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Is Sterling Silver Safe for Septum Nose Rings and Piercings ?

Hi There beautiful Septum & Piercing Lovers!

We get asked this question so many times a day! Here we go!

Is Sterling Silver safe for septum rings / piercings?

What metals are safe for piercings?

We’ve been asked often in the last weeks and we figured it would be a great opportunity to share some information about metals, how our jewelry is made and why we use the metals we use!

Let’s start by going over our main question, Is Sterling Silver safe for Septums / Piercings?

What is Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver is a mix of pure silver and copper and (or) other metals (nickel, zinc, etc.). The combination of pure silver to these alloys is what is called Sterling Silver. This process is done mainly because pure silver is a very soft metal, and it wouldn’t resist in time on its own. The Sterling Silver alloy mix makes the silver stronger and more durable. It contains 92.5% of Pure Silver, the balance being copper. Copper being a very strong metal, not much is needed to make a difference in strength.
While Sterling Silver is stronger than pure silver, it does unfortunately scratch and tarnish over time. Oxygen and Copper react together over time, in normal or accelerated conditions. We suggest keeping your sterling silver jewelry in a cool and dry place, ideally in a sealed bag. Humid environments (or near plants) can speed the tarnishing process.

What is in our Sterling Silver

Our Sterling Silver is an alloy of pure silver and copper. We do not combine our alloy with nickel. Our alloys, wires and castings are made in house and by our selected local suppliers that we trust and have established relationships with. All our suppliers and castings are made in Montreal, we do not import our castings from overseas.

Is Sterling Silver safe for Piercings and Septums

Sterling silver does require maintenance and care more than other piercing jewelry. Sterling Silver tarnishes and oxidizes due to the contact of the small quantity of copper in the alloy and oxygen. As septums are in a high oxygen area, they will tarnish faster than jewelry from the same alloy in different areas (rings, earrings, pendants, other). Sterling silver’s tarnish can easily be removed by wiping it with a polishing cloth or with some natural cotton and some friction. Sterling Silver isn’t safe to wear in a freshly pierced piercing. Sterling Silver worn in freshly pierced holes can cause irritation and can leave a stain. We recommend wearing our piercings in a healed piercing, ideally an established and long healed hole. How you wear and care for your piercing really is what makes the difference.
Sterling Silver itself is hypoallergenic (to most people) for earrings and ear piercings.
Sterling Silver Septums and piercings worn in healed piercings, under normal conditions and tolerances shouldn’t cause any issue.
We recommend being aware of your metal tolerances, and selecting an option that is more suited for your bio-compatibility.
If you aren’t sure about your chemistry with Sterling Silver, please consider our 14K Gold Wire option or our Solid Gold piercing options.

Why we use Sterling Silver
We use sterling silver as it is a high quality metal that has amazing properties to work artisanal with. Sterling Silver is a metal that is affordable for jewelers and that we can safely sell at a friendly price. All our jewels are created from scratch and we take a big pride in keeping all our creations made in house, with modern and traditional techniques.

What are our piercing options
As we make everything by hand, our metal options are very limited. Stainless Steel and Titanium aren’t artisanal friendly and require very heavy machinery that is expensive. The process to make titanium and stainless steel jewelry also takes away from the more artisanal aspects of the creation, making adjustments, stone setting or even repairs impossible. Our artistry and the techniques that we use to create are our pride and we put great value in keeping everything handcrafted. We have currently found a technique that allows us to solder Stainless Clickers to Sterling Silver pieces.

Seamless Hoops
Our most popular options are our Seamless hoops in sterling silver and solid gold.
Clickers or Screw options of closures would break/weaken after a few wears if made in Silver or gold. Seamless hoops can easily be put in by twisting them open and closed. For the same reason, as we cannot make hinged hoops, we cannot make piercings with a Gauge greater that 12G.

Our Other Piercing Options

Solid Gold

What is Solid Gold :

