An Alternative Metal
Niobium jewelry findings are good alternatives to precious metals when you need to make jewelry for someone who has problems with allergic reactions to metals. Findings made with niobium are hypoallergenic, so that means if someone can not wear jewelry that has nickel or copper or other base metals and alloys in it, you could consider niobium findings instead.
In addition to being safe to wear for those with metal allergies, niobium findings come in a range of wonderful colors such as blue, purple, yellow, green, and brown.
Many jewelry supply companies such as Rio Grande, Rings and Things, and Fire Mountain Gems and Beads sell a range of niobium findings including ear wires and jump rings. In my project called Ohm Raku Earrings, I used blue niobium ear wires, and they look great with the copper wire and turquoise colored ceramic beads.
Because the metal is anodized, the coloring will not chip or peel off. Though this is not considered a precious metal, the reason it is hypoallergenic is because there are no nickel alloys in the metal, and most people with metal allergies have problems with nickel. It is the major reason for metal allergy issues in other metals such as sterling silver.