At HPerry Jewelers, we are experts on jewelry. With that being said, we are not doctors and we don’t claim to be. If you are experiencing symptoms of allergic reaction, please consult a healthcare professional.
Ladies, you’ve been married for three or four years, maybe fifteen or twenty, and you’ve never had a problem with your engagement ring.
The skin on your wedding finger (or maybe it’s neighbor fingers) is irritated and your precious bridal set, the symbol of your love, is uncomfortable to wear. And your first thought, especially if it’s white gold, is “Am I allergic to nickel?”
The answer is maybe, so to help determine the cause, ask yourself these questions.
#1. Is your ring clean?
Soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products, all sorts of chemicals and creams that we touch can build up on our skin and get trapped by our rings. The long-term contact with these chemicals, sometimes made worse by the rings turning back and forth on the finger, can cause skin irritation. Bring your ring in for a free checking and cleaning, wait until the skin irritation heals, and then put the ring back on and see if it comes back.
#2. Is there something about the metal or structure of the ring that might cause irritation?
Our jewelers would be happy to look at your ring under magnification to see if we can detect a bur, or a sharp piece of metal, on your ring. Sometimes as the inside of a ring wears thin, the gallery can become sharp or break and that metal can also irritate your finger. Again, bring your ring in for a free checking and cleaning and our jewelers will be able to tell if there is something about the metal that’s causing problems, and we can fix it here in our shop.
#3. Is it normal for you to have no problems with white gold jewelry when it’s first purchased or after it’s repaired or refurbished, but then over time you start to notice skin irritation as the color of the metal starts to yellow?
Rhodium, a bright white metal in the platinum family, is what we use to plate white gold rings to give them their shine. New white gold rings in the case have it, and all newly repaired or refurbished rings have it. It’s not common for people to be allergic to rhodium, but sometimes people are allergic to another metal in the white gold alloy. As the rhodium plating wears away, the skin comes in contact with the white gold alloy and irritation can occur. If you are not wanting to switch to a yellow gold or platinum ring, then having your ring frequently refurbished, therefore re-rhodium plated, should be enough to solve your problem.
#4. Are you allergic to other metals you come in contact with? Buttons and zippers? Or other jewelry that you like to wear?
If you do have a metal allergy, you may notice it when you touch or wear other things that aren’t your wedding ring. In this case, we definitely recommend consulting a healthcare professional. Just because you didn’t always have an allergy doesn’t mean you haven’t developed one, and skin allergies should be taken seriously.
GIA Diamonds Graduate, GIA AJP
Designer and Consultant for HPerry Jewelers since 2013