Does Rose Gold Have Nickel In It?

Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper commonly used in specialized jewelry. The most commonly used alloys are 18K red gold, 18K pink gold, 18K rose gold and 12K red gold. The difference amongst them lies in the content of copper and silver. The high concentration of copper gives it a red color. Rose gold does not usually contain nickel making it safe to be worn by all segments of population especially those with a nickel allergy.(1)

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What About Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel?

Sterling silver is made of around 92.5% pure silver and the remaining 7.5% is made with copper. The other metals used with silver are zinc, germanium, platinum, silicon, and Sterilite to improve its texture and stability since silver is a soft metal. Sterling silver is naturally nickel-free and not very reactive. Nowadays it is mostly used for the manufacture of musical instruments such as saxophone and flute due to its ability to provide special acoustic character and resonance. Due to its aseptic nature it was earlier used for making medical and surgical instruments as well. However it has now been replaced with cheaper, disposable plastic items and sharper steel metal objects.(1)

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Stainless steel is made up of steel with 10.5 % chromium and 1.2% carbon by mass. Chromium increases the resistance to corrosion whereas molybdenum when added to it can make the steel resistant to acids and chloride solutions. Stainless steel is mainly used in the cookware, appliances, and industrial equipment, construction materials for buildings, chemical storage tanks, and food products. Nickel is added to most parts of steel alloys to provide malleability, stability, and hardness to the steel. At least 75% of the stainless steel production is made of nickel-containing grades. The concentration of nickel used is 8% and 11% respectively in type 304 and type 316. The presence of nickel makes the steel more durable at all temperatures. It also enhances the corrosion-resistant property of steel.(2)

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The nickel present in stainless steel is also used for providing good ductility to the steel. A high concentration of nickel also imparts strength to the steel even at extremes of cold temperatures. It is used in kitchen utensils and cookware along with production of sinks. They can be fully recycled making them environment-friendly materials. Their widespread use has led to its large scale production in various shapes and forms.(2)

The release of nickel from these materials has shown to have adverse effects on humans. A lot of people have shown sensitization towards nickel leading to skin rashes and dermatitis. The corrosive property of metal also makes it detrimental to the human body. Stainless steel products are mostly used in orthopedic surgeries as implants and external or internal fixators. When the metals undergo corrosion or early wearing takes place they can further delay the healing process and lead to complications. Nickel ions when released can lead to inflammatory response causing swelling, redness, eczema and intense itching on the exposed parts of the skin. It is also known to cause allergies as well as act as carcinogens when released in the human body.(3)

Due to its detrimental effects nickel-free stainless steel is being used nowadays in the medical field. Nitrogen has commercially replaced nickel in the medical as well as mechanical field due to its enhanced anti-corrosive and environment-friendly properties. The nickel-based stainless steel has now been restricted in the production of medical equipment like implants, dentures, and instruments. It is also used in jewelry, watches and daily use items that have led to contact dermatitis in some part of the population. Nickel allergy has become a serious medical issue in some countries and therefore the use of nickel-based stainless steel products has been restricted in these places. It also led to significant environmental pollution even though it was fully recyclable.(3)

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: August 22, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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