Allergic reactions to platinum body jewellery are highly unlikely
but perhaps not impossible. There are rare reports from jewellers
about customers who seem to be allergic to platinum - though
presumably it is the metals alloyed with the platinum that are the
The cobalt content of some commercial platinum alloys is one thing
to watch. Cobalt is closely related to nickel and in clinical tests
some people have shown sensitivity to cobalt. Indeed, some body
jewellery made of base-metal alloys containing cobalt has caused
Cobalt-containing platinum jewellery alloys are usually described as
not causing allergic reactions, but it would be interesting to see
the results of detailed research on the extent of long-term cobalt
release from platinum jewellery alloys under various simulated 'wear’
conditions (as were carried out ad nausiam with nickel alloys).
Also ‘traditional’ platinum alloys were platinum plus iridium and
very hard. However, some of the softer platinum alloys now used for
jewellery might abrade in wear and thus I suppose increased
particle-deposition on the skin could exaggerate problems from
alloying metals. It is also possible that surface porosity resulting
from casting could trap cosmetics or other substances that might
To be on the safe side it might be best to specify platinum-iridium
alloys for body jewellery.
One obvious thing with platinum body jewellery is to ensure that any
solder joins are with ‘safe’ alloy solders and that the piece hasn’t
been nickel and then rhodium plated.