IS GOLD VERMEIL HYPOALLERGENIC?
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to jewelry? If so, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from allergies to the metals commonly used in jewelry, like nickel and copper. But what about gold vermeil jewelry? Is gold vermeil hypoallergenic? The short answer is kind of—let’s look into why there is no clear answer.
Q: FIRST, WHAT MAKES JEWELRY HYPOALLERGIC?
A: Hypoallergenic jewelry metals don't contain any metals or other materials that are likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions (such as nickel). Or, if these hypoallergenic jewelry metals do contain common allergens, they only contain trace amounts of these substances (too minute to cause an allergic reaction). A few common allergens are nickel and zinc, both of which are common in costume jewelry and other items made with cheaper materials. Whereas hypoallergenic jewelry metals usually contain base metals such as sterling silver and precious, high-quality metals like gold and platinum.
Q: NEXT, WHAT'S VERMEIL?
A: Gold vermeil is essentially a thicker layer of gold plating over sterling silver, usually at least 2.5 microns thick. This makes it more durable than traditional plated pieces and also helps protect the silver from tarnishing. It also looks very close to solid gold because of its thickness and can often fool even experienced jewelers. The “vermeil” part of the name comes from the French word for “gold-plated” or “golden” (vermeille).
Q: SO, IS VERMEIL HYPOALLERGENIC?
A: The good news is that gold vermeil is somewhat hypoallergenic! The sterling silver used as the base metal in this type of jewelry contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloy metals, such as copper, which increase its strength and durability. Copper can be an allergen for some people. Still, because the layer of gold plating is so thick, it completely covers the copper-containing alloy layer, creating a barrier between your skin and the underlying metal. Even those with sensitive skin can wear gold vermeil without fearing irritation or allergic reaction.
Q: HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO JEWELRY?
A: Well, the simplest way to tell is if you experience any irritation or discomfort after wearing it. Common signs of allergic reactions include redness, swelling, hives, and itching. If your symptoms are severe enough that they interfere with your daily life, it’s best to make an appointment with an allergist for testing. They can help determine if you are actually allergic to the metal or if something else is causing a reaction.
- Rash on the neck.
- Itchy earlobes.
- Red marks where the jewelry touches.
Q: WHAT ARE COMMON JEWELRY ALLERGENS?
A: The most common type of jewelry allergen is nickel. Nickel is found in many types of jewelry and can cause an allergic reaction if it comes into contact with the skin. Other common causes of allergies include zinc, copper, and other lesser metals used in jewelry.
Q: WHAT METALS ARE HYPOALLERGENIC?
Hypoallergenic jewelry is the way to go if you're allergic to jewelry and want to wear something that won't irritate your skin. However, not all hypoallergenic jewelry is created equal—there are different types available for those with sensitive skin. Some of the most common types of hypoallergenic jewelry are listed below.
- 18K Gold
- Fine Silver
- Sterling Silver
- Stainless Steel
In conclusion, most people find that they can safely wear gold vermeil jewelry without experiencing any adverse reactions due to the lack of nickel or other base metals present in its plating process. However, as with any new type of jewelry, it's important to take extra precautions, such as performing a patch test beforehand so that you don't have an unexpected reaction later on down the line!