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Niobium - Now In Technicolor!


Besides being nickel-free and allergy safe, one of niobium's amazing qualities is that it can be anodized to become a rainbow of colors. The natural color of niobium is steel gray, but now I can actually change the color to be a variety of choices. I have recently invested in my own anodizing equipment. This means that I can color my own jewelry, and provides us both with a full range of color choices. I have created this chart by coloring pieces of wire at different points along this spectrum. Additional colors I can offer are "rainbow," and of course natural niobium gray. What is Anodizing? When I  submerge the finished piece of j... » Read More

Everything You Should Know about Nickel Allergy


Do you get a painful rash from the jewelry you wear? If you do, you may have a nickel allergy. Up to 40% of women and an increasing number of men are becoming sensitive to this common metal. Typically, a nickel allergy will begin from an exposure when ears are newly pierced, possibly at a very young age. The rash itself will not appear until months or years later. Other sources of exposure includes industrial workplaces, or many every day items we rely on such as belt buckles and watches. Once you have a nickel allergy, it will be with you for life. The only way to avoid the rash entirely is to avoid nickel. This is harder than it soun... » Read More

Custom Orders ~ Especially With Your Needs In Mind


"Can you make a black natural stone necklace suitable for a job interview?" Certainly. If you would like me to make something special just for you or for someone you love, just tell me what you need. To place a custom order,  e-mail me and ask for what you would like.  You can also use the message link at the bottom of this page. I check my e-mail daily and will get back to you as soon as I am able. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required on all custom work.  A custom order is a collaboration which will take a bit of time and effort on both of our parts. I must be able to communicate with you easily by e-mail to c... » Read More

All That Glitters Isn't Gold!


Although this old adage is intended as a warning, I take it as an invitation to explore. After all, Gold isn't the only beautiful thing in the world, is it?Can you find the beauty in Botswana Agate, in African Turquoise, in Picasso Jasper? I can. And I don't think their beauty is inferior to anything.  No offense to the shiny people, but I think some stones and metals get great press, mostly because they're, you know, Shiny. I dislike the class system in gemstones and metals, much as I dislike it in people. I'll decide what's precious to me, and value it for what it is, not what it isn't. Just listen to their names. Go ahead. Pronounce the... » Read More

Visit me at Blogspot


To see more blog posts, come visit me at BlogSpot.com. I have decided to maintain a single blog at that address so you always know where to find my latest.So stop by, and give me a wave. I'd love to hear your ideas and comments too!www.naturallynickelfree.blogspot.com. ... » Read More

Handmade, With Love


"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."                                                                                      -Carl Sagen Generally speaking, we have just become used to being suspicious of the the things we buy. It seems that too many things come from sweatshops worldwide, from companies too large to even claim responsibility, much less actually talk to. Handmade is better.  Better quality, better service, better for the economy, and if you have a qu... » Read More

Titanium Posts


Post Earrings are some of the most basic earrings you can have - functional in any work or home situation, and as beautiful as the stone that graces them. These deceptively simple earrings are surprisingly difficult for the nickel-allergic customer to buy with confidence. Let me tell you why.  Even if you know you are nickel allergic, and that you should search for nickel free metal, those little posts have three different parts you have to ask about. The first is the post itself. That's the part that actually goes through your skin, of course. I have seen earrings sold as titanium earrings, but ONLY the post was actuall... » Read More

Brass


Please allow me to tell you about Brass. I have latched onto this metal for my own work for a couple of reasons. It does not contain nickel. It contains copper and zinc, so although it is an alloy, it does not require nickel to achieve its color and strength. It is widely available, and has a beautiful warm color. I began to use it more since I obtained some nickel-free / lead-free chain which I discovered I love to experiment with. I have found it greatly expands the number of things I can make, including the great necklace above. Even though brass itself does not contain nickel, that does not prevent me from asking questions, and as alw... » Read More

Introducing. . .Argentium Sterling Silver


I am pleased to announce that I am now offering Argentium Sterling Silver in my studio. Argentium is nickel free and tarnish resistant - can you imagine anything more fabulous?Argentium, like regular Sterling Silver has 7.5% copper and just a trace amount of germanium. This is the wonderful "secret ingredient" that helps it resist tarnish. Since no other hardeners are needed, you can rely on it being nickel-free. ... » Read More

Surgical Stainless Steel - What's the Deal?


