Metals are quality materials and we all know that. But among metals, which do you think is the more suited for use as the base? Is it stainless steel, which is used in many industry even in our own homes, or is the precious metals like gold, sterling silver, or platinum?
Why are precious metals used in jewelry?
To know that, we should first look at the reason why gold, silver, and other highly prized metals used for jewelry. Well, to be straightforward, they are used as such because they are ‘precious,’ they signify class, luxury, and everything else not-practical in this world.
Stainless steel on the other hand is a common metal, and is not as highly prized as its counterparts.
So why should you opt for stainless steel?
The first, and perhaps the best selling point of stainless steel jewelry is that they’re more affordable. They have a price range from a minimum of about a couple of dollars to a maximum of about a few hundred, and take note that those prized a few hundred already has in it something really pricey like diamonds or gemstones.
Aside from that, they’re hypoallergenic, meaning perfectly safe for your skin. The stainless steel used for jewelry purposes is the 316L steel, commonly known to us as ‘surgical stainless steel,’ well because they’re used for scalpels, blades, and other surgical tools. These stuff have minimal nickel content that ensures they’re strong and durable yet light and unreactive even to the most sensitive of skins.
Although industry grade stainless steel is different from the ones used in jewelry, 316L steel is still very tough - obviously, because it is steel.
Another selling point of this metal is they’re resistant to minor scratches and that they’re rust proof. What makes them stainless is the fact that they are plated with chromium, which acts as a shield against rust and other corroding agents.
And like silver and gold, they are also eye-catching. Stainless steel jewelry has that unique metallic character which surely grabs attention.
Now against silver, which we all know is expensive, the cheap price and availability of stainless steel allows designers and manufacturers to experiment more with the designs and create more lucrative and creative options. There are a lot more stainless steel designs whether they are bracelets, rings, or necklaces vs sterling silver, and their designs range from the simplest of carvings to the very complex scripts and dragon forms.
So stainless steel it is?
With all that advantages, surely there are also downsides. One of it is that you cannot use these for investment purposes. Precious metals are limited in this world, and so obviously the higher the demand for them, the pricier they get. For stainless steel it’s the reverse. They’re readily available, and they’re cheap. It’s nearly impossible for their price to go up in the near future.
Precious metals can be one form of investment, but that’s another topic. So in the end it’s in the eyes of the beholder if he/she finds stainless steel wonderful, and I hope you do - because it really is.