advice on new earring problem

gibby2015March 14, 2007

Well, after all the good advice on the bluenile.com thread, I now have some new diamond earrings. Only problem is I can't wear them because they're causing my ears to get inflamed - seems to be the post itself, not the earring or the back. I've never had this problem except with cheap costume jewelry. I've been wearing similar white gold earrings every day for years - no problem. New earrings - major problem within days. Now wearing old earrings - no problem. The jeweler mentioned nickel allergy - I'm not the allergic type. I did some reading though and apparently nickel allergies are common.

Has anyone experienced a problem like this - what did you do? The jeweler is willing to change the setting/post/whatever. I just don't know what to advise them to do since I have no idea what's different about the new earrings vs. the old ones.

Thanks in advance!

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sue36

You probably have had white gold jewelry that had palladium as an alloy, and these earrings have nickel as an alloy.

Replacing the post won't fix the problem. The diamonds need to be reset, in either 14k or higher yellow gold, platinum, or palladium white gold.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 2:36PM
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gfiliberto

I once had a problem with a pair of earrings because the post was too fat. That post hurt my ears, and I had to have it replaced.

I'm sure your jeweler will be able to change your post or your setting. That's not a big deal.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 7:09PM
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gibby2015

Sue - what you suggest sounds similar to what the jeweler said. I'll see what I can find out about palladium or platinum since I don't want yellow gold.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 9:56PM
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sue36

Platinum is very nice. The best. It is also very, very expensive. Be prepared for the setting to cost twice what gold does.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:58PM
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budge1

When my daughter got her ears pierced we got white gold and she immediately had a bad reaction. We did some research and found white gold has a lot of nickel in it and isn't recommended for 1st earrings (I wish someone had told us before we paid $40 for the stupid things).

She's worn dozens of earrings since then and hasn't had a problem with any of them, even the cheap ones so you're probably okay with any other setting.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 3:01PM
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gibby2015

I tried them again today thinking maybe it was just a fluke? I don't think so. I can't believe I'm having this reaction - I'm just not a reaction kind of person. Oh well, I guess I'll have to make some kind of change. I have to say I'm glad I'm dealing with a bricks and mortar store at this point - the people have been very nice about my dilemma....I never mind paying more for great service.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 7:21PM
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uxorial

gibby, like you, I'm not a "reaction kind of person," but I had the same problem with the diamond earrings my husband bought me many years ago. Every time I wore them, my ears immediately turned red and sore. But I could wear inexpensive earrings with no problem. I stopped wearing earrings for several years, so my piercings closed up. A few years ago I got them redone, and as soon as I wore the diamonds I had the same problem.

I never knew that white gold has nickel in it, but I guess that's the problem. I noticed last night that some of my cheap earrings (the kind that come nine pair on a piece of plastic) say "nickel free, for sensitive ears."

I have other gemstone earrings in "white" settings that don't bother me though (sapphires, amethyst). I wonder if those are nickel free.

So there's nothing we can do with our diamond earrings short of having them reset? : (

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 11:43AM
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proudmamato4

I am not affiliated with this company at all, but I was just at a jewelry show for Cookie Lee, and the sales person told me that Cookie Lee has a product that you either wipe the metal with on earrings, or it's a different backing to existing earrings, can't remember. Anyway, it's supposed to work miracles with neutralizing allergic reactions to whatever metals are irritating you. Maybe you can check on the web for more information.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 1:48PM
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liz_h

You may hate the idea of doing this to your diamond earrings, but have you tried applying clear nail polish to them? That works for a lot of people. My aunt has to do that every time she wears the earrings, but most people can wear them several times before recoating. The polish only goes on the parts that touch your ears, btw.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 2:18AM
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gibby2015

I took them back yesterday and the goldsmith has suggested starting by coating them with rhodium. They're somewhat mystified because I've been wearing white gold earrings for years with no problem and supposedly there are standards for what is used in white gold - maybe that is more recent than my old earrings. I'm a bit mystified about the rhodium as I read that it's obtained from "nickel ore". Anyway, we'll see how this works - they will reset them in platinum if necessary.

Liz - I did think about the nailpolish thing but since I've invested quite a bit in these earrings I really don't want to have to do that - I'm willing to do something else to find a permanent solution.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 8:49AM
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mrsmarv

DH had a three-diamond ring made for me from the diamond in my engagement ring, my mother's engagement ring, and a diamond in my grandmother's ring. It was fortuitous that the two side diamonds were almost a perfect match in size, weight, and clarity. Anyhoo, he had the ring made in white gold because I'm not a yellow gold girl. He originally wanted it done in platinum to match my wedding band, but when we found out the cost (because of the total weight of the setting), we thought we'd be less frivolous and go with white gold. I do have certain skin allergies, but I had been wearing my grandmother's white gold ring with no problem. After less than a week, I noticed that the color on the band appeared to be changing, and my fingers were starting to itch slightly. At first I thought it was my imagination, but after a few more days, I knew something was up. I took it back to the jeweler, who said that I probably was one of those folks whose chemical make-up has a reaction to certain alloys. Since white gold is a mixture of yellow gold mixed with alloys to make it appear white, the yellow gold was "surfacing" which was turning the band a yellowish cast, as well as making my skin itch from the alloy. Strange but true. The jeweler said they could coat it with rhodium, but that it would more than likely happen again. And again. Allergies to white gold are very common, as well. After doing some research, I discovered that re-coating a white gold ring with rhodium every few years is not uncommon. Talk about high maintenance. We opted to have the setting re-done in platinum. Granted, it cost almost twice as much as the white gold setting, but I am so happy we did. The additional benefit is knowing that platinum is hypoallergenic. And it is a gorgeous metal, developing a patina over time.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 9:27AM
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gibby2015

Good info mrsmarv - thank-you. I'll see what happens with the rhodium. If it doesn't work out in the long run it won't be that bad to have the earrings reset in platinum.

Interestingly the white gold chain I got for the pendant is not having any effect on my neck. It's just the earring posts that are bugging me. I've never been allergic to anything - guess that is no longer the case.

More to come next week when I get them back....

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:19PM
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