Professional Jeweler Archive: AA&GO Offers Nickel Testing

April 2005

Merchandise | Metals

AA&GO Offers Nickel Testing

Jewelry that contains nickel can cause allergic reactions

Though limits on the amount of nickel allowed in jewelry products are not regulated yet in the United States, jewelry manufacturers here are closely watching the situation in the European Union, where such regulations went into effect in 2001.

A European directive describes the acceptable limits of nickel content and release for consumer products and the need for due diligence by producers and sellers. The directive was initiated by dermatologists concerned with the effects of nickel sensitivity, which they believe is caused by ear/body piercing and prolonged contact with nickel.

The American Assay and Gemological Office in New York City, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Birmingham Assay Office in the United Kingdom, now provides testing in the U.S. required to meet the European directive’s due diligence requirements. These requirements mean testing on two levels: for nickel content and release.

“Over 50 million adults in the U.S. have been affected by nickel-bearing alloys and have experienced allergic reactions to their jewelry or watches,” says Donna Beaton, gemological services manager at AA&GO.

For more information on AA&GO’s Nickel Testing Services, contact Donna DeLucia at (212) 210-6565 or

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