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Entirely Handmade Ethical Wedding, Engagement and Partnership Rings
only from Sustainable Recycled Precious Metals and Gems

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dotOnly recycled precious metals and not directly mined and therefore no further displacement of fragile eco-systems.
dotLocally-gathered surface stones.
Cruelty-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
dot15% of profits donated to wildlife protection and re-naturing - also land-care education in developing countries.
A genuine approach to chemical-hazard-free crafting.
No plating. No casting. Nothing designed or made with computer software.
Carbon-inverted targets (Dedicated to putting more back into nature than taking from it).
Every detail handmade by Laibach.
No greenwash answers to customer questions.
No newly-mined gems ... ever.
dotAtelier Laibach is the first jewellery maker worldwide to use
The  About The NOVA Key Ethical Label Key ethical label.

Atelier Laibach jewellery pouch
Your Laibach jewellery piece comes in our own handmade pouch made with bamboo, raffia and vegan sealing wax.


Ethical Wedding and Relationship Rings

Wedding, Engagement and Relationship Rings only from Sustainable Recycled Precious Metals ... and Gems

Allergies from Precious Metals.
Myths, Maybes and False Alarms

dotOnly recycled precious metals and not directly mined and therefore no further displacement of fragile ecosystems.
dotOnly antique precious stones or lab-created diamonds ... no newly-mined gems ... ever.
Cruelty-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
dot15% of profits donated to wildlife protection and re-naturing - also land-care education in developing countries.
No greenwash answers to customer questions.
A genuine approach to chemical-hazard-free crafting.
Carbon-inverted targets (Dedicated to putting more back into nature than taking from it).
Nothing is factory cast ... no plating. Not designed or made by computer software
Purely earth-friendly and earth-returnable.

Many assume that skin irritation from a piece of jewellery is automatically the result of an allergy. But first check if you really suffer from dermatological problems.


Hypochondriacs, psychosomatic reactionaries and social networking busy-bodies...
Internet health forums are teaming with such alarmists and this has led to many, who were otherwise searching for sound advice, to instead jump to conclusions about about all kinds of itches, rashes and pains - from the top of your head to your little toe. Cyberspace alarmism suggests that allergies to precious metals - particularly palladium - are far more common than they actually are.
With such inaccurate information spread far and wide, we highly recommend that you do not give yourself undue worry by browsing the subject on forums, but instead discuss with Atelier Laibach any concerns you may have during ordering of your handmade jewellery piece, whereby you'll be given professional goldsmith metallurgic advice - and options that can be offered to put your mind at rest.

If you do have a proven allergy please notify Atelier Laibach before ordering your jewellery. A recycled precious metal alloy that excludes metals you may be sensitive to will be used to make your piece.
Note: Kerstin Laibach can often alter your current jewellery (such as earrings) at skin contact points with alternative precious metals that you are OK with.

With proven hypoallergenic reactions or severe reactions to jewellery it is highly likely that your sensitivity response is different to the next person. Some people can react to any form of metal, whether it is precious or not, while others show almost no reaction and don't even realise they have an allergy.
The vast majority of the population however confuse precious metal allergies with irritation from some other source.
Below Atelier Laibach dispels some of the myths and guides you through a self-check while providing clear information about metallurgic allergies.

First, eliminate other potential problems which are often overlooked. More often than not skin irritation turns out to be caused by dirty or ill-fitting jewellery.

1. Keeping your jewellery clean frequently solves irritation problems. Ensure that any jewellery you currently own is properly cleaned and disinfected before wearing. Make sure that all dirt (which includes bacteria that could trigger discomfort) is completely removed from inner ring areas such as hallmarks, diamond setting holes and engravings etc. A soft toothbrush is usually ideal for this. It is important that you thoroughly rinse off disinfecting cleaners with water and completely dry your jewellery before wearing. Residue of antibacterial sprays, gels and soaps may cause skin irritation with prolonged contact. Therefore, if you wash your hands with harsh cleansers, including antibacterial gels, take off your ring so that cleansers aren't trapped in-between your finger and the ring.
(This information also particularly applies to earrings.)

