I’m allergic to an array of metals, is yellow gold the best option for a wedding ring?
My boyfriend and I are not engaged yet, but we have discussed it and I know it is in the near future. I’ve always had a very strong sensitivity to metals, but was never really that noticeable until I got my ears pierced. I assume that it is an allergy to nickel, or even potentially copper (although I know that copper allergies are significantly more rare). My skin often reacts to minor things: such as necklaces, earrings, watches, belt buckles, buttons on jeans, and so on. What confuses me about the allergy is the fact that for our one year anniversary (we’ve been together three years), he got me a white gold promise ring, which has never caused my any problems (and I rarely have taken it off for the past two years).
I am wondering, considering white gold typically is mixed with nickel alloys, should I tell my boyfriend that yellow gold is the best option? I have a feeling he has it in his mind that white gold is the best option, since it was my preference when we first started dating. Personally, stylistically I trust him to pick out the ring he thinks I will love, and I would never want to take that fun away from him! I guess my question is: if I have an allergy to nickel, why would I not react to white gold, and are my fears justifiable–should I try to stick to yellow gold or platinum, just in case? My boyfriend is not exactly rolling in the money, so the idea of him purchasing a platinum ring worries me.
I hope this makes sense and I apologize for the length!
Afshin from Apples of Gold Jewelry
If you have a sensitivity to baser metals such as nickel, you definitely will not want to choose white gold. Depending on how strong your allergy is, you will not be able to wear your ring!
As you know, platinum is the next alternative if you want a white look, but platinum tends to be expensive.
Some things to know about platinum right now: the price of platinum as a precious metal has dropped about 65% in the last year, so you may be able to find deals where you were unable to in the past.
Alternatively, you can also try titanium as a cheaper hypoallergenic alternative.
Finally, if none of the above work for you, then yellow gold is really your best option (and possibly 18k rather than 14k if you are sensitive to copper also).
But I highly recommend staying away from white gold if you really do have an allergy to nickel–as that is the whitening agent used to create white gold.
Thanks for your quick and informative reply! My main confusion stems from the fact that my favourite earrings are white gold and I’ve never reacted to them, but react to anything cheaper than 14 or 18 karat gold, and I also do not react to my promise ring, which is also white gold.
I don’t know if I should post this as another question, or if it ok for me to ask it here since it was brought up in the response…but what are the differences/possible benefits/disadvantages of titanium as compared to the other metals?
Afshin from Apples of Gold Jewelry
Yeah, unfortunately, it’s hard to tell until you actually get the ring and try it on. What you may want to consider is finding out what the return policy is on a ring if you have an allergic reaction. I know with our company for example, we extend our return policy an additional month or so to cover against unknown allergies. But companies will differ.
We wrote an extensive article about hypoallergenic wedding bands that you can check out also, that explains titanium, platinum, etc.