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Materials Guide

Choose the best materials

When selecting your earrings, it’s a good idea to pay attention to materials that are best suited for you. By choosing top-quality materials for your new ear piercings, you will best support the healing process. Besides, you can avoid allergic reactions by staying away from sub-standard materials. We generally recommend to avoid earrings containing health hazards such as the heavy metals lead and cadmium or the metal cobalt. Feel free to ask your STUDEX partner for advice.

STUDEX® earrings are available in the following materials:

  • 18 karat gold (750) — as yellow gold or yellow gold rhodium-plated (white)
  • 14 karat gold (585) — as yellow gold or yellow gold rhodium-plated (white)
  • 9 karat gold (375) — as yellow gold or yellow gold rhodium-plated (white)
  • titanium
  • surgical stainless steel (316L)

All STUDEX earrings are hypoallergenic and skin friendly. They meet or exceed European Union standards and FDA regulations (U.S. Food & Drug Administration).

Today, nickel can be found in all kinds of objects, such as jewelry, eyeglass frames, wrist watches, zippers, buttons, buckles or scissors. Any steel contains nickel and other materials. Nickel can be found even in lettuce and chocolate. Bargain jewelry can often contain rather large amounts of nickel. Since some people are allergic to nickel, the EU nickel directive regulates how much nickel may be released onto the skin per week. For earrings, these are a maximum of 0.2 micrograms per square centimeter per week (i.e. 0.2 millionth of a gram). All STUDEX earrings fall well below this allowable value and are thus ideally suited for ear piercing and as follow-up earrings.

Originally, the purity of gold used to be measured in karats. In the metric system, these values were then expressed in parts per thousand. The numbers 750, 585 and 375, for example, refer to the amount of pure gold per 1,000 parts of the alloy, in weight (not in volume). In the case of 18 karat gold, 750 of the 1,000 grams (i.e. three quarters) of the alloy are pure gold, whereas with 14 karat gold, 585 of the 1,000 grams of the alloy are pure gold. The higher the purity of gold, the richer the gold color.

Yellow gold is a gold alloy which consists of fine gold (pure gold), silver and copper. The ratio of these materials determine the color.

Rhodium is a noble metal which belongs to the platinum group. Because of its rarity and high costs, it is usually used in small amounts, for example for plating jewelry. Rhodium plating gives gold jewelry a dazzling white appearance, much brighter than white gold, which makes diamonds, precious stones, Cubic Zirconia or crystals stand out even more.

All STUDEX earrings made from yellow gold or rhodium-plated yellow gold are also hypoallergenic.

The surgical steel used by STUDEX is a stainless steel with the 316L designation. This is a very pure stainless steel, which is highly corrosion resistant and skin friendly. Just like any other steel, this steel contains nickel. However, the nickel release rate for our earrings is well below the allowable value given in the EU nickel directive, which makes them hypoallergenic and well suited as piercing studs and fashion earrings. This steel is also used for medical purposes, such as surgical implants, which remain in the human body for a lifetime without any harmful side effects.

Titanium is a natural material which is very corrosion resistant, hard and comparatively light. Medical titanium is used for high-quality surgical implants. It is perfectly suited for earrings and piercings studs, as it is non-toxic and does not chemically react with the body, thus accelerating the healing process.

Titanium grade 23 (also known as 6AL4V-ELI) is used for STUDEX piercing studs. This alloy isn’t just extremely pure and resilient without being brittle, but also offers more shine compared to other alloys. This alloy grade is hypoallergenic and therefore well suited for prolonged periods inside the body.

Our STUDEX titanium studs are subjected to an additional, patented, special process, which produces a sealed surface consisting of 99.9% pure titanium. This will neither corrode nor tarnish. Additionally, this achieves the color tones of our titanium earrings ranging from a light gold to a champagne color.

At STUDEX partner stores,

you will not only find our hypoallergenic, skin-friendly piercing earrings, but most likely also our Sensitive by STUDEX® follow-up earrings or other top-quality earrings made from gold, platinum, titanium or silver.

A word about earrings made from plastic

We advise our customers to avoid earrings made from cheap plastic materials, especially when their place of origin is uncertain. Plastic can bend or splinter when it gets cold. Therefore plastic simply cannot be compared with brand name earrings made from top-quality materials, such as real gold or titanium.

Image credits
Header image: © Joseph Chan/Unsplash; earrings: © STUDEX of Europe GmbH