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Which metal is the safest for piercings 

Which metal is the safest for piercings

Once you are out of the healing stage for your piercing, you might be getting ready to buy your next piece of body jewelry, ear weights, or stretching kit. 

Something you need to consider is that some metals are safer for piercings than others. 

There are some metals that can often cause an allergic reaction or some irritation to your piercing. 


Nickel is a common issue when it comes to piercings. Nickel is often mixed with other metals like sterling silver. 

How can you tell if you might have an issue with nickel? 

If you have ever worn a ring or bracelet and been left with a green or black mark, this may be your skin reacting with the nickel. 

It may also be reacting to other metals that have been mixed in with the jewelry. 

If you do get a reaction to a piece of jewelry, then if you have the purchase details, you can check which metals are mixed in. 

After this, it is better to discard the jewelry and not use it again in the future. 

There are several jewelry metals that are regarded as hypoallergenic. 

So while metals are the safest for piercings? 


Lower-priced jewelry is more likely to have a metal mix. Titanium can be more expensive; however, it is also high on the list of hypoallergenic metals. 

When shopping for jewelry in the titanium section, look for ‘implant-grade’ titanium. 

There may be a small amount of nickel unless it states that it is nickel-free. 

Titanium for piercings is also known as biocompatible. Biocompatible means that your body will not react to titanium as it does not recognize it as a foreign body. 


If you want to have a high-shine, reaction-free metal, then platinum is one of the best options. 

Platinum is considered safe for the first piercing, and hypoallergenic too. Platinum is a perfect replacement for silver and for those who have an allergy to gold. 

Expect to pay a little bit more for platinum, but it is worth it. 

Surgical Stainless Steel

SSS or surgical stainless steel is one of the most commonly used metals for piercings. Surgical stainless steel is affordable and hypoallergenic. 

Making it affordable and a standard option for safe body piercings. 

There are two types of surgical stainless steel that you can look out for. 

316VM – the VM means that it has been created in a vacuum and smoother finish than 316L.

316L – the L stands for low carbon.

There can be trace amounts of nickel in it, and if you are very sensitive to nickel, you may get some irritation. 

14k/18k Gold

Gold body jewelry is some of the most worn. Gold jewelry lasts a long time, always makes a statement, and comes in different karats and types. 

Not all jewelry that claims to be gold is solid gold. Often a cheaper metal will be ‘gold plated.’

Gold plated means that there is a thin layer of gold coating the cheaper metal. 

Unfortunately, this gold plating can rub off quickly and expose the cheaper metal underneath. 

Many people make the mistake of assuming the higher the karat, the higher the hypoallergenic properties. 

Yet, 24k gold is softer, more likely to get dents and scratches. Dents and scratches hold dirt and germs very well. 

14k and 18k solid gold are harder and less likely to hold germs and dirt. 

Many piercers will offer 14k or 18k solid gold for piercings.

Pure Silver

One of the most common metals for jewelry is pure silver. 

Sterling silver and pure silver are not the same things. Serling silver is usually made from 90-92% of silver, and the rest will be another metal. Usually copper. 

The copper additive makes the sterling silver harder wearing; however, copper often reacts with skin. 

Pure silver or fine silver is 98-99.9% pure silver. 

Pure silver is considered hypoallergenic for piercings. 

Yet, pure silver does have the same issue as 24k gold. It’s slightly softer and can get dented and scratched. 

When the metal scratches and dents, it opens up the possibility of infections at the piercing site. 


If you haven’t heard of niobium, don’t worry. However, it might just become the metal that you choose. 

Titanium being quite expensive, and surgical stainless steel begin cheap; niobium sits in between. 

However, niobium has the hardwearing properties of both. Niobium has the biocompatibility of titanium and holds its shine too. 

To make sure you get the best niobium, look for 999 niobium or 99.9% niobium. 

Finding the right jewelry for your piercing can be trial and error. However, these options are regardless as the safest metals for piercings.

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