Is stainless steel OK for a wedding ring? Due to changing trends, many people do not prefer traditional metal jewelry like gold and silver. Stainless steel is one of the most popular modern jewelry metals used due to its beautiful color, strength, and lightweight features. But, is stainless steel good for wedding rings?
Stainless steel is one of the most preferred metal jewelry used in making men’s wedding bands and engagement rings. However, many women’s wedding rings also consist of stainless steel material. Available in several desirable and trendy designs, stainless steel rings have many benefits as opposed to traditional jewelry metals. These rings are quite affordable, environment, and skin-friendly, as well as durable. However, is stainless steel good for wedding rings? Before reading this post, you guys should read this one: Hypoallergenic Metals for Engagement Rings
Is stainless steel good for wedding rings?
Yes, stainless steel is a popular metal used in the fashion and jewelry industry as it makes wedding rings as well as fashion/dress rings. The metal is slightly whiter than zirconium and titanium, giving its resultant jewelry a contemporary metallic look. However, polishing stainless steel gives it a variety of looks, making it versatile to use. It is also quite easy to work with, and its rings are quite affordable to purchase.
What are stainless steel wedding rings?
Stainless steel wedding rings contain carbon and iron alloy metals, with some stainless steel alloy variations having nickel, manganese, or chromium. Depending on the amount of metal alloys used, the appearance and strength of stainless steel may vary. Often, you may find the amount of stainless steel paired with numbers, like “20/12”, meaning it has 20% chromium and 12% nickel. The higher the numbers, the more resistant the material is resistant to corrosion and rust.
If you are looking for durable and attractive wedding bands, stainless steel wedding rings are an ideal choice. They have a beautiful silver luster and they are not susceptible to rusting, breaking, or chipping. These rings are also available in a variety of designs and engravings, depending on the wearer’s style.
Stainless steel properties and usage
Stainless steel is one of the most used alloys in the world. Typically composed of iron, chromium, and carbon, this metal is highly durable as it does not rust, corrode, or tarnish. It is the addition of chromium to steel that makes it reflective, shiny, and highly durable. The metal’s silver luster allows it to look like other more expensive metals like silver, platinum, or white gold.
The metal alloy is also scratch-resistant, allowing people with active lifestyles to enjoy wearing it without worrying about damaging it. It is also lightweight and comfortable to wear, but the addition of inlays and gemstones may some extra weight to the ring. Stainless steel is also a poor conductor of heat and electricity with thermal conductivity of 16.
Stainless steel has a wide variety of uses in numerous industries. Some of them include:
- Making surgical and medical tools
- Aerospace applications
- Manufacture of cookware and various pieces of cutlery
- Architectural construction
- Making multiple pieces of jewelry like rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, among many others
History of stainless steel
Referring to a group of approximately 150 grades of steel, the discovery of stainless steel is credited to many names throughout history. However, Harry Brearley of Sheffield, United Kingdom, discovered the first true ‘rustless’ steel in 1913. His version of stainless steel contained 12% chromium, which he added to molten iron to make the ‘rustless’ metal.
Brearley came across this discovery while investigating the erosion of gun barrel’s internal surfaces for the British army during the beginning of World War 1. After the initial discovery of stainless steel, stainless steel was developed further by other scientists. For instance, Elwood Haynes acquired a patent on martensitic stainless steel in 1919. Similarly, William J. Kroll of Paris discovered the precipitation-hardening of stainless steel and the Avesta Ironworks produced duplex stainless steel in Sweden in 1930.
Over the past 100 years, about 100 grades of stainless steel have been discovered and made commercially available. Several grades of steel can be categorized as stainless, but the metal must contain at least 10.5% chromium, mostly 13% chromium. The chromium element is what differentiates the metal from carbon steel, protecting it from corrosion.
Chromium forms an invisible oxidized layer on the metal to protect it from further reaction with air and water. Stainless steel grades fall into four main categories: martensitic, austenitic, duplex, and ferritic. These grades of stainless steel have varying amounts of alloying metals, like copper, titanium, and nickel. The most common form of stainless steel is 316L.
Today, China is the largest producer of stainless steel in the world. Outokumpu, a group of companies with its headquarters in Espoo, Finland, is one of the leading producers and distributors of stainless steel.
Pros of stainless steel as a wedding ring
- Incredibly durable and strong as it is scratch-resistant and does not rust or corrode
- Affordable option when compared to other traditional jewelry metals, like gold and silver
- Depending on the constituent alloys, most stainless steel metals are hypoallergenic
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Stainless steel wedding rings can be cut in case of an emergency
Cons of stainless steel as a wedding ring
- Stainless steel wedding rings come in a limited variety of designs and selections
- After many years of daily wear, stainless steel rings may lose their shine and polish
- Resizing stainless steel wedding rings can be challenging
Despite being a new entry in the jewelry industry, stainless steel wedding rings are quickly becoming a popular trend. However, men have more options to choose from when it comes to choosing the style of their stainless steel rings, but women also have a variety of designs to choose from, as well as finishes. If stainless steel is the metal jewelry for you, make sure you pick a design that agrees with your current needs and style.
See you guys in the next post!