Are you torn between stainless steel and sterling silver jewellery? Although similar in appearance, there are many differences between the two. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of each, helping you make an informed decision when purchasing your next piece of jewellery. Discover the unique characteristics, durability, price, maintenance requirements, and style options of these popular materials to find the perfect fit for your collection.
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel, an alloy consisting of carbon and iron, must possess a chromium content of at least 10.5% and a carbon content of no more than 1.2% to meet the criteria. To further enhance its durability and other beneficial qualities, it is also blended with other alloys like nickel and titanium.
Due to its durability, affordability, and versatility, stainless steel has been gaining in popularity as a favoured material for jewellery.
Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Jewellery
In addition to its resemblance to silver, stainless steel jewellery has a number of great qualities. However, it is important to remember that stainless steel is not a precious metal and therefore not as prestigious or valuable as silver pieces.
It Is Extremely Durable
Due to its composition, stainless steel jewellery is extremely durable, scratch resistant and able to withstand everyday wear. It won’t chip or fade and is difficult to bend or misshape.
It Doesn’t Tarnish
Stainless steel doesn’t tarnish and is resistant to rust. This is due to the inclusion of an invisible layer of chromium that prevents oxidation from occurring.
It Is Affordable
Stainless steel jewellery is less expensive than sterling silver or gold as it is not a precious metal.
It Comes In A Variety of Finishes
Stainless steel jewellery comes in a variety of finishes such as matte, glossy, and brushed, catering to diverse styles and preferences.
It Is Not a Precious Metal
Stainless steel is an alloy that mixes a number of different elements. It is not a precious metal and therefore considered less valuable than other metals.
It Is Difficult To Work With
Stainless steel is hard and stiff making it very difficult to use to design intricate pieces, and set gemstones. Sizing stainless steel jewellery is also very difficult due to its rigidness.
What Is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver is a popular metal alloy used in the creation of jewellery. It is made by combining 92.5% pure silver with 7.5% other metals, typically copper or zinc.
The resulting alloy is more durable and scratch resistant than pure silver while composed of enough silver to make it valuable and alluring.
Pros and Cons of Sterling Silver Jewellery
When it comes to sterling silver jewellery, like any precious metal, it's important to weigh the pros and cons. However, the advantages of sterling silver far surpass any drawbacks it may have.
The Main Component in Sterling Silver is a Precious Metal
Sterling silver primarily consists of pure silver, a precious metal that imparts both value and prominence to the jewellery it's made with. The allure of silver has also led to its continuous appreciation over time.
It is Slow to Tarnish
Sterling silver jewellery is slow to tarnish due to its composition. The combination of pure silver and copper or zinc adds strength and durability to the silver. The presence of copper in sterling silver also creates a protective layer that helps slow down the oxidation process, preventing tarnish from forming quickly. However, sterling silver may still tarnish over time if exposed to certain elements like moisture, chemicals, or sulphur-containing substances. The good news? Proper care, polishing and maintenance can prolong the shine and minimize the tarnishing of sterling silver jewellery making it last a lifetime.
It is Easy to Work With
Although incredibly strong as a result of the copper or zinc alloy, sterling silver can still be formed into intricate pieces and set with precious gemstones due to its malleable nature.
It is Affordable
Although more expensive than stainless steel, sterling silver is relatively inexpensive for a precious metal. This is due to the fact that it is readily available and found in many countries around the world.
It is Not Hypoallergenic
Due to the addition of other metals, sterling silver jewellery is not considered hypoallergenic. This means that it can cause a skin reaction in certain individuals. Although generally not severe, it can be a drawback especially if you are buying your sterling silver jewellery from a non-reputable source.
It Can Scratch and Dent
Sterling silver's primary drawback lies in its inherent delicacy. Its soft composition makes it susceptible to scratches and deformations when worn daily.
Sterling Silver Jewellery at KORITE
When it comes to choosing between stainless steel and sterling silver jewellery, it's essential to consider the pros and cons of each. While stainless steel offers durability, affordability, and a variety of finishes, it lacks the prestige and intrinsic value of a precious metal like sterling silver.
At KORITE, we offer a stunning collection of sterling silver jewellery that combines elegance, craftsmanship, and the timeless beauty of silver with rare ammolite gemstones. Explore our range to find the perfect piece that resonates with your unique style and preferences but also tells a story of bold beauty and adventure.