Can I wear these vintage pierced earrings with my nickel sensitivity?
December 26, 2014 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I bought this pretty lot of vintage post earrings on Etsy only to discover that I can't even wear sterling silver any longer due to increased sensitivity to nickel. I didn't pay a lot but I love them and would be so happy to wear them. Details inside.

I'm too sensitive to use the clear nail polish hack--in the past it worked only a short while and sometimes made a gooey mess of the jewelry item.

I've heard of the Comfees or E'arrs plastic protectors to cover the earring posts and replace the backs with plastic ones--does anyone have experience with these?

Any advice and/or hacks super welcome! Thank you!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My sister has used the plastic protectors and they worked OK at first but she gradually had to stop wearing this kind of jewelry. Worth a try, though.

Failing that, you can always sell them to me! They're so pretty!
posted by stoneandstar at 9:26 AM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I can't wear post earrings either - I'm looking into doodads that convert post earrings to clip-ons. So far I've just seen gold and silver plated versions or ones like this - will update if I can find some that are guaranteed nickel-free.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:41 AM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would just replace the earrings backs, really easy to do. Mkbeads has a few nickel free options to choose from (the first three that pop up) and just use E6000 glue, seriously the best kind of glue you can use for what you need to do.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 11:30 AM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for the input! I ordered the E'arrs protectors, but replacing the posts and backs seems doable if the protectors don't work well enough. (E6000 glue is so fab, I've used it to mount glass cabochons on ring backs--that stuff does not budge!) Would love an update, cotton dress sock, if you find what you are looking for! Thanks again, everybody.
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 2:28 PM on December 26, 2014

If they are really sterling silver why is your nickel allergy kicking up? Allergies to silver must be very unusual - I have never heard of someone allergic to silver. Is there nickel mixed in with silver in sterling silver? I wonder if they were actually misidentified.

But, you might be able to have the back and post changed to surgical steel by a good local jeweler, and I bet it's a request they get with some frequency. At least that way you can wear earrings you love.
posted by citygirl at 5:12 PM on December 26, 2014

@citygirl: Sterling silver, stainless steel, and surgical steel are all permitted by law to contain nickel alloys. Ask my long-suffering ears how I know.

@OP: I don't have much advice for the you, as I've mostly stopped wearing earrings since my piercings became too sensitive for sterling silver. I have tried buying nickel-free findings off eBay but they still seem to irritate my ears. I'll be watching this question for ideas though!
posted by serelliya at 9:14 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

No luck so far, but I think Mary Dellamorte's idea is great, if you're handy! Here's one place that sells grade 1 titanium and niobium findings for earrings. Good luck, those are very pretty earrings :)
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:33 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not that you asked, but just so you know: the ones in the top left corner are from the Order of the Eastern Star. You might get some odd looks for wearing them. (Or maybe you're in the Order of the Eastern Star and bought them deliberately, what do I know.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:57 AM on December 27, 2014

I am very sensitive to nickel, but I can wear jewelry from Simply Whispers. They also have a great selection of nickel-free findings, including posts, here.
posted by islandeady at 11:10 AM on December 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I didn't recognize the symbols on the top left corner pair of earrings. Thought of googling them because they looked unusual, but hadn't yet. Definitely didn't buy the lot for those. They do look similar to what you linked to. Thanks for the info!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 7:21 PM on December 30, 2014

Response by poster: Appreciated all responses so much. The Earrs were flimsy and no help at all. In the end I bought these post-to-clip converters (from an Etsy seller) and use some moleskin to protect my lobes when I wear them. Just wanted this to be here for people who search in future!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 4:07 PM on July 22, 2015

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