Below I have made notes of the compositions of the metals I use in my designs.
I also think it is worth mentioning that no metal is completely allergy free, there will always be a member of the population that is affected by one metal type or another.
Aluminum is a silver tone metal that is extremely light weight, it does not contain Nickel or Lead and is made right here in the USA – It is Series 5052
A person can be allergic to any of the metals used in jewelry. An allergic reaction to Aluminum is possible but a skin reaction is very rare. The main caveat with Aluminum is oxidization. Some Aluminum’s can leave black stains on your skin similar to the copper in sterling silver will leave a black stain on the skin. To prevent this you can wash the aluminum areas of the jewelry occasionally (being careful of finishes that may have been applied to the final piece).
A person can be allergic to any of the metals used in jewelry. An allergic reaction to Copper is possible but a skin reaction is very rare.
The main caveat with Copper is oxidization. When Copper is exposed to the minerals present in sweat and other skin care products it can leave green or black stains on the skin similar to the copper in sterling silver will leave a black stain on the skin. Although it can be frustrating, the discoloration it is due to the oxidation and not an allergic response.
One thing to note is nickel silver doesn’t contain any silver at all. This is CDA#752 alloy (65% Copper, 17% zinc, 18% nickel)
There is some segment of the population that will have a reaction to Nickel Silver it is referred to and ‘Contact Dermatitis’ reliable figures are difficult to nail down, but the most common issue is with pierced earrings.
Nickel Silver is the most common metal we come into contact with each day such as zippers, keys, silverware, jewelry, musical instruments etc.
My Personal Experience with Nickel Silver: I personally don't have an issue with Nickel Silver when it is used in the structure of earrings or used in either a bracelet, anklet or necklace... However, I do experience a little irritation when it is used for ear wires... which is the reason I won't ever use Nickel Silver for ear wires in any of my jewelry.
304 stainless steel is the most popular grade of stainless steel and is considered Surgical Stainless Steel. It is 18-20% chromium, 8-10.5% nickel, 0.08% carbon, plus iron and the trace elements listed previously.
Many people believe that stainless steel is nickel free, but most stainless steel alloys (even surgical stainless steel) contain 8-12% nickel. It is commonly used in the food industry (sinks, coffee urns, dairy storage and hauling, beer/brewing, citrus and fruit juice handling, etc). The same corrosion and stain resistance that make it great for food handling, also make it popular for jewelry.
Brass or also referred to as Rich Low Brass is made right here in the USA and contains 85% Copper and 15% Zinc (Does Not Contain Nickel or Lead).
A person can be allergic to any of the metals used in jewelry. An allergic reaction to Brass is possible, if your skin turns green after wearing a piece of jewelry, it most likely includes some amount of Brass in its metal composition. Brass is actually an alloy of Copper and Zinc. If you are allergic to Brass you are likely allergic to Copper as well. Brass can oxidize when exposed to the minerals present in sweat and other skin care products, it can leave a greenish stain on the skim similar to copper. Although it can be frustrating the discoloration is due to the oxidation and not an allergic response.