Stainless Steel is a hard metal that resists scratches and tarnishing thanks to an invisible layer of chromium that prevents oxidation. Stainless Steel is a pure silver color - with a warm gray look, similar to platinum, and will never change color. This makes Stainless the perfect metal for durable, long-lasting jewelry.
Stainless Steel or Sterling Silver?
My customers wanted more affordable jewelry and the cost of one sterling charm can run $25-55 which means the high price point of sterling, and the fact that it will tarnish and require maintenance is the reason in the late 1990's I started looking for alternative metals in which to showcase my jewelry. Keep in mind what you want out of your jewelry. Ask yourself questions like are you more interested in value or how your jewelry wears over time.
Is Stainless Steel Jewelry Safe and Hypoallergenic?
Generally the fillers in jewelry and not the metal itself is what causes the allergic reactions in jewelry. Stainless Steel does not contain allergic fillers like nickel, brass, or copper so is a low allergen metal which means your chances of an allergic reaction are rare.
One of the reasons why stainless steel has gained popularity in the jewelry world has to do with its affordability. If you purchase one of my charm bracelets and it lasts for 20 years, it is costing your $12 per year with tons of wear, and little maintenance. There are different grades and quality of stainless steel, just like sterling silver and this is one of the reasons why you will see price differences in stores. 316L is the best quality and is what you will find in my jewelry. Yes, stainless is much higher in price that plated silver jewelry made with brass, copper, and nickel. While these plated metals may last 3-6 months, the beauty and durability of stainless is unsurpassed.
Since Stainless Steel does not tarnish or oxidize the easiest way to maintain the beauty of your jewelry is to clean it about once a month with some stainless cleaning pads. They work great on charm bracelets, necklaces and earrings. You can purchase Stainless Cleaning Pads here and through many jewelry websites. Ruby gently and any dirt or oils picked up from the environment will disappear.
Stainless was a perfect marriage for my one of a kind designs and line of jewelry as it was a green product. It is 100% recyclable, is not coated with any toxic material and does not produce toxic run-off. During production, stainless steel already uses 70% recycled metal as its primary raw material.
Even if stainless steel is not recycled and it does find its way to a landfill or disposal site, it will have no detrimental effect to the soil or groundwater and is the preferred material for green building throughout the world. Its impact on the environment is minimal when compared to other jewelry materials as it continues to be re-used and recycled.
"I have charm bracelets from her that are ten years old and in perfect shape!" ~Jaimi