Nickel-free stainless steel is considered to be hypoallergenic. Though it may contain a small amount of nickel, surgical-grade stainless steel is also considered hypoallergenic for most people, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In order to avoid an allergic reaction to jewelry, consumers should purchase jewelry that is free of nickel. White gold and cobalt are other metals that might cause a reaction in people with nickel allergies. Safer choices include platinum, copper, titanium and stainless steel. Other safe metals for those with allergies are sterling silver and 14-karat and 18-karat yellow gold. Home test kits allow consumers to test jewelry for nickel.