Things you should know about buying Nickel-Free Jewellery in the UK & EU:
Did you know that all jewellery sold within the EU and UK should by law be Nickel free? Well you may well just be in the minority because often when I tell customers about these 7 year old regulations they usually seem surprised!
Here at Snug Craft all of our jewellery is 100% Nickel free. Where we use components such as jump rings or bails we make sure we know exactly who has made them and what from. And of course all of our Pewter work is cast by ourselves so we know what is in it!
The law relating to Nickel in the UK is called “The Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Nickel) (Safety) Regulations 2005″ and is a response and UK interpretation/implementation of to EU Directive “(94/27/EC)” Since 2005 all jewellery made and sold in the UK should be 100% Nickel free. There are some exceptions in that jewellery made before that date is exempt but still may be sold, Antiques for example. However please be aware that although some items may be sold as “vintage” it does not necessarily mean that they are infact antique, there is a growing trend among some craftspeople to use the label ”Vintage” jewellery even though it is infact as new as the morning sun!
If you are a fan of “Steampunk” jewellery make sure to ask if the artist is using components from old watches or clocks that are Nickel Free.
Any good jewellery-maker/designer will know what is in the products they make and will be happy to put you at ease… so don’t be afraid to ask!
If you have been sold something you suspect contains Nickel (also called Nickel-Silver or “German Silver”) then you should contact your local trading standards.
If you are worried about jewellery that you already own (perhaps something from childhood or passed through the family) you can buy Nickel testing kits for around £15
Nickel allergy symptoms:
Symptoms may display 12-48 hours after contact usually with red itchy blotching and rashes leading to tiny liquid filled bubbles/blisters. You may initially find these patches where you wore the offending article or placed your hands and fingers afterwards. You can soothe the symptoms with cold compresses and aloe vera creams and gels. If your symptoms persist, cause significant worry or you’re not sure of your symptoms then you should contact your doctor.
Remember that although the law forbids nickel in jewellery it is still permitted in clothing, door handles, kitchen utensils and coins!