Here's a metal that drives me crazy, and is just plain confusing: Surgical Stainless Steel.  Surgical Stainless Steel is considered hypoallergenic by many manufacturers .  In fact some people with nickel allergies can successfully wear it, but others cannot wear it all. It has a very tight chemical bond between the nickel and the steel. The bond is said to be tight enough, that the nickel "cannot" leech out to your skin. It seems clear to me that since some people still have a reaction to it, this is not always the case.  By the way the term "Surgical" in this metal does really tell you about the content of the metal. It just mea... » Read More

Alloy Allergy


An alloy is a combination of metals which are bonded to obtain the best qualities of both metals. This occurs often when one metal has a beautiful shine or color, but may be too soft retain its shape on its own. There are several alloys that do not contain nickel at all. Brass, for example is commonly 2/3 copper and 1/3 zinc.  Since zinc acts as the hardener, there is no need for nickel to be added, so even though it is an alloy, it is nickel free. Here is what my customers should know though: a few people, rarely, have allergies that are activated by alloys in general - not necessarily just nickel or another individual metal. Even if you... » Read More

Inside the Studio


I suppose it's time to tell you more about my little studio. It's not fancy, but that's the way I like it.  I have one side for tools and working, one side for photos, one side for my computer. My beads are likely to outgrow the storage I have for them soon, but I don't mind that a bit. If you click on the photo above, you'll get a larger view. I really want to tell you about my tool rack and why it is so special to me.  I had been looking for a better way to keep my tools, and my husband wanted to help me out. He saw the type of tool storage units I was looking at, and we both agreed that between us we could design and build something ... » Read More

Silver and Its Evil Twins


 Sterling SilverSterling Silver is beautiful and used by excellent jewelers everywhere. Unfortunately it harbors a few secrets. 925 Sterling Silver is so-called because it is made of 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is mostly copper and also includes trace amounts of some other metal. This additional metal is needed to act as a hardener, because pure silver and copper are too soft to be useful in jewelry on their own. This trace metal may be indium, lithium, boron, tin, zinc, platinum, or it may be nickel.  Argentium SilverLike the Sterling Silver we have used for years, Argentium Silver contains 92.5% pure silver.  It also cont... » Read More

Titanium & Niobium. . . and Why I Love Them So


Okay. Now you're getting me to talk about one of my very favorite topics: Niobium and Titanium. Niobium is one of the very best metals you can wear if you have a nickel allergy. It is a pure metal, not an alloy, and non-reactive with skin chemistry. It doesn't tarnish, doesn't corrode and it's gorgeous. It is about the same color as steel, and blends very well with my pewter beads. If it is anodized, it can become nearly any color.Its natural "steel" color is really versatile! It is not a fussy metal that demands a lot of attention - it is understated and real. I use it for everything, but I recognize its potential to look great as an "industr... » Read More

Healing a Nickel Allergy Rash


I realize that some of you out there have an allergy rash right now, or have a new piercing you need to manage carefully. I will passon the most sound advice I have read. I am not a skin care professional at all, but I have read some useful things to manage my own allergy.   I would like to pass some things along, and hope it will help you.  By the way, if something you are doing seems to be hurting your skin, stop, and consult your doctor. I will speak as though the rash you have has been caused by earrings, though this will work on other areas as well.First of all, if you have a nickel allergy rash stop wearing the item that seems... » Read More

Nickel Allergies 101


Thank you for visiting Naturally Nickel Free.  Today I want to talk a little bit about Nickel Allergies and what they are. Nickel Allergies are more common than ever. Why? Piercings.Piercings are more popular than ever – Any kind of piercing, for any age or gender. A fresh jewelry piercing is a fresh wound. If you put something against it, whatever is in it can go straight to your bloodstream.  Nickel is a known allergen, but continues to be used in a variety of fashion jewelry, or as a hardener in more expensive jewelry alloys. If your earrings or other jewelry has nickel, it becomes possible for an allergy to develop, and be... » Read More
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