Sterling silver body jewellery is always advertised as .925 – but what does that mean? Remember how karats in gold indicated how much actual gold is in your jewellery? Same idea here.
.925 sterling silver is 92.5% silver – usually alloyed with a metals like copper or nickel. This is why a lot of sterling silver jewellery isn’t recommended for people with allergies. If you have allergies and have wondered why some silver is okay and some irritates the heck out of you, it’s probably the alloy.
Sterling silver body jewellery is safe to wear in healed piercings. But it should never be in an unhealed piercing or in a piercing in a moist area of the body. What’s moist? Think piercings in the mouth or genitals.
Silver tarnishes quicker than other metals. Tarnishing is when the silver starts to turn black. When worn in a new piercing, the tarnish can rub off into the skin and discolour it. It’ll darken or turn grey, often permanently.
Another point against silver? It’s very soft and easily scratched. Scratches in your jewellery’s surface can irritate your piercing – even if it’s healed. They can also trap bacteria, encouraging infection.
If you’re wearing silver in healed piercings, like nose or ears, you’ll likely encounter few – if any – issues. Being aware of what metals you’re wearing and how to care for them will save a lot of heartache for your skin. If you’re not sure about silver, but prefer the colour to gold, check out surgical steel as an alternative.