Daily Wire Tip Nov. 24: Metal Beads for Ear Wraps

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


My daughter is allergic to most metals. I want to make her a pair of ear wraps for Christmas. I have some niobium wire. Is there anything better, and is there anything but glass available in silver colored beads?

-Kay in Crowley, Texas


Kay, my daughter is also allergic to about every metal out there, so I can really relate to your challenge. My solution is to use ArgentiumĀ® wire and for the silver bead choice, do an Internet search for “Argentium beads”; they are available, however, Wire-Sculpture does not yet carry them.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Michele Nicholson

    November 24, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Is there a comparable solution for gold?


    • avatar


      November 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Michele, I make my daughter’s gold-filled earrings on Argentium wires : )

  2. avatar

    Lori Shumey

    November 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Kay
    I am also very sensitive to metals and the one that I have found to be good is the Artistic Wire. I am supposing I don’t get a reaction is because the wire is coated with enamel. That is how it was explained to me. So now I get to make my ear hooks and am able to wear them for hours.. and I have even slept in them .. to see what would happen. I use the 18 gauge… keeps its shape really well. Hope this info helps you.

  3. avatar

    San Juana H Guzman

    November 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Can’t you use sterling silver wire?

    • avatar


      November 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      San, sterling silver contains copper and sometimes nickel and/or zinc – metals that a lot of folks are allergic to.

  4. avatar

    Casey Willson

    November 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I’m sensitive to nickel as well. I can only wear sterling for a short while and my ears are very sore. I dip ALL my own jewelry in (yeah, sounds stupid) a Mop-N-Glow generic called Mop-N-Shine. It puts on an acrylic coating that lasts and lasts. Don’t dip shiny beads or stones in it as it dries blotchy and ugly. It can only be cleaned off with ammonia. Porous stones strengthen. I dip all my low end turquoise in it too. Makes chalk look like a much better grade and it doesn’t break as easily.
    So whether you think this is a professional thing to do or not, it works for me.

    • avatar


      November 24, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks Casey!
      I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving day tomorrow!!

  5. avatar


    November 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Lori I love the artistic wire also, but 18ga is a huge gauge for most peoples piercings. I find that personally I cannot even use 20ga. All of mine are 21.

  6. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    November 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I too have sensitivities but would have never thought of using Artistic Wire – I have a load that I use everywhere else in my jewelry. Oh boy, now I can make blue or green or red earwires!

  7. avatar


    November 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Hi all, I’ve heard fine silver (99%) silver is also good to use for those with allergies. Some people are also having good luck with titanium and niobium, both reactive metals which can be anodized to produce pretty colors. Keep on trying until you find what works best for you.