What in the world can I use as a metal coating for a customer
who has become allergic to all her silver earrings? She shows no
sign of allergy to my rings or my hand-made chains.
painted coatings won't last that well, I'd guess. You might try an
electroplated coating, such as a heavy application of 24K gold.
But even that won't be totally permanent, as eventually that can be
worn through, and with time, thinner gold plating will dissipate into
the silver unless you use an underplate of copper, and preferably,
then nickle, both of which then raise additional possibilities for
My recommendation would be to replace the earposts. With a sparkie
welder (or a laser, or the services of someone who's got such
equipment), you could install new earposts in any of several metal
possibilities. The cheapest, using a sparkie, would be
hypoallergenic stainless or titanium posts, both of which fusion weld
nicely to sterling silver. You could also use gold or even platinum
earposts, which could be conventionally soldered on, or you can get
stainless posts with a solder pad, which then allows use of lower
melting solders such as "tix", though I have some reservations about
that route. Not sure if the tix solder would cause problems, and it
doesn't look as nice.