Gold in the Jewelry World is made of an alloy of Gold and Silver (and other metals like Copper and Zinc). The actual gold content of metal is measured in Karats, which describes the proportion of pure gold to the other metals in the alloy. The higher the portion of gold in the final metal, the pricier it gets. The maximum gold content is said 24K, which can also be translated to 1000g/1000g. 24k Gold is unfortunately too soft and malleable, it cannot be used in jewelry. By comparison, 14KGold is 585g/1000g, which means in a mix of 1000g, 585g will be pure gold and the balance will be a mix of silver, copper or zinc(depending on the chosen colour of gold). These alloys make the gold stronger and easier to work with. Pure Gold is a vibrant yellow colour. The non-gold metals added to the alloy determine the final gold colour result. It is possible to play with a few hues to get different subtle tints.
10K Gold: 417g/1000g
14K Gold: 585g/1000g
18K Gold: 750g/1000g
Yellow Gold is an alloy of pure gold, silver and a bit of copper. These 2 are added together to the gold to bring out the metals natural warmth while strengthening it. Yellow Gold doesn’t require any protective plating, the colour is already bright and resistant.
Rose Gold is our favourite! This alloy is made by combining pure gold, with a bit of silver and a bigger part of copper. The reddish colour comes from the coppers bigger presence. Rose Gold jewels do not require any protective plating.
White Gold is an alloy of gold with white metals such as silver and zinc. Some jewelers also add palladium. The mix comes out as a grayish tint and is often plated with a rhodium to give it a whiter look. Like any plating, it has to be redone every now and then to keep that shiny look. Rhodium plating also adds a bit to the durability. (We do not plate our White Gold when used for piercings).
You can learn more about our metals in our FAQ.

Why we use Solid Gold

We use solid gold as it has the same artisanal work techniques as sterling silver. It is flexible enough to allow all types of artisanal techniques while being durable and conserving it’s value. Gold comes in a variety of colours that give more options while maintaining it’s look and finish for decades. Solid Gold does not alter with time. Solid gold is hypoallergenic and called a pure metal. It is safe to be worn long term. We use 10K and 14K Solid gold for our piercings. If you tend to have sensitivities to metals, we recommend you aim for 14K as the balance of gold in the mix is higher. 18K Gold is too soft for body jewelry.

Other Body Safe Metal Options
& Why we can’t make our jewelry with them:

Surgical Stainless Steel, Nobium & Titanium
Both of these metals are considered body safe, hypoallergenic & piercing safe. Unfortunately, due to the metals properties, we cannot work with these metals and keep our products handcrafted. Machinery, Equipement to work these metals are incredibly costly and take away our fundamental business value. We do not feel comfortable sending our designs overseas to have them made by different manufacturers. Jewelry made with these Stainless Steel and Titanium are not repairable, not adjustable and don’t have any flexibility.

Potential Piercing Complications

Nose piercings, as any type of piercing, come with potential complications. The most common issues known are : Infections, Allergies, Irritation.
Infections can happen due to an irritation, an allergy or a raw piercing getting contaminated with bacteria. We do not recommend wearing Sterling Silver in new, unhealed piercings. Make sure you keep your piercings clean and healthy before changing them for new jewels.
Allergies :
We recommend being aware of your metal tolerances before ordering Sterling Silver Septums/ Piercings. While most people won’t have any issues, some people don't have a biochemistry that is compatible with Sterling Silver.
Irritation :
Irritation can be caused by an intolerance to a metal, or because the wrong size of piercing has been pushed in. Septums with a bigger Gauge will stretch your hole, making it uncomfortable and exposing delicate tissue. It’s important to order the right size piercing for the hole you have. You can ask your piercer for confirmation of the size that has been pierced for you. If you have the intention of stretching your hole, Sterling Silver septums and piercings are not recommended for this. Another factor is the diameter of the ring that is inserted. While tight septums look cute, it’s important to keep a distance between the nose and the jewelry to prevent irritation. A smaller diameter will also put tension on the hole and will make it feel tight and uncomfortable. These situations often cause discomfort and can cause infections, please be wary of your piercing size when ordering.

Stay Away from

Plated Jewelry
. Plated jewelry is often electroplated over a cheaper metal such as nickel, brass, copper or tin. Platings fade with time and friction, some cheap platings can even flake off. These metals aren’t body safe, as the exposed metal underneath can cause damage and reactions with the skin. Platings flaking off and staying stuck in jewels also is a risk.
Plastics and Nylons
. Both can be hypoallergenic and suit some people. Unfortunately both materials tend to be porous and tend to absorb bodily fluids and bacteria which can cause infections. These types of piercings tend to stay stuck in the skin also.

Sterling Silver Septum & Piercings Disclaimer

Disclaimer: These guidelines are based on a combination of vast local professionals, personal and 15 years of professional experience, common sense, research and in house documented tests and trials. This blog post is not medical advice nor endorsed by a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Please be wary that not all doctors have knowledge and experience/ training regarding piercings. If you need assistance, please feel comfortable to contact your local qualified piercer that may refer you to proper sources and piercing friendly professionals.
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