Daily Wire Tip Oct. 24: Hypoallergenic Ear Wires

By on October 23, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
October 24, 2010


What do you suggest, or do you carry something specific to use to make earrings for someone allergic to metals?

-Ann in Danvers, Massachusetts


Most often, I recommend that folks use Argentium and always have a box of my handmade styles with me. I also carry a supply of inexpensive but good quality surgical steel ear wires and posts as well.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 8:18 am

    You can also use Titanium or Niobium, both of which are great for use for people with metal allergies. These metals are also anodizable, which means that you can use electricity to change the colour of the wire to match the bead colours you are using.

  2. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 8:55 am

    What about niobium? That is supposed to be hypo allergenic, and comes in several colors.

  3. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Niobium wire is also supposed to be more hypo-allergenic. If you use the colored wire though, I doubt you could tumble it as the coating may come off, and though I have never used it, I understand it is easy to “rub off” little areas of color with your tools if you are not careful.

  4. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I have metal allergies to ear-wires and I find I can wear Sterling Silver as ear-wires, but I have to keep them in little plastic bags, so they don’t tarnish. I prefer gold but I make my own ear-wires out of SS and keep them clean and find I have no problems as of yet.

  5. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I have grandgirls that have reactions to most metals..they just don’t wear earrings…I have a reaction to any gold over 10kt..hadn’t thought about titanium…

  6. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Don’t you mean surgical steel rather than stainless steel. I think gold is also hypo-allergenic and possibly rhodium but I’m not sure. Definitely titanium and niobium as mentioned above. Although to be more exact, it’s possible for a person to be sensitive to almost anything so in all cases the buyer should do a skin test of any new metal they are considering.

    • avatar


      October 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      You are right Patricia – I did mean ‘Surgical’ steel!!

  7. avatar


    October 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Not all stainless steel is jewelry grade steel. I use surgical steel for my hypo-allergenic wires.

    • avatar


      October 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      Yes Regina – I did mean ‘surgical’ steel – sometimes I type so fast that my hands get ahead of my brain : )

  8. avatar

    Kathryn Kienle

    October 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    For someone who is allergic to metals, the best type of earwires to use are fine silver earwires which are 99.9% pure silver. If my customer prefers them, I also have a stash on hand to switch them to the fine silver.