Many people can't wear costume NOSE RINGS jewelry at all because of the high nickel content. Even if it's labeled “nickel-free,” it's not made with high-quality metal, and not recommended for new piercings or long-term wear. Some costume jewelry has even been found to contain lead. Simply put, cheap jewelry is a bad idea for piercings. The general rule of thumb: the lower the metal quality, the higher the risk. Sterling Silver SEPTUM NOSE RINGS Sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver and contains other metals that can cause irritation. It also oxidizes, or tarnishes, when it comes in contact with air and body fluids. The metal is soft and is therefore prone to tiny nicks and scratches that can harbor bacterial growth. Sterling silver is OK only for fully healed earlobe piercings and short-term wear. Avoid silver-plated EARRING PIERCING jewelry.