2. Long-term comfort also needs to be taken into account: A new pair of shoes may feel comfortable walking up and down the store when trying for size, but with everyday wear they might begin to rub or itch in unsuspecting places. This is often down to poor finishing on edges and joins. The same can happen with jewellery; protrusions and sharp edges can cause irritation if the piece has not been properly finished. Swelling or soreness with rings could be triggered by the finger rubbing on roughness inside where an engraving is protruding or diamond setting holes have not been smoothly polished in. (Or, as previously mentioned if there are still foreign bodies such as dirt (bacteria) and gels in crevices.) So, make sure that your ring engraving feels smooth, or if your ring has diamonds, check that the holes inside are completely smooth to the touch. If not, the interior may need polishing to smooth out protrusions. Also check inner ring edges for excessive sharpness. It's worth noting how the body reacts to the tiniest splinter or prickle, so relate this to how the smallest protrusion from jewellery might trigger off irritation.
Also remember that unrelated intermittent physiological events such as hot weather, menstruation etc., can cause swelling and sweating; feeling prominent where your finger contacts an inner ring surface.

3. Check if your jewellery has been plated. (We explain more about plating and why Kerstin Laibach never plates jewellery here). If your jewellery has been plated, it may be that the plating metals are causing an allergic reaction, not the precious metal under it. For example, some rhodium and gold plating has a barrier-plate of nickel - a common metal which can trigger allergies. You may have an allergic reaction to the nickel content in a layer of the plating but not the precious metal underneath it.

4. Only after all other possible causes of skin irritants have been removed and you still notice reactions to any precious metal, get a professional allergy test (patch test) for precious metals (without nickel). But first see below how Atelier Laibach clearly defines potential reactions to precious metals.


Here we should explain that it is often not the pure precious metal component in your jewellery which can cause an allergic reaction, but instead the necessary (and non-necessary) metals which are alloyed (mixed) with it.
The key to recognising a possible metal allergy trigger is to understand a little about the "alloying" of metals in your jewellery.

This is most easily described with silver as a first example ...


Although there are rare anecdotal claims of pure silver allergies, extensive medical research has yet to find any evidence of adverse immune response to pure silver. In fact pure silver is shown to have excellent antibacterial qualities.
The confusion regarding "silver allergy" has arisen from people not understanding precious metal "alloying". Alloying is when a precious metal is mixed with various proportions of other metals. This can initially grade its value (as with the gold "carat" scale). But essentially, alloying also affects colour shades and strengths for use in practical jewellery crafting. For example, with pure silver or pure gold (24ct) the metal would be too soft to be used as the main structure of a typical piece of jewellery, therefore alloying with other metals changes its malleability and colour (as well as its value in terms of how much of the pure metal is in the alloy mix).
With silver, the main contention regarding an allergy is because of a metal called nickel being alloyed with pure silver. Some people say that they are even allergic to Sterling silver, believing that Sterling silver must be "pure". However, Sterling silver is "alloy" based, of which 92.5% is pure silver and the remaining 7.5% of the alloying made of other metals. This is why a Sterling silver hallmark can read "925", meaning (at least) 925 parts of a 1000 parts. It is this ratio of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals which essentially enables silver to be hallmarked "Sterling".
Although not legally used by goldsmiths in countries where nickel is banned in jewellery, global sources of Sterling silver jewellery can still sometimes contain nickel within that 75 parts of its 1000 parts alloying. The main problem with Sterling silver is that nickel was once commonly used even in older jewellery and is still circulating in various forms. A lot of early silver was also made at a ratio of 800 to 1000 which could lead to even more nickel possibly being mixed into the alloying.
Because there are so many people claiming to be allergic to silver, and although silver alloyed with nickel is banned, for example in Europe, there is little doubt that there are many grey-market suppliers and traders selling silver jewellery imports containing copious amounts of nickel, while advertising it to customers as "pure" Sterling silver. "Pure" Sterling silver it may be, but as mentioned, because the silver alloying ratio of at least 925 parts pure silver within 1000 can be labelled Sterling silver, it doesn't mean that it is nickel-free.
It's worth noting that the European directive on nickel restriction in jewellery still allows a tiny percentage of nickel to be present, which roughly sums up to a release rate of nickel onto the skin of no more than 0.5μ g/cm² per week. The tiniest percentage of a percentage of people with extreme hypersensitivity to nickel might possibly react if this trace amount is present in their jewellery, either in the plating or its main metal, and this could explain why some people still claim to be allergic to "silver" even if they have been sold jewellery advertised as "nickel-free". The problem is when that one-in-ten-million person who does happen to be super-super-responsive to even a trace element of nickel mentions it on an internet forum, the "allergy alarmists" jump on it and raise the issue so disproportionately to the point whereby many mistakenly think they share the exact same form of sensitivity.
Kerstin Laibach recycled Sterling silver is alloyed only with copper and nothing else. There is absolutely no risk of a nickel related reaction.

