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Help understanding the nickel free directive and other guidance on using metals in je

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  • Help understanding the nickel free directive and other guidance on using metals in je

    Hi all, hoping you can offer me some guidance here.

    I want to start selling my handmad jewellery to the public but of course want to play safe and avoid using any metals or components that may cause allergy. I am only making costume jewellery at the moment so do not want to use sterling silver.

    I have seen findings marked nickel free and lead free. Is this the law in the UK as well you have to used these?

    I am looking for help on what findings I should use. I see findings in lots of different types of metal and not sure what to use.

    Also can anybody help me understand... is it just the finding that have to be nickel free/lead free?

    What about metail beads, chains, charms on a bracelet wire in a design or pendants?

    Are there any metals that shold be avoided?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer, bit confused about what I should be buying.



  • #2
    If you Google 'nickel free directive' I'm sure you will find more information than we can give you. Are the laws different in Singapore then?


    • #3
      Hi Peter

      thanks for the reply. I have googled searched it and there is a lot of details around the regulations on there of course. I was just hoping someone who has been through this before can shed some experience for me on if it has to be every piece of metal on an item that has to be nickel free or just the things like earwires and clasps etc

      Not sure about Singapore (?), I am UK based so only looking at the regulations are here

      Thanks anyway will keep on with the research



      • #4

        Beads Unlimited are very halpful regarding this and have a leaflet. i only buy nickle free findings and all theirs are, aluminium is also nickle free but other metal beads may not be!


        • #5
          Thanks hdflred I will have a look on their website. I think its best to be safe and go with nickel free for all

          PS I loved your 'grown up' designs I saw them this morning. gorgeous I love the ring especially


          • #6
            There was an EEC directive a good number of years ago, which states that fashion jewellery, components, chain, beads etc, can on be sold if they're classed as 'nickel free'

            So when you're buying from a reputable seller or bead-site in the UK or Europe you can be assured that you're buying items that comply. The only problem you have is when you buy goods from outside the EEC and those companies are not required to comply, and it's then down to you to check.

            The main items to watch for with nickel and lead content is 'Tibetan Silver' , although it can be made from zinc without lead and nickel, so just check it says it is.

            On-line bead supplier and bead lover


            • #7
              The last time I looked at it, and I can't find the link at the moment, it was a percentage thing, not totally 'nickel free'. Toho 711 seed beads are nickel plated, and there is a Miyuki equivalent, but the point is that neither of them have enough content to be outside the directive. I also made a strung bracelet of them and gave them to a nickel allergic friend (!) with no reaction at all - there is a benchmark limit somewhere in the EEC guidelines, but I don't remember where!


              • #8
                cheers guys


                • #9
                  As far as we understand the nickel thing, the latest directive doesnt concern the amount of nickle but the rate that the metal allows it to be released, As long as you are buying within the EU, from a known supplier and you have the receipt to prove this, then you are covered.
                  We no longer source earwires ect from outside the EU just to make sure.
                  Out of interest, a woman brought a pair of earrings to us for the wires changing, she had bought them in Turkey, and although she didnt usually have a problem with metal reaction, these turned her ears red after only 1 hour. The metal looked like a copper alloy with black bits in it, that burned when I put a flame to it!
                  Totaly unknown to me. So I would recomend buy from an english supplier even if it costs a bit more, otherwise your customers will not come back.


                  • #10
                    Hi WaitingForMagic,

                    Yes, all the components you use, including beads & all findings need to be classed as 'nickel free'.

                    For anyone who sells their jewellery it is important you check what you buy, otherwise you're operating outside the law.

                    As mentioned in other posts, buying from the UK or EU means that companies you buy from, have to comply with this 'nickel free' directive.

                    On-line bead supplier and bead lover


                    • #11
                      Found it..............

                      Prohibitions on the supply of products containing nickel and its compounds
                      (1) Subject to paragraphs (5) and (6) below, no person shall supply any post assembly intended to be inserted into a pierced ear or other pierced part of the human body during epithelization of the wound caused by such piercing (whether or not it is a post assembly which is intended subsequently to be removed) if that post assembly contains nickel [5] or a nickel compound, unless the post assembly is homogeneous and the concentration of nickel which it contains is less than 0.05% (expressed as mass of nickel to total mass). (2) Subject to paragraphs (5) and (6) below, no person shall supply any products intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin, which contains nickel or a nickel compound if the rate of nickel release from the parts of the product coming into direct and prolonged contact with the skin is greater than 0.5µg/cm2/week, including any of the following products:

                      • (a) earrings; (b) necklaces, bracelets, chains, anklets and finger rings;
                        (c) wrist-watch cases, watch straps and tighteners;
                        (d) rivet buttons, tighteners, rivets, zippers and metal marks, contained in or intended to be used in garments;

                      (3) Paragraph (2) above shall not apply to any product which contains nickel and has a non-nickel coating to which paragraph (4) below applies.
                      (4) Subject to paragraphs (5) and (6) below, no person shall supply any product listed in paragraph (2)(a) to (d) above or any other product intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin which:

                      • (a) contains nickel or a nickel compound; and (b) has a non-nickel coating,

                      unless the non-nickel coating is sufficient to ensure that the rate of nickel release from the parts of the product coming into direct and prolonged contact with the skin will not exceed 0.5µg/cm2/week for a period of at least two years of normal use of the product.
                      (5) Nothing in paragraphs (1), (2) and (4) above shall prohibit the supply to the final consumer of any product which was placed on the market before 20th January 2000.


                      • #12
                        I only ever wear titanium earrings because everything else causes a horrible reaction, I was told that would be due to nickel but with everyone saying they buy nickle free I am wondering if thats wrong. I was told gold, silver and even surgical steel has a tiny amount in it. Do you only buy gold and silver findings that say they are nickel free because if so I would love to try some, it would make jewellery shopping a lot easier for me!
                        my website


                        • #13
                          Hi GigglingGoblin

                          A bit more background on STS and Gold for you.

                          As an example Sterling Silver is graded as .925 which means it is 92.5% pure silver parts per 100 and 6.5% other metals.

                          9ct Gold for example is graded as .375 which means 37.5% pure gold per 100 parts and 62.5% other metals.

                          18ct Gold for example is graded .750 which means 75% pure gold per 100 parts and 25% of other metals.

                          So from this you can see that if someone is very sensitive, it it's difficult to avoid tiny amounts of nickel in even STS or Gold.

                          On-line bead supplier and bead lover


                          • #14
                            I recentl;y bought some cufflinks from beadsunlimited that turned out to be nickel plated... Don't know whether to use them now, can only make presents for people I know are not allergic!!

                            Can you sell nickel plated cufflinks i havent read up on it
                   (1/2 marathons for World Society for the Protection of Animals)
                   Vegan cookery


                            • #15
                              The cuff links will not be touching the skin so I think they will be fine.
                              A lot of the time it is not nickel that people are allergic to but it is blamed.
                              If some one has an allergy they will ask just tell them you are not sure and they will have to make their own decision.
                              "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
                              my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign