The Puerto Rico & US Web Store

Guide to Buying Stainless Steel Jewelry

   With its bright, silvery finish and its resistance to tarnish, stainless steel has become an increasingly popular choice for fashion jewelry. For certain kinds of body jewelry that require a hypo-allergenic finish and a non-reactive surface, it is the metal of choice. Stainless steel is strong enough for daily use as household objects and industrial parts, and this same strength makes it an excellent choice of material for jewelry. Its resistance to scratching allows jewelers to create attractive brushed or etched finishes that will retain their beauty for years. Stainless steel is most familiar as flatware, but it is also used extensively in architecture, aviation, and industry whenever a strong metal that resists corrosion is needed. Its association with industrial and architectural uses is part of its appeal for many. Although fashion jewelry and body jewelry is often made out of stainless steel, the alloy has also become popular for jewelry meant to be worn for a lifetime. Wedding jewelry in stainless steel offers the luster and durability of a precious metal in an attractive and affordable alternative material.

Why Stainless Steel Jewelry Is Stainless

Iron, the primary metal in all forms of steel, rusts readily. Stainless steel, an alloy of iron, carbon, chromium, and traces of other metals, is highly resistant to rust or corrosion. A phenomenon known as passivation makes the steel less reactive with its environment, preventing the oxidation reaction that occurs in iron. The chromium in the alloy forms a thin, invisible film of chromium oxide on the surface of the metal that protects iron oxide, or rust, from forming. This passive film also prevents staining and discoloration of the metal under normal circumstances. Few chemicals can etch or corrode the metal, and stainless steel jewelry will not encounter most of these. However, an atmosphere that lacks sufficient oxygen can prevent the chromium oxide film from forming and passivation from occurring in certain types of stainless steel. This property is why not all stainless steel is suitable for body jewelry as piercings may preclude the formation of the oxide film that protects the metal from rusting.

Types of Stainless Steel Jewelry

Manufacturers produce more than 150 types of stainless steel, all of which serve different industrial purposes ranging from decorative cladding on a building's roof to joint replacement implants. All forms of stainless steel contain some amount of chromium to give it its stainless properties. Nickel is also a constituent in all stainless steel, but the metal is present in smaller amounts in jewelry. Almost all stainless steel jewelry is made from one group of alloys known as 316L steel. This alloy contains little carbon, relatively high chromium levels, and a small amount of nickel. Some jewelry manufacturers use 316LVM, a metal produced in a vacuum for a smoother surface. An associated variety known as 317L has similar properties to 316L steels

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 13 May, 2014.

Your IP Address is:
Copyright © 2005 - 2019 JCDiaz Store. Powered by Zen Cart Template Design by JT