Purchasing jewelry can be an uninformed decision for the average person if they are not aware of the alloys involved in manufacturing any jewelry. The novice jewelry customer understands the basic concepts of gold plating or solid gold composition, but the combinations used in the many various forms of jewelry are very important. Luckily, customers are protected by legislation dealing with metal jewelry alloy composition because of these public health concerns. There are both federal and state laws addressing the manufacturing of metal containing jewelry, with some states like California establishing strict enforcement due to the popularity of body art in the region.
Metal Containing Jewelry Law
In 2009, California passed the Lead Containing Jewelry Law, later known as the Metal Containing Jewelry Law, that limits the amount of lead and cadmium that is allowed in jewelry. This law resulted from terrible health issues that were being found, especially in children under the age of 12, due to the dangerous levels of lead and cadmium in the jewelry. This law prohibits any person from manufacturing, shipping, selling or using for retail sale or promotion purposes any jewelry within the state of California unless the material of the jewelry is made entirely from the listed material acceptable and labeled in the law. It restricts the use of lead and some other kinds of materials. This law is very specific also to what materials children’s and body piercing jewelry may contain.
The primary toxic material that the legislation limits is lead. Studies have yielded that lead is a highly poisonous substance when contacted in excessive amounts, and it can be absorbed into an individual’s bloodstream by mere contact. The amount of contact can be crucial. The limitations on lead allow the manufacturer to provide a product with minimal public health problems associated with the product. Class 1 and 2 are non-metallic jewelry types that are made of safer composition, while Class 3 jewelry can contain only 0.06 (600 PPM) of lead weight. Legal quality assurance can also include watch bands, but do not apply to the actual timepiece in many situations.
Why Quality Matters
The list of problems that have been associated with lead exposure is extensive. Learning disabilities are common for children who have been exposed since their youth, and specific legislation is in place to further protect young people. This includes teenagers who find metal-containing jewelry as a cost-effective alternative to expensive types of jewelry. Other medical problems include joint and muscle deterioration, along with anemia and behavior disorders. Acute exposure cases can even result in organ failure, or even death. Some jewelry manufacturers have attempted to replace lead in the jewelry composition as a technicality, but the cadmium substitution is also a toxic alloy. Legal claims involving cadmium could be difficult.
Legal Jewelry Alloys
Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the California state legislature have listed the actual acceptable jewelry alloys. Gold, sterling silver, and bronze are all proper components of any legal jewelry, and plated jewelry can contain nickel or palladium in small amounts. The combination helps make the piece more affordable and much less of a health risk. Of course, gold is the most desirable and valuable, and is further classified in carats.
How to Shop for Quality
Choosing a reputable jewelry dealer can be a good decision when looking for jewelry that may be expected to last for many years. Quality jewelry should have a long life span, as it can become a cherished family heirloom. Shopping online can both be beneficial and a great way to look at reviews. With the large selection and affordable pricing most online jewelry stores can offer, a person can buy anything of quality from cheap wedding bands and engagement rings to a simple gift for a son or daughter.
Also, with the metal containing Jewelry Law stemming from very strict jewelry sale policy for the state of California, online jewelers have to hold their standards higher to be able to sell jewelry to any residents within the state of California. With this, and being able to view reviews, finding a reputable and affordable jeweler online is much easier.
It is important to understand that many people wear jewelry regularly in a variety of forms, and many of those people practically never remove that jewelry. Wedding bands and ring sets are a prime example, as many people sleep in their rings and feel lost without them. Necklaces are another form of jewelry that are highly popular and many owners wear them constantly. Additionally, earrings are another example of regular jewelry pieces that are very popular. Infected ear piercings are common causes of discomfort and can worsen quickly when they do not receive medical attention. Be careful when purchasing jewelry.
Lisa Coleman, freelance legal writer, explains the importance of looking for quality jewelry when shopping and educates how to do so. Super Jeweler is a reputable online jewelry store that sells affordable quality jewelry, from cheap wedding bands to simple jewelry for a gift, which can be passed down through family generations.