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What is the #1 cause of itchy skin in jewelry?

What is the #1 cause of itchy skin in jewelry?
We're a jewelry brand that's committed to sustainability, quality, and trust. This doesn't happen overnight and we're proud that over our 40+ years of experience, we've built a business around our quality.
As a trusted jewelry source and proud B Corp Certified company, our commitment goes beyond the shimmer of sterling silver — it's woven into the very fabric of our ethical practices, sustainable materials, and the healthful benefits of our hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and nickel-free jewelry. To begin to underststand why some jewelry makes your skin itch, let's look at the main materials used.
(Above: A picture of actual Boma Jewelry silver grain that is created from recycled old Boma Jewelry. This silver grain will be used to create new pieces of Boma Jewelry in a process that's zero-waste.)

Ethical Craftsmanship Meets Sterling Silver

Our journey begins with sterling silver, chosen for its timeless beauty and resilience. However, it's the way we source and craft this precious metal that sets us apart. Each piece of Boma Jewelry is crafted with silver that is recycled and sourced from reputable sources. As an experienced company in our industry, we know that sadly, this isn't always the case with jewelry that's commonly found and sold. Because of our focus on quality, we make sure to take extra steps to ensure that our jewelry is sourced from silver that's ethically-sourced and free from unethical mining or dubious recycling claims.
Boma Jewelry Blog 4 Precious Metals
(Above: Often jewelry made with precious metals (silver, gold, palladium, platinum) have higher standards for their production process and creation and therefore are less likely to have inexpensive and potentially harmful materials in them. You can use the chart above to identify the hallmarks to these precious metals when looking for your jewelry.)

Hypoallergenic, Antimicrobial, and Nickel-Free: The Healthful Choice

One of the cornerstones of our commitment to our customers is the assurance of hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and nickel-free jewelry. We understand that jewelry should be made with materials that do cause harm, which is why we meticulously ensure that every piece of jewelry we create is suitable for sensitive skin.
Boma Jewelry Nickel-Free

Nickel is the #1 Cause of Itchy Skin in Jewelry

The #1 cause of itchy skin in relation to jewelry is typically an allergic reaction, most commonly to nickel. Nickel allergies are widespread and can cause contact dermatitis, which manifests as itchy, red, and sometimes blistered skin at the site of contact with the jewelry. Many types of jewelry, including some that are gold-plated, contain trace amounts of nickel added to increase durability or reduce costs. When individuals with a sensitivity to nickel wear such jewelry, their skin can react adversely, leading to discomfort. Opting for hypoallergenic jewelry made from high-quality materials like platinum, sterling silver, or nickel-free stainless steel can help avoid these allergic reactions and ensure comfortable wear.
All Boma Jewelry is nickel-free including all sterling silver and gold items. By removing nickel from our production process, we make sure that there aren't traces or a mix of this known irritant in any of our jewelry. On our product pages, we highlight this important information that all of our jewelry is nickel-free, especially for customers who have had bad experiences with jewelry containing nickel in it.
Boma Jewelry Belle Signet Product
 
Choosing Boma Jewelry is more than a purchase; it's participation in a movement towards more sustainable and ethical consumerism. Every piece of jewelry tells a story—not just of the wearer but also of the hands that crafted it and the philosophy that brought it to life. 
Boma Jewelry 5 Tips to Avoid Nickel in Your Jewelry

5 Tips to Check Whether Your Jewelry is Nickel-Free or Not

Here are practical tips to look for:

1. Look for Certifications and Markings

Certifications from reputable organizations, like B Corp, can be a strong indicator of a brand's commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, including the use of nickel-free materials. Additionally, look for specific markings on jewelry, such as "925" for sterling silver, which is naturally nickel-free, and other stamps indicating the absence of nickel.
Boma Jewelry Hallmark

2. Ask for a Composition Breakdown

Transparency is key to trust. Reputable brands like Boma Jewelry are open about the materials used in their creations. Don't hesitate to ask for detailed information on the composition of the jewelry piece you're interested in. A company committed to sustainability and your health will provide this information, assuring you of a nickel-free choice. Below is a sample assay test that shows the composition of our jewelry that was created by AAA Precious Metals in Portland, Oregon and signed by its Metallurgical Engineer (an expert in metals who works to make sure they are strong, durable, and used in a way that's good for the planet). You can see from the report that our jewelry has 3 elements shown including silver (Ag), Cooper (Cu), and Zinc (Zn) and no nickel.
Boma Jewelry Assay Test

3. Conduct a Patch Test

If you're uncertain about a piece of jewelry you already own, consider conducting a patch test. Apply a small amount of nickel test solution (available at pharmacies) on an inconspicuous part of the jewelry. A positive reaction typically indicates the presence of nickel. While not a step you'd take before purchase, it's a practical way to test pieces you've been gifted or have inherited. You can search "nickel test kit " and find these on retailers like Amazon.

4. Research and Choose Reputable Brands

Brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices, like Boma Jewelry, make it a point to ensure their products are safe and sustainable. By choosing to shop from such brands, you're more likely to avoid nickel and other harmful materials. Conduct research, read about the brand's values and practices, and make informed choices based on their commitment to health and sustainability. Read reviews from the brand's products and see what customers mention in terms of skin irritations. Look up brands on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and see if there have been other customer complaints about their products.
Boma Jewelry B Corp Certified
Boma Jewelry A+ BBB Better Business Bureau
(Above: Examples of certifications or directories to search for reputable brands).

5. Understand the Importance of Quality Over Quantity

Investing in high-quality, sterling silver, and gold-plated sterling silver jewelry from ethical sources like Boma Jewelry ensures longevity, sustainability, and healthfulness. High-quality pieces are designed to last, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimizing waste, while also ensuring they are free from irritants like nickel.
At Boma Jewelry, our commitment to creating hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and nickel-free jewelry is unwavering. With jewelry, the material health of what your jewelry is made of is sometimes overlooked. Use the tips above to steer clear of jewelry that's not made with good quality materials that you want on your skin.

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Sustainability

Learn more about our approach to sustainability.

Boma's Story

Boma Jewelry is a family-owned company originally founded in Seattle in 1981.

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