is too soft to be used for jewelry and is therefore alloyed with other metals to add color and hardness. 18K gold is 75% pure gold (18K/24K=.75) with the remaining 25% being made up of other metals. 18K Yellow Gold is made up of 75% gold, 15% silver and 10% copper. 18K White Gold is sometimes made of 75% gold and 25% palladium. White Gold can also be as an alloy of gold, copper, nickel and zinc. For this reason, if you are allergic to nickel you should avoid White Gold.
14K gold is 58 1/3% gold (14/24=.5833). 14K Yellow Gold is made of 58% gold, 25% silver and 17% copper. 14K Rose Gold contains 58% gold, 32% copper and 10% silver. 14K White Gold contains 58% gold and 42% palladium.
Select here for a web page with good information about gold and silver.