NICKEL (See also SILVER above)

First, please note ...

A. If you are wearing old jewellery it may contain nickel. Nickel allergy is common and can develop after frequent contact with items containing nickel, whereby a dermatitis rash commonly known as "allergic contact dermatitis", will appear on skin contact with metals alloyed with nickel.

B. If you suffer from a nickel allergy, please do not confuse this with a possible allergy to other metals alloyed in some precious metals, or even pure precious metals.*

As mentioned, Laibach does not use any precious metals containing nickel. All Laibach recycled precious metals are of a very high quality and nickel plays no part in the alloying process. In parts of the world where the use of nickel is not restricted it can still be used in silver alloying and even in white gold to increase its white looking colour.

* VERY IMPORTANT: Medical research indicates that once you have developed an allergy to nickel, your body's immune system can occasionally (rarely) mistakenly identify palladium and cobalt as nickel whereby your body reacts as if these metals were nickel. In almost all cases of skin-surface reactions to palladium or cobalt it should be noted that this misidentification by the immune system is likely to be the reason. Please also see palladium and cobalt below.

Reminder: Before assuming that you may be allergic to certain precious metals such as silver (with or without nickel), first ensure that of your jewellery is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before wearing. (See above)


Copper is commonly used in precious metal alloys.
If you have been clinically tested which shows you are sensitive to copper with prolonged contact, Kerstin Laibach offers a choice of precious metals with either none or very little copper well below a threshold which is likely to trigger copper reaction. Depending on your sensitivity there are suitable options in gold, platinum and palladium.

NOTE: In some circumstances Kerstin Laibach alloys her own yellow gold, which also allows for special mixes in its alloying content, greatly reducing or eliminating potential allergic reactions.


There are a very small number of people who have shown allergic reactions to palladium. It is important to understand that reaction to palladium is most likely due to the body's immune system mistaking palladium as nickel - if you already have a nickel allergy (which you may or may not be aware off). (See Nickel above.)
Analysis by the Department of Dermatology Mayo Clinic was based on a 10 year retrospective review of patch testing 910 people to see how they reacted to palladium. Of the 110 patients who showed some sensitivity to palladium, most were only affected orally. Oral sensitivity has been shown to be a problem through palladium-based dental applications. A remaining small fraction of people with extreme sensitivity reacted with direct external skin contact. These overall results generally suggest that reaction to palladium on the skin surface, such as wearing palladium rings, is a rare occurrence. Atelier Laibach has to date not encountered any customer reactions to jewellery pieces containing palladium. This also takes into account one or two customers who have had adverse reactions to palladium-based dental applications (and also nickel allergies) but have had no subsequent reaction to wearing palladium on their skin. This doesn't mean that it's not possible to have allergic reactions to palladium jewellery, but medical research suggests that genuinely proven cases are rare. The tiny percentage who are allergic to palladium on their skin may be more likely to show rare reactions to all kinds of metals.

COBALT (in Platinum)

Cobalt can be present as an alloy in platinum. The type of platinum it can be found in is mainly but not exclusively used for casting jewellery. (Making multiple identical pieces from one wax or resin model)
Kerstin Laibach does not cast her jewellery and instead makes each piece individually by hand. The recycled platinum she uses does not contain cobalt.
It is important to understand that hypoallergenic reaction to platinum jewellery (alloyed with cobalt) is most likely due to the body's immune system mistaking cobalt in as nickel ... if you already have a nickel allergy. However, it is also worth noting that some medical sources claim that people patch-tested for cobalt and nickel have had stronger allergic reactions to cobalt than nickel. As with palladium, numbers of people directly affected by cobalt in jewellery is extremely low. (See also NICKEL above.)

As we have explained on this page, there is a wise path of elimination you can follow.
With a practical solution found through discussion and advice by Atelier Laibach ... it should be possible to provide a piece of handmade jewellery which will give you a lifetime of comfort.
If you wish to order a piece of jewellery with customised solutions from a metallurgical / allergenic perspective, please get in touch.

For Laibach allergy disclaimer please also see terms and conditions


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Vegan Friendly
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Precious Metal Allergies
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