About Nonita Jewelry
I always wanted to go into business for myself and studied business school to become a shop owner. After I finished school, I dabbled in a few different jobs, but none gave me the creative outlet I needed. While working full time in an office, I studied gold smithing in the evening hours. Learning about gold smithing opened my eyes. Almost immediately I knew that it was what I wanted to do for a living.
When I became a mom, I started my jewelry business. At first I worked with sterling silver, titanium and aluminum materials. In 2013, I renamed my business Nonita Jewelry when I started my 100% No Allergy Guarantee. The new name came to me during a restless night. Nonita is made up from combining the three syllables No Ni Ta. No as no, Ni as the symbol for the chemical element Nickel and Ta as slang word for thanks. So it’s short for No Nickel Thanks.
Making Nickel Free Jewelry
In order to make nickel free jewelry, I had to make sure I only used completely hypoallergenic and nickel free materials. I stopped using sterling silver, aluminum and the rubber rings, as some people still experienced an allergic reaction to those materials. Instead I created my jewelry solely with the two best metals for sensitive skin: titanium and niobium.
During my gold smithing school days, I was introduced to titanium by my mentor. Titanium is a metal that can be anodized or oxidized. The titanium is permanently colored during this process. This is what first attracted me to using titanium, later I found out it was a hypoallergenic metal. Looking around at what was available in titanium jewelry, I found it was all very industrial looking, clean, sleek but not at all feminine. Instead I wanted to create a more elegant style of jewelry for women with metal allergies.
Then I discovered niobium as another hypoallergenic metal. Niobium is considered the best metal for super-sensitive skin, even when you cannot tolerate silver, gold, platinum or surgical stainless steel. Silver, gold, platinum and surgical stainless steel are all mixtures or alloys, where you can be allergic to the main component or one of its alloys. Whereas, niobium is a nickel free, hypoallergenic, non-reactive metal that doesn’t tarnish. Niobium will not cause you any negative reaction or allergic reactions.
Using niobium enabled me to create more dynamic jewelry pieces as the metal is more pliable then titanium. Using both of these two metals has given me the opportunity to work with gemstones, crystals and beads to make elegant, swirly and sparkly jewelry.
If someone is allergic to titanium, it extremely unlikely they could they also be allergic to niobium. Similarly, if someone is allergic to gold they are not automatically allergic to silver. In the case of Titanium and Niobium they are both pure metals and not an alloy like gold or silver.
I understand if you have a great experience with titanium or niobium you would rather stick with the metal you are familiar with. That is why I offer both titanium and niobium earwires on most of my earrings, so the choice of which metal you want to purchase is yours.
My guarantee to you when you purchase and wear my jewelry is that you won’t receive any rashes, blisters, itching or burning.
Creating Nickel Free Jewelry
To create my jewelry, I invested in a welding machine some time ago. It allows me to weld the rings together to make a titanium necklace or bracelet. Part of each necklace or bracelet is factory welded, but as the chain is cut to the desired length the clasp and ring on the end are welded on by me. In the future, I hope to be able to create a lot more with my welding machine. The gemstones, pearls and crystals I use are mostly wire wrapped with Niobium. Some stones, pearls, crystals and buttons are mounted on the Titanium posts.
Both metals have their own pros and cons to work with. Some things I can’t create with titanium and some things I cannot create using niobium. Some supplies are not made in Titanium and some not in Niobium. That is why the combination for me is the best there is. This way I can create with the best hypoallergenic metal available for the type of job.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Christy for having me as a guest blogger and featuring my shop Nonita Jewelry! In appreciation to readers, I’m offering a 10% discount for anything in my Etsy store, excluding the $5.00 flat rate shipping fee. Use the coupon code “ NFA10” when you check out at Nonita Jewelry on Etsy.