Liz wrote back with some additional questions:
Thanks so much for responding so quickly! I have your book on pre-order with Amazon, and look forward to devouring it!
I really hesitate to try any kind of steel - I have had my ears pierced since I was 8, and to this day can't get near anything less than 14k (other than sterling) in my ears without major irritation and discharge, even bleeding. My wedding ring is white gold, and even after wearing it for 14 years, I still sometimes get a rashy irritation under the band from the nickel in the alloy. Can you tell me any more about the alloy used in 14k that makes it piercing compatible? Even the gold earrings I wear turn red over time where they contact my skin - presumably from my body oxidizing the trace copper in the yellow gold alloy. Who knows. Obviously something I need to do more research on - I had no gold would pose its own complications.
I hope the attached pics are ok - the q-tip was a bit tricky, and as it is a self-portrait, kind of blurry. It's a standard generic q-tip. If you need better detail or a different angle or something, I can try to re-do the photos later this weekend (if I can get my toddler to nap).
Thanks again - Liz
I know my book will provide you with a great deal of information that will prove most helpful to you. There is a big chapter on jewelry and you will learn all about the different materials. For healing, you may decide to go with titanium or even bioplast or PTFE (inert plastics).
Implant grade steel and titanium have alloys that meet certain standards, but gold does not have an implant designation. Gold alloys are proprietary mixes, so there are no assurances like the "mill certificates" provided by manufacturers of implant grade steel and titanium.