Titanium and stainless steel have various industrial uses, but here we’re going to explore their use in the jewelry world. At first glance, it might be hard to tell them apart and thus making your decision-making process somewhat harder.
Here we are going to look at what titanium and stainless steel are, what makes them similar, and the difference between them. By the end of the article, you ought to tell them apart and also aid you in making an informed decision on which one to settle for and on which occasion.
It’s also vital that you get to know the difference so that you don’t fall prey to false labeling and pricing. It also helps to be knowledgeable about what you’re purchasing because it is good practice.
How to tell the difference between titanium and stainless steel jewelry?
As we start the journey on educating you on the difference, we first need to look at what each of these metals is.
Titanium: Here, we have a metallic element that gets obtained from various ore occurring naturally on earth. This metal gets used for building ships, architectural structures, and even space crafts because it is both incredibly strong yet lightweight because of its low density.
The other reason for that is that titanium has high heat transfer efficiency. It is also loved when making jewelry because it does not tarnish or corrode as compared to other metals such as silver and gold.
It can withstand corrosion from things such as acids, alkalis, natural water, and industrial chemicals. Titanium is also a hypoallergenic metal meaning that it does not cause an allergic reaction to the people wearing it.
Stainless steel: Stainless steel is different from titanium because it’s an alloy. It is made up of steel and any number of other elements, including aluminum, carbon, silicon, nickel, chromium, and molybdenum. The reason why it is an alloy is so that it can change characteristics, in this case, to make it durable.
However, it is primarily made of 70 percent iron and 30 percent chromium to form stainless steel. Just like titanium, it does not corrode or tarnish and it can also withstand high temperatures.
It primarily gets used in kitchen appliances and surfaces. The other use is in hospitals when they use stainless steel instruments. It’s equally used for piercings.
Similarities between titanium and stainless steel
There are a lot of similarities between these two metals. The first we have highlighted in the definitions is that they do not tarnish or corrode.
That makes them fantastic alternatives to other metals used in jewelry making in the industry. They are also a cheaper alternative to the popular gold and silver that don’t tend to stand up to the test of time as titanium and stainless steel do.
The other noticeable aspect is that they are similar in color. When brushed and polished, they are silver. They also make for an excellent backdrop for putting gemstones and diamonds sets. To the untrained eye, they won’t differentiate between white gold and silver.
Differences between titanium and stainless steel
That means that the characteristics of titanium are naturally found within the metal, while stainless steel requires a combination of metals to get the same effect. Stainless steel can also be made with several various alloys; you’d have to ask for specifications from the manufacturer what alloys got used.
Titanium is also hypoallergenic, but stainless steel doesn’t always hold up to that standard. One of the elements it sometimes tends to contain is nickel, a well-known allergen.
If you have allergies to nickel, then you want to specify with the vendor or the jeweler for surgical grade stainless steel that is nickel-free. Most people don’t react to it, but there are exceptions. Otherwise, given that titanium is non-toxic to the human body, you will find it getting used in the medical field to make replacements parts such as implants.
The other difference is that while both metals are grey, titanium is darker on the eye even when polished. It gives it a somewhat weathered look as compared to stainless steel or other metals.
Overall, you can call the color silver-grey. When it comes to exposure to extreme temperatures, titanium holds up better. Stainless steel is more prone to fatigue and shattering.
When we look at cost, titanium is a lot more expensive than stainless steel for the mere fact that it is a metal and not an alloy metal. The process of obtaining it is costly as it requires mining and extracting it from the ore.
For that reason, you’re going to pay between $100 and $300 for a titanium ring and between $20 and $100 for a stainless steel ring. The price is also largely dependent on if there are other gemstones or diamonds on the setting and the design as well.
Thus far, we can establish that titanium is the better of the two metals. That does, though, depend on the type of jewelry you’re going for.
If you’re looking for a ring that will last, then you want to opt for titanium. That will, however, mean that you’ll give up the shiny nature that stainless steel tends to have.
For rings with diamond or gemstone settings, the stainless steel will make them look brighter, but if you want the ring to be a bit ancient-looking the, by all means, opt for titanium.
The other way you’ll be able to tell immediately what type of metal you’re purchasing is the price points. For the most part, you’ll have to part with about $300 for a titanium ring.
For stainless steel, you can get it for as little as $20. Therefore, we can assume that another large determining factor of which metal you settle for when purchasing jewelry will be your pocket.