Many people love stainless steel for jewelry because it's strong, and doesn't tarnish or discolor. However, if you're allergic to nickel, then stainless steel may not be the best metal for you. Most types of stainless steel used in jewelry -- including surgical stainless steel -- contain approximately 8% nickel. Low-nickel forms of stainless steel do not meet the needs of the medical industry, because they lack the corrosion resistance that nickel gives to steel. If you and your customers are not allergic to nickel, then no problem -- stainless steel is a durable option for making long-lasting jewelry! For more information about stainless steel and other metals used in jewelry, see our Jewelry-Making Materials page.
Looking for allergy-friendly metals? See our 2013 Surgical Steel and Hypoallergenic Metals blog article for a full discussion of this topic, plus links to great earring material options for people with metal allergies.
Because stainless steel is harder than most metals used by jewelers, it's extra hard on tools. Use jewelry tools rated for use with stainless steel (like memory-wire pliers and cutters and ImpressArt Signature metal stamps), or be prepared for broken tools.
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