I recently worked with a client who could only wear nickel-free jewelry.  Since I don’t have a severe allergic reaction to jewelry containing nickel, I’ve never noticed what jewelry is nickel free and which isn’t.   I didn’t know which stores offered it, so I searched online.  The results were abysmal.  Most were beads and shells with lack luster designs.  That triggered a hunt — what options are available?  Is there anything cute and stylish?

Metal Options

To avoid allergic reactions the Mayo Clinic recommends the following:

“Look for jewelry made from such metals as nickel-free stainless steel, surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, 18-karat yellow gold, or nickel-free 14-karat yellow gold, sterling silver, copper and platinum. Avoid jewelry with nickel, as well as cobalt and white gold, which may contain nickel and trigger allergic reactions. Surgical-grade stainless steel may contain some nickel, but it’s generally considered hypoallergenic for most people.”

One would think stainless steel passes the test, but it doesn’t.  According to outside sources, it can contain 8-12% nickel.  It’s nice to have high-end jewelry but the cost compared to costume jewelry is drastic.  So the cost-efficient options are: sterling silver, copper, and jewelry labeled “nickel-free”.

The Results

I figured that there had to be at least a few options at Macy’s because they carry numerous jewelry brands.  Of the 25+ brands in-store, I only found one labeled nickel-free; Lauren by Ralph Lauren.


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This is a start, but it would be great if more companies could create cute accessories without nickel.