Crystal bracelet (c. 2014), costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.)

Bridesmaids bracelet (c. 2014), modern costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.)

This bracelet was one of a matching set that a bride purchased and gave to each of her bridesmaids for her wedding in 2014. There is no brand or maker’s mark on it that I can find.

When I tested this I was floored by the fact that it was so recently made and yet had such an incredibly high level of Cadmium (in addition to high levels of Lead and Antimony.) It still shocks me to this day that items like this are not illegal (well not illegal in the United States… however as I understand it this WOULD be illegal in Denmark!) when they contain two KNOWN carcinogens at dangerous levels and one “SUSPECTED” carcinogen  – also at a level known to be toxic to humans.

As result of findings like this over the past 10+ years that I have been doing XRF testing of consumer goods, I recommend NEVER giving children costume jewelry to play with (new or vintage). It simply is not safe – especially given small children often put things in their mouths and given costume jewelry is 100% not regulated in terms of the presence of toxicants allowable (as long as it is an item that is not sold and marketed to be used by children.)

For safer jewelry choices I ALWAYS recommend sterling silver (925) with natural stones (like amethyst or turquoise.) You can read more about that here.

Background information about testing:

  1. Tests are done using a Niton XL3T XRF instrument
  2. Testing is done in “Consumer Goods” mode
  3. Tests are done for a minimum of 30 seconds each unless otherwise noted
  4. Tests are done on a freshly calibrated instrument
  5. Results are scientifically accurate and replicable

When tested with an XRF instrument this bracelet had the following readings:

Crystal side of the bracelet:
(many of the metals detected are likely readings of the base metal of the bracelet as it surrounds each of the leaded crystals.)

  • Lead (Pb): 70,700 +/- 4,500 ppm*
  • Cadmium (Cd): 27,600 +/- 2,600 ppm
  • Barium (Ba): 19,000 +/- 2,000 ppm
  • Antimony (Sb): 2,429 +/- 304 ppm
  • Tin (Sn): 151 +/- 70 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 44,800 +/- 2,900 ppm
  • Copper (Cu): 153,700 +/- 9,700 ppm
  • Vanadium (V): 1,977 +/- 242 ppm
  • Titanium (Ti): 11,900 +/- 1,000 ppm
  • Silver (Ag): 117 +/- 42 ppm

*90 ppm Lead and higher is unsafe in the paint or coating of items intended for use by children. 100 ppm Lead and higher is unsafe in the substrate. This was not sold as an item intended for children so it is not regulated for total Lead content in any way.

Continue reading below the photos.Bridesmaids bracelet (c. 2014), modern costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.)

Back side (inside, gold-colored) of the bracelet:

  • Lead (Pb): 2,729 +/- 335 ppm
  • Cadmium (Cd): 149,600 +/- 1,300 ppm
  • Antimony (Sb): 2,715 +/- 731 ppm
  • Tin (Sn): 449 +/- 145 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 91,000 +/- 1,500 ppm
  • Copper (Cu): 751,100 +/- 2,200 ppm
  • Bismuth (Bi): 420 +/- 134 ppm

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tamara Rubin
#LeadSafeMama
Bridesmaids bracelet (c. 2014), modern costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.)
Bridesmaids bracelet (c. 2014), modern costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.) Bridesmaids bracelet (c. 2014), modern costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.) Bridesmaids bracelet (c. 2014), modern costume jewelry: 70,700 ppm Lead (90 is unsafe) + 149,600 ppm Cadmium (75 ppm is unsafe.)

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