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Metal allergies are pretty annoying and finding a wedding ring that will suit your body can be way more difficult than necessary. Metal allergies arise from the alloys in the jewelry, and not all jewelry uses the same alloys so most of us with a red rash on our fingers are stuck in the dark. Never fear! We will break down the details of hypoallergic metals and show you some of our favorite rash-free wedding rings.
Symptoms of metal allergies arise within 24 to 48 hours of being exposed to the metal. Redness, tenderness, itching, swelling, heat radiating from the skin, dry patches, and blisters are the tell-tale signs of a metal allergy. If you have these symptoms you can treat the skin with cortisone cream and take an antihistamine however severe cases should be treated by your doctor.
Metals to avoid if you have a metal allergy:
Nickel - This is the number one metal allergy in the world and go figure, it's the most widely used alloy on the planet.
Gold - Unless you're buying 22k or 24k gold jewelry (highly unlikely in the west), you're running the risk of triggering an allergy. White gold is an alloy with nickel and other metals while yellow gold alloy can contain silver, brass, nickel, or copper. 18k gold may be acceptable but if you have severe skin allergies, sadly it's best to avoid gold all together.
Stainless Steel - Trace amounts of iron and nickel can be present which can irritate super sensitive skin
Copper - If you have an allergy to copper, be sure to pass on Rose Gold because the pretty rose color is achieved through an alloy of copper, gold, and occasionally nickel depending on the gold karat.
Brass - As an alloy of copper and zinc, this base metal is usually plated with gold or silver but can trigger metal allergies. If you have ever had a piece of jewelry turn your skin green, it's probably made of brass.
You might hear the word Ceramic and think “I’ll break that” but it’s unlikely unless you need to. Ceramic wedding bands are made of titanium carbide, titanium and carbon atoms in the form of a powder that is heated to 1800 degrees Celsius. Ceramic rings are less likely to crack than tungsten carbide rings which can be a pro or con, depending on how you wear your rings. Ceramic rings are lightweight and low maintenance as they do not tarnish and are virtually scratch resistant with a hardness of around 9 on the Mohs scale, with diamond only being harder. These rings will not bend, warp, or crack, making it a popular choice for those who are active with their hands. Ceramic is a great choice for those who cannot wear metal jewelry because it is 100% natural and organic material. It’s not actually metal which means ceramic is a great choice for electricians or those who need their wedding bands to be non-conductive. In case of an emergency, ceramic rings must be shattered to protect the finger, just like tungsten carbide rings which gives an extra sense of security. Sadly, you’ll need a new ceramic ring at the end of it but you’ll still have your finger. Like most other alternative metals, ceramic rings are unable to be sized and lifetime sizing is included with your purchase with TheRutile.com. Ceramic is a great choice for those who want to wear their wedding ring every day, have a metal allergy and want an overall low maintenance ring.
VIVALDI - Black Ceramic Wedding Band With Yellow Gold Groove
You have probably already noticed how cheap titanium rings can be. Titanium is the ninth most abundant element and the seventh most abundant metal on earth. While an ounce of gold is going for about $1800, a whole pound of titanium is around $11. It is also very easy to manufacture and doesn’t require the same refining processes as other metals. While it’s not very expensive, titanium makes for a great ring! Titanium is very lightweight but extremely strong and does not tarnish. Titanium is hypoallergenic and maintains its luster much longer than traditional metals like gold or sterling silver. If you are in an accident with your ring finger, the EMS will need special cutters to remove the ring but this has become more common as titanium rings have increased in popularity. Like most other alternative metals, titanium rings are unable to be sized and lifetime sizing is included with your purchase with TheRutile.com. If you are looking for a ring to be an heirloom piece to hold or increase in value as it is passed through generations, you may need to look for a different metal. If you want a lightweight, durable, and hypoallergenic ring that doesn’t break the bank, titanium is an awesome choice!
OHANA - Koa Wood and Titanium Ring with Intricate Edges
Cobalt chrome is a great alternative for those with metal allergies as they are hypoallergenic and bio-compatible. The metal will not cause irritation or allergic reactions and the metal is used in surgical instruments, dental and joint implants. Cobalt Chrome is significantly harder and more durable than gold, being virtually scratch resistant and requiring no special care as it is an aerospace-grade alloy. Cobalt chrome has a bright and shiny silver luster while feeling like a precious metal. Unlike other alternative metals, Cobalt Chrome is not brittle and will not crack or shatter.
KOBOLD - Domed Cobalt Ring with Polished Finish in 4mm to 8mm Widths
Tungsten Carbide rings are super hard, a 9 on the Mohs scale, meaning that the only thing that can scratch a tungsten ring is a diamond. It’s two to three times harder than Cobalt Chrome and Titanium. Tungsten bands are about 85% tungsten carbide and 15% nickel which balances brittleness and softness. This is a great alternative for those with gold allergies because tungsten carbide is naturally hypoallergenic, just be mindful of the nickel if you have a nickel allergy. Tungsten rings are not going to bend or warp, but if you are in an accident with your Tungsten Carbide ring, the material is able to be easily removed by EMS by cracking the ring and probably saving your finger. It’s much easier to remove than gold! It will break if enough force is applied, but it is four times harder than titanium and twice as hard as steel. Tungsten rings have about the same weight as gold and platinum, so you know you’re wearing something substantial. Like most other alternative metals, titanium rings are unable to be sized and lifetime sizing is included with your purchase with TheRutile.com. We highly suggest Tungsten Carbide rings for those who work with their hands and want to wear their everyday wedding band at work because it is so easy to remove in case of an emergency.
MAGNUS - Domed Brush Finished Tungsten Carbide Ring
Platinum has been the elite’s metal of choice for centuries because of its durability, beauty, and purity. Platinum is usually stamped Platinum, PT, or Plat will have at least 95% purity. Platinum can also be stamped 950 for 95% purity or 999 for 99.9% purity. Most people do not have metal allergy reactions to platinum because of its purity. It is very heavy and is more malleable than gold. A ring made of platinum will weigh about 60% more than the exact same ring made of 14k gold. Instead of breaking off like gold, platinum moves like soft butter when scratched so there’s significantly less wear over time. Some places will use rhodium plate platinum to remove the slight grayish tint that can occur over time; however, it’s not necessary. A simple polish will return your platinum jewelry back to its silvery sheen.
If you have any questions about which metal is right for you, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're always happy to help.