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Why is gold the most popular material for body jewelry? The main reason is that it is essentially tarnish-free. Whereas some very solid metals, like high-grade sterling silver, seem like a good choice for piercings, they actually aren't. Silver leaves a black or green tarnish behind that can irritate your skin, not to mention that it doesn't look very nice! Gold body jewelry, on the other hand, does not leave residue. In addition, the metal is strong (above 18 karats, anyway), which prevents the jewelry from breaking. But what if you don't like the color of gold? Easy: Choose white gold body jewelry. It looks just like sterling silver, but without the tarnishing problem!