Titanium is one metal that those people with sensitive skin gravitate towards. What about its anodized version; is it still safe?
Here we are going to look at what anodizing means and if anodized titanium is safe to wear like the natural metal.
What does anodize mean in jewelry?
When a piece of jewelry is anodized, it means that the metal surface has an added layer of natural oxide.
That happens through what is called an electrolytic passivation process, whereby the piece of metal that is to get anodized acts as an anode electrode in the electrical circuit formed.
As a result, the metal forms a layer of oxide that is thicker than what is naturally there before for the process.
The process of anodizing a metal changes the crystal structure near the surface of the metal and also improves the texture on a microscopic level.
The reason that jewelers opt for anodizing is that that this top coating is stronger and more durable than painting metal or even plating it.
It is worth noting that not all metals can be anodized—examples of those that cannot are carbon steel and iron.
The colors that you get from the process are somewhat restricted as well.
The jewelry will take the shade of gold, pale yellow, brown, deep bronze, grey, or black.
The method of adding color is also the same; jewelers use it to have the metal absorb dyes of whatever beautiful color they have in mind.
It is also possible to form patterns on metal with natural colors through this method.
The whole purpose of this method, in general, is to protect the metal against corrosion and increase wear-resistance of the metal itself.
Is anodized titanium hypoallergenic?
The reason why people opt for titanium jewelry is because of its bio-compatible properties.
That is to say, it is a safe metal that won’t cause any irritation or allergic reactions. However, given that anodizing does change the surface structure of the metal itself, it is logical to wonder if they are still hypoallergenic.
The good news is that anodized titanium is safe to wear.
That’s because unlike plating or other forms, anodized metals don’t peel or flake. That’s because the titanium has not been coated with anything.
Even when the color is different, the metal itself remains titanium. Something to keep in mind is that not all anodized jewelry is safe to wear.
Be sure to purchase from a trusted company since some tend to label titanium coated stainless steel as titanium anodized, which is not hypoallergenic.
Does anodized titanium wear off?
The anodized layer of titanium does wear off over time.
You’ll begin to notice that the color is not as vibrant as before and appears to be fading. What’s left is that you’re exposed to the titanium color underneath.
However, this process is quite slow, and it doesn’t involve any peeling or flaking off. Given the biocompatible nature of titanium, this process of wearing off does not pose any harm to the human body.
How long does anodized titanium last?
How long anodized titanium lasts has mostly to do with how often you wear the jewelry and how you care for it.
If you wear an anodized titanium ring daily, you’ll find the rate of the wear to be faster than that of earrings of a pendant. That is because friction fastens the process of the colored layer coming off.
The best way to slow down the rate of fading is always to wipe your jewelry with a clean cloth after you wear it and put it in a velvet pouch or a jewelry box.
You also want to minimize its exposure to the elements and chemicals. For example, when you’re applying lotion or working with detergents, remove the jewelry to prevent the speed up of the fading process. Even sweat is a contributing factor to how long the jewelry lasts.
Scratches and chipping for the jewelry can also expose the layer of titanium underneath.
That’s why cleaning your jewelry often with mild soap and water and taking it off where necessary is best. Remember to store your jewelry when it is dry and to avoid abrasives cloths. Overall, you’ll find that anodize titanium stands up well against elements and everyday wear and tear.
The issue mostly comes in with friction and scratches, which drastically affects how long it lasts.
Is anodized titanium safe for piercings?
As mentioned, anodizing doesn’t change the composition or nature of titanium. That means it remains hypoallergenic and, therefore, safe for piercings.
All that’s been done is an electric current has passed through it to from the various natural colors. You’ll find that they form gold, yellow, copper, green, blue, purple. There are also other instances where it can create an oil slick effect.
Those getting a fresh piercing will appreciate the variety of colors available to them apart from the standard silver-greyish color of natural titanium.
You can get piercings on any part of the body with anodized titanium, and it still is safe. If anything, you’ll look more stylish, especially if you opt for a unique color.
Pros and cons of anodized titanium jewelry
Pros: There are many benefits to anodized titanium. Generally, anodizing increases a metal’s durability with regards to resistance to corrosion. The other advantage is that the process ends up forming a smoother surface. Additionally, with anodized titanium, you have a wider variety of colors and unique patterns to chose from. Even with that, the biocompatible and hypoallergenic nature of titanium, anodized or not, makes it safe for those with sensitive skin to wear.
Cons: Anodized metals, in general, don’t last forever and thus somewhat require more care.
There are a lot of positive things about getting anodized titanium. You get to have stylish jewelry, all the while enjoying its hypoallergenic nature.
With proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of your jewelry for a long time to come.