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  • Writer's pictureKatrine Høilund Holmgaard

Here's everything you need to know about stainless steel

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Here's everything you need to know about stainless steel

What is stainless steel in jewelry?

Stainless steel is a type of metal alloy that contains at least 10.5% chromium. The chromium in stainless steel forms a thin, protective layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the metal, which makes it highly resistant to tarnish, rust, and corrosion. This unique property of stainless steel makes it a popular choice for jewelry, especially for pieces that are worn regularly and come into contact with moisture, such as rings, bracelets, and necklaces.


Stainless steel jewelry is highly durable and long-lasting, and it can maintain its luster and shine for years with proper care. It is also hypoallergenic, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin who may have reactions to other types of metal. Additionally, stainless steel is relatively affordable compared to other precious metals, making it a great choice for people who want stylish and durable jewelry at an affordable price point.



Is stainless steel good to make jewelry from?

Yes, stainless steel is a good material to make jewelry from. It is highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and does not tarnish or rust easily. Stainless steel is also hypoallergenic, which means that it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.


Stainless steel is a popular choice for many types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. It is often used in the production of fashion jewelry, as well as in more high-end pieces that may feature gemstones or other precious materials.


In addition to its durability and hypoallergenic properties, stainless steel is also relatively lightweight and easy to work with, which makes it a popular choice for designers and manufacturers of jewelry. Overall, stainless steel is a versatile and reliable material that is well-suited for a wide range of jewelry-making applications.



What is the difference between gold-plated stainless steel vs. not gold-plated?

The main difference between gold-plated stainless steel and non-gold-plated stainless steel is the outer layer or finish of the metal.


Non-gold plated stainless steel is simply stainless steel that does not have a layer of gold on its surface. It has a shiny, metallic appearance and is known for its durability and resistance to tarnishing and corrosion.


Gold-plated stainless steel, on the other hand, has a thin layer of gold electroplated onto its surface. The thickness of the gold layer can vary, but typically it is around 0.5-1 microns. Gold-plated stainless steel can have a variety of different finishes, from matte to shiny, depending on the manufacturing process.


One of the main benefits of gold-plated stainless steel is that it provides a more affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry. Gold-plated stainless steel jewelry has the look and feel of solid gold, but it is much more affordable because only a thin layer of gold is used.


However, it's worth noting that the gold layer on gold-plated stainless steel jewelry can wear off over time, especially if the jewelry is exposed to water, sweat, or harsh chemicals. When this happens, the stainless steel underneath may be exposed, which can cause the jewelry to look less attractive.


In summary, the main difference between gold-plated stainless steel and non-gold-plated stainless steel is the outer layer or finish of the metal. Gold-plated stainless steel provides an affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry, but the gold layer may wear off over time. Non-gold-plated stainless steel is durable and resistant to tarnish and corrosion, but it does not have the same aesthetic appeal as gold-plated stainless steel.



Does 18-karat gold-plated stainless steel last longer than normal gold-plated stainless steel?

18-karat gold-plated stainless steel and normal gold-plated stainless steel are both forms of gold-plated stainless steel, but the difference between them is the amount of gold used in the plating process.


18-karat gold-plated stainless steel has a thicker layer of gold plating than normal gold-plated stainless steel, typically around 2-3 microns thick. This thicker layer of gold provides a more durable and longer-lasting finish than normal gold-plated stainless steel, which typically has a layer of gold plating around 0.5-1 microns thick.


However, it's important to note that even with the thicker layer of gold, the gold plating on 18-karat gold-plated stainless steel can still wear off over time, especially if the jewelry is exposed to water, sweat, or harsh chemicals. Proper care and maintenance can help to prolong the life of the gold plating, but eventually, it will need to be re-plated.


Overall, 18-karat gold-plated stainless steel is likely to last longer than normal gold-plated stainless steel due to its thicker layer of gold, but it still requires proper care and maintenance to ensure that the gold plating remains in good condition over time.


How do I maintain stainless steel jewelry?

Maintaining stainless steel jewelry is relatively easy, and with proper care, it can remain in excellent condition for many years. Here are some tips for keeping your stainless steel jewelry looking its best:

  1. Clean it regularly: To keep your stainless steel jewelry looking shiny and new, you should clean it regularly. You can do this by simply wiping it down with a soft cloth dampened with water or a mild soap solution. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that could damage the surface of the metal.

  2. Store it properly: When you're not wearing your stainless steel jewelry, it's important to store it properly to prevent scratches or other damage. You can keep it in a soft jewelry pouch or a lined jewelry box to protect it from dust and scratches.

  3. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals: To prevent damage to your stainless steel jewelry, you should avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or bleach. These chemicals can cause discoloration or other damage to the metal.

  4. Remove it before swimming or showering: To prevent discoloration or other damage, you should remove your stainless steel jewelry before swimming or showering. Water can cause the metal to tarnish or rust over time.

  5. Polish it occasionally: If your stainless steel jewelry becomes dull or loses its shine over time, you can polish it with a soft cloth or a special polishing cloth made of stainless steel. This will help restore its shine and keep it looking its best.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can keep your stainless steel jewelry looking great for years to come.



How do I clean stainless steel jewelry?

Cleaning stainless steel jewelry is relatively simple and can be done with a few basic materials. Here's how to do it:

  1. Start by filling a bowl or sink with warm water and a small amount of mild soap, such as dish soap or hand soap.

  2. Place your stainless steel jewelry in the bowl or sink, making sure that it is fully submerged in the water.

  3. Use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush or a jewelry cleaning brush, to gently scrub the surface of the jewelry. Pay special attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or tarnished.

  4. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

  5. Dry the jewelry with a soft, clean cloth, such as a microfiber cloth or a polishing cloth. Be sure to remove all moisture to prevent water spots or tarnish.

If your stainless steel jewelry is heavily tarnished or dirty, you can also use a specialized stainless steel cleaner or polish. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product carefully to avoid damaging the jewelry.


In addition to regular cleaning, it's important to store your stainless steel jewelry properly when you're not wearing it. Keep it in a soft jewelry pouch or a lined jewelry box to protect it from dust and scratches.


By following these simple cleaning and storage tips, you can keep your stainless steel jewelry looking shiny and new for years to come.



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