Is Stainless Steel Jewelry Good Quality?
You probably own a piece of stainless steel jewelry. It is affordable, durable, and resistant to tarnish and rust. These features make stainless steel jewelry a popular choice among consumers.
When wearing a stainless steel jewelry piece, you can go through most of your daily activities without worrying about causing damage to your jewelry. It looks great with most outfits and requires minimal maintenance.
Stainless steel jewelry has many advantages; however, not all stainless steel jewelry is created equal. The quality of the jewelry can vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific materials used.
This article will discuss how good of a choice stainless steel jewelry is, as well as tips for ensuring that you are purchasing high-quality pieces.
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What Is Stainless Steel Jewelry?
Stainless steel jewelry is made from carbon, iron, and other alloys. Like other alloys, stainless steel is crafted to harness the advantages of all the constituents while downplaying the negatives.
The constituents of quality stainless typically consist of at most 1.2% carbon and at least 10.2% chromium. When combined with other metals like titanium and nickel, the durability and shine are further enhanced.
Another reason stainless steel jewelry is popular is the variety of finishes you can achieve. Brushed, matte, and glossy are a few of the options available.
While we will be the first to admit that stainless steel jewelry has its advantages, we also believe that nothing is perfect. This is why we looked at the metal to see if there are any chinks.
Which Grade Of Stainless Steel Jewelry Is The Best?
Stainless steel jewelry is usually made from two common grades of stainless steel; Grade 304 and Grade 316.
Grade 304 is also known as 18-8 stainless steel and comprises 18-20% Chromium and 8-10.5% Nickel. It is a non-magnetic alloy that offers one of the highest resistance to corrosion possible, hence its popular use in jewelry making. It comes in different variants, the most popular being 304H, 304L, and 304N.
Stainless steel Grade 316 is almost identical to Grade 304 except for one constituent. Grade 316 stainless steel contains Molybdenum. Grade 316 offers more corrosion resistance than Grade 304. It is also better than Grade 304 at heat resistance and other beneficial properties.
Consequently, Grade 316 is the better grade of stainless steel and is best for making jewelry. But it is more expensive than Grade 304.
Pros And Cons Of Stainless Steel Jewelry
It Is Durable
Stainless steel is great for jewelry because of its durability and longevity. If properly taken care of, jewelry made with stainless steel can last several years without losing its shine or getting any scratches.
It Is Hypoallergenic
Different metals and alloys have been known to cause allergic reactions when worn on the skin. Stainless steel is hypoallergenic, so it is very unlikely that jewelry pieces made from it will induce allergic reactions.
It Is Rust-Resistant
Despite the name, which implies that it is a kind of steel that doesn’t rust, stainless steel can still rust. However, most stainless steel comes with a protective coating of Chromium which makes it resistant to rust and tarnish.
It Is Affordable
Stainless steel jewelry is relatively more affordable than gold and silver pieces.
It Is Easy To Match With Your Outfit
You can wear stainless steel jewelry with most outfits and for most events. From a night out with friends to that company dinner, stainless steel pieces will work for any occasion.
It Is Safe And Environmentally Friendly
Stainless steel has no chemical or biological effects on your body. It is not a contraindication for any medication or treatment.
It is also environmentally inert and does not react with other elements making it one of the most sustainable choices for friends of the environment.
The Value Stays The Same
Gold and silver jewelry pieces might appreciate in value, but stainless steel pieces won’t; over time, their values might reduce.
If you do not take care of your stainless steel jewelry pieces and they are struck by heavy objects or against abrasive surfaces, they will get dents.
Can Cause Allergies
Stainless steel might be hypoallergenic, but some people might still be allergic to some of its constituents. Nickel is the common culprit.
Choosing The Best Quality Of Stainless Steel Jewelry
We have mentioned that there are different grades of stainless steel to choose from; however, the grade isn’t the only factor to consider. Here are a few things to look out for as you search for the best quality stainless steel metal:
We have talked about Grades before. Jewelers mostly use Grades 316 and 304. Grade 316 is of better quality than 304; it is also more expensive.
However, it is difficult to tell the two metals apart, so you might need a test to tell you which grade was used in making the jewelry you want to get.
The Polish Quality
The devil is in the details. Check the finish and ask questions about the polishing.
The Plating Process
You might be tempted to get electroplated stainless steel, which isn’t bad if you are looking for more affordable options. But if you have a big enough budget, you might want to go for PVD-prepared jewelry because of the excellent luster effect it offers.
Does Stainless Steel Jewelry Rust
This is usually the measure of the quality of a jewelry piece. Unfortunately, stainless steel, like most metals, will rust. However, the chromium protective layer offers it enough protection from rust. However, over time stainless steel jewelry will succumb to the effect of the environment.
Stainless steel jewelry can be a high-quality and durable option for those who want jewelry that will last for years.
However, not all stainless steel jewelry is of the same quality. The quality of the jewelry can depend on the manufacturer and the specific materials used. To ensure that you are purchasing high-quality pieces, it is important to research and purchase from reputable brands. Look for brands with a good reputation and a history of producing high-quality jewelry.
Be sure to check the materials used to make the jewelry. High-quality stainless steel should be made from 316L stainless steel, a high-grade alloy that is more resistant to corrosion and discoloration than other types of stainless steel.
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