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View Full Version : Surgical steel


marleneb26
04-04-2013, 07:22 PM
Any jewelry companies here offer surgical steel earrings or posts? thx


Crissy
04-04-2013, 07:37 PM
All earrings with lia sophia have surgical steel posts.

Do you have metal allergies? If so, we use rhodium plating on our silver colored jewelry. Rhodium is the best for peole with allergies.

Polished4Five
04-05-2013, 04:07 AM
I'm currently checking with my upline to see if our earrings are made with surgical steel, but I do know that our jewelry is lead-free and nickel-free.

I'll get back to you as soon as I know about the surgical steel. :)

Update: our earrings are not made with surgical steel - they are only lead-free and nickel-free. One trick we teach about our earrings is to paint clear fingernail polish on the posts of your earrings to prevent sensitivity, if you're prone to it


gajewelrylady
04-06-2013, 06:05 PM
The majority of the lia sophia line is nickel safe, as well as the earring posts being surgical steel. It's virtually impossible to make jewelry "nickel free" because nickel is part of making the finish durable and shiny.

marleneb26
04-08-2013, 08:32 PM
Great thank you ladies! I will check out both.

liz.jewels
04-10-2013, 11:13 AM
The majority of the lia sophia line is nickel safe, as well as the earring posts being surgical steel. It's virtually impossible to make jewelry "nickel free" because nickel is part of making the finish durable and shiny.

Do you mean that it's virtually impossible to make costume/fashion jewelry "nickel free?" Nickel is often used as a finish coating over jeweler's brass to help it look like silver and keep it shiny, but some of the nicer costume/fashion companies use rhodium instead.

While a few jewelry companies do put a coating on sterling silver jewelry to keep it from tarnishing, this is almost always rhodium and not nickel (although there might be nickel under the rhodium to help it adhere better). And higher-end companies usually do not coat jewelry, but instead use machine polishing or oxidation to create a nice finish to the piece.

The problem with coating is that when it wears off, you have to re-dip the piece, which can be expensive. If you have sterling silver that is polished, you can just clean it and you are back to like-new shinyness.

I know my company's sterling silver jewelry is nickel free, as the 7.5% of our alloy that is not silver is copper and zinc. Just want to clarify what you meant...

Crissy
04-11-2013, 04:57 PM
Do you mean that it's virtually impossible to make costume/fashion jewelry "nickel free?" Nickel is often used as a finish coating over jeweler's brass to help it look like silver and keep it shiny, but some of the nicer costume/fashion companies use rhodium instead.

While a few jewelry companies do put a coating on sterling silver jewelry to keep it from tarnishing, this is almost always rhodium and not nickel (although there might be nickel under the rhodium to help it adhere better). And higher-end companies usually do not coat jewelry, but instead use machine polishing or oxidation to create a nice finish to the piece.

The problem with coating is that when it wears off, you have to re-dip the piece, which can be expensive. If you have sterling silver that is polished, you can just clean it and you are back to like-new shinyness.

I know my company's sterling silver jewelry is nickel free, as the 7.5% of our alloy that is not silver is copper and zinc. Just want to clarify what you meant...

What Harriett stated is correct. With the exception of sterling silver, it is very hard to make jewelry that is completely nickel free. Since lia sophia is one of the nicer fashion jewelry companies, we use 2 mils of rhodium on our pieces. But the process to make fashion jewelry is different than sterling silver. The brass or white metal is coated in a binding solution that contains nickel. The nickel is not just esential to keep the finish shiny but even more importantly to help the rhodium adhere. You will find that companies that coat in rhodium and use a nickel flash will have a really good warrenty due to the fact that the nickel helps the rhodium adhere and last.
The rhodium also normally cover so well that nickel can not escape from underneith the coating. I have found in my 6 years with lia sophia that most of my nickel allergy women do great with our rhodium plated pieces.
Now, some companies will use a cobalt binding solution. While cobalt does not normally cause allergies, it does not work nearly as well as a binder. The rhodium or gold plating willl not normally stay adhered as well as with the nickel solution. So most that use cobalt do not have a great guarantee.
Some women with extreme nickel allergies can not wear surgical steel nor anything under 18K gold as there is nickel in all surgical steel and sometimes in lower K gold.
I think that lia sophia is now using the term "nickel safe" because of the surgical steel. 100% of our line should be nickel safe by fall. I will find out more at conference.
As always, sterling is nickel free but not cost effective to use in large heavy fashion pieces.

liz.jewels
04-12-2013, 09:30 AM
So if I understand what you are saying, then my statement was also correct - that the comment about it being nearly impossible for jewelry to be entirely nickel free applies to fashion/costume jewelry, not sterling silver or precious (gold) jewelry.

I have a pretty severe nickel allergy and so does my 10 year-old, so I pay a lot of attention to what goes in both our ears and have found that just about any costume jewelry causes us both problems, and so we only wear gold or silver pieces. That being said, I've never owned a piece of Lia Sophia - only fashion jewelry from other DS companies and retail stores. I am glad to hear that your product has allowed women with a nickel allergy like mine to wear fun and beautiful jewelry without enduring ear inflammation and infections! (Or in the necklace category - itchy red necks!)

Edited to add: You are right about surgical steel - my daughter gets infections from surgical steel posts, as did I when I was younger. And cheap gold often has nickel in the mix, so I am really careful about the gold earrings and trying to find out what is in them!

nv93446
04-12-2013, 05:06 PM
Liz: I can't wear earrings unless it's gold or sterling silver either. Anything else makes my skin itch. Necklaces or bracelets don't bother my skin but earrings do. That said, I prefer sterling silver over inexpensive jewelry.

Janette

gajewelrylady
04-13-2013, 11:40 AM
Sterling silver breaks me out....I've never been able to wear it. My comments were based on what I was told when asking about the difference between "nickel safe" and "nickel free."

liz.jewels
04-13-2013, 08:48 PM
Just a side note on silver and allergic reactions - it's very rare for people to be allergic to silver. Usually, people who react to sterling silver are reacting to the metals used in the alloy to strengthen the silver. It's possible that you are one of the rare people who are truly allergic to silver, but it's also possible you are actually allergic to copper (the most common additive used to strengthen sterling silver), or platinum, germanium, or zinc, since these are other additives sometimes used in the alloy. Edited to add: I couldn't remember what Tiffany uses, but I just remembered - they use copper and iridum, which is the metal used in platinum alloys.

It sounds like you have found a great solution in your company - wear pieces electroplated with a high ml thickness in high quality metals that do not provoke an allergic reaction for you!

Did you know that about 15% of the population is allergic to nickel? Being nickel free or nickel safe is so important!

The steel in surgical steel usually contains about 10% nickel, but something about the way it is bound in the metal keeps it from leeching out which is why most people with allergies don't react to it. Still, I have heard of people reacting to surgical steel, and as I said earlier, that's been my experience with my daughter.



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