If you are looking for high-quality, durable, and affordable jewelry that will not tarnish or rust, you will find a large array of stainless steel jewelry that you can choose from.
You can choose from vast options, and you will be happy to know that the jewelry comes in pretty much all styles, designs, and jewelry styles.
But stainless steel is not the most alluring type of jewelry on the market in its natural form, and today, there has been an increase in the number of gold-plated stainless steel jewelry options.
These plated varieties are equally durable, stunning, and affordable, and you may already have more than a few of the gold-plated stainless steel pieces in your jewelry box. So, how long will such pieces last?
About stainless steel jewelry
Stainless steel is the most prevalent metal used for jewelry. It creates some of the best options for affordable and durable fashion jewelry.
The jewelry made of stainless steel also stands out because it is quite solid and rust-resistant. The jewelry made of stainless steel features a silver sheen, but stainless steel is different from silver in that it doesn’t corrode and is also not susceptible to dings, scratches, or dents.
As a result, stainless steel is used to make some pretty much all types of jewelry, including bracelets, rings, watches, necklaces, and earrings.
But what is stainless steel made of? And what makes it different from other types of stainless steel jewelry? Well, pure stainless steel jewelry is made of steel, which comprises three metals, nickel, chromium, and carbon.
But for the steel to be considered or transformed into stainless steel, the metal has to be created using specific proportions of these three metals – essentially, stainless steel is made of at least 12% pure chromium.
Note that chromium is the most important component in stainless steel, and it is the component that gives the stainless steel that invisible layer on top, and so it prevents oxygen from reacting with the rest of the metals that would otherwise corrode the surface of the steel.
In other words, it is because of chromium in the jewelry that stainless steel jewelry will neither tarnish nor rust.
So, how do you identify stainless steel jewelry?
First, stainless steel jewelry or any other kind of stainless steel material will be marked with two numbers or a pair of numbers.
These two numbers represent the compositions of chromium and nickel incorporated in the steel. So, 20/12 stainless steel rings are made of 20% chromium and only 12% nickel.
And the rule of thumb is that the higher the numbers, particularly the number representing chromium, the higher the jewelry’s resistance to corrosion and rusting.
And thanks to the features and elements of stainless steel, you will be happy to know that this jewelry is not just durable and resistant to wear and tear, but it can only handle more and much harsher conditions than jewelry made of gold or silver.
Stainless steel jewelry also requires little maintenance, and this type of jewelry is much more functional and perfect for everyday wear. But what about the nickel incorporated in the stainless steel jewelry?
Won’t it spark an allergic reaction? Unlike other types of jewelry made with nickel, the nickel in stainless steel is very profoundly bound. It will not leak out of steel, especially thanks to Chromium which prevents metallic reactions and allergies.
That said, you should avoid wearing stainless steel jewelry if you have sensitive skin or if you are getting new piercings.
Thanks to the features of stainless steel, this metal allows you to enjoy some of the most versatile jewelry designs. Often, pieces of jewelry in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
About the gold-plated stainless steel jewelry
The benefits of stainless steel jewelry notwithstanding, not as many people choose to wear jewelry options made of plain stainless steel because these options don’t always look as good as you’d hope, and in many cases, the gold-plated stainless steel pieces of jewelry are much more preferable and also much more popular.
A number of individuals may still be reluctant to try out the gold-plated stainless steel jewelry, but it is the recommended style of jewelry for anyone looking for affordable, durable, skin-safe, and also quite versatile.
The top reasons why we’d want to recommend the gold-plated stainless steel jewelry options are as follows:
- The gold-plated stainless steel jewelry is quite affordable because a very thin layer of gold is added to the stainless steel base metal, hence an overall affordable piece of jewelry.
- The jewelry is also available in a large variety of options, and there is pretty much something for everyone interested in cheaper and elegantly designed gold-plated stainless steel varieties.
- And more importantly, the gold-plated stainless steel jewelry is quite hypoallergenic. Given the presence of nickel in the base metal, the gold-plated material will prevent the nickel from getting to the surface, hence a lower risk of metal allergies.
Essentially, there the gold=plated stainless steel jewelry is designed by adding a very thin plated later in a very intricate chemical process, which means the result is the very best quality varieties of jewelry, hence the best jewelry options.
About the gold plating process
The gold-plating process is an important electrochemical process that leads to the addition of a very thin layer of gold on the surface of different metals, in this case, stainless steel.
During the gold plating process, an electric current will draw positively charged gold ions through the gold bath solution, and the electric current allows the positive ions to be attracted to and adhere to the metals which are negatively charged.
Often, gold-plating is applied to faded or old jewelry, and the plated layer brightens the appearance of the plated metals.
The plating process takes place in specific steps, and a gold plating kit is often used, depending on the jewelry size.
So, while the large pieces of jewelry are plated using brush plating kits, the smaller pieces are plated using immersion gold plating kits.
The gold-plating steps include surface preparation, cleansing, or rinsing of the surface through a process called electrocleaning, and the application of the strike layer follows this.
After the strike layer is created, the item to be plated is rinsed once again. The next steps include applying a base coating, the final coating, and a final rinse for the plated piece.
How thin is the gold plating layer?
Gold plating applies a very thin golf that is between 0.25 and 5 microns thick.
How long does gold-plated stainless steel last?
Often, the gold-plated stainless steel jewelry will last at least 2 years.
Tips for wearing gold-plated stainless steel jewelry to last longer
1. Wear the jewelry intentionally. So, take it off when sleeping, swimming, and cleaning because these activities negatively affect the jewelry’s appearance and may cause the plating layer to wear out too soon.
2. Clean the plated jewelry after wear to get rid of sweat and body oils that would otherwise damage the gold-plated layer.
3. Be aware of friction, and avoid circumstances that may cause friction and scratch the layer of the plated gold. Even the thickest layer of gold will eventually rub off and suffer abrasion, which is why you should avoid layering the gold-plated gold pieces. You should also use gentle cleaning products.
Gold-plated stainless steel jewelry is durable and versatile.
With proper care, the jewelry will last a good and long 2 years before the gold layer over stainless steel wears out, and that means the most affordable jewelry options for you.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.