When it comes to affordable-yet-stunning jewelry choices, two of the most often discussed metals or materials of construction are stainless steel and sterling silver.
There are various reasons why stainless steel and sterling silver have earned a permanent place in the hearts of both jewelry makers and customers alike. However, when you are faced with the dilemma of making a choice between these two, which one would you pick?
We are not taking sides here because we love both equally. All we are going to do is compile key details about the two so you can make an informed decision before making a purchase.
All right then, let’s go!
All You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Jewelry
Stainless steel is an alloy that generally contains a mix of steel, titanium, nickel, iron, chromium, and other metals with varying chemical compositions. While the most popular combo is steel and chromium, there are over 150 variations that you are likely to find. The jewelry industry is probably not the first thing you might associate stainless steel with – and that is because the alloy has a massive range of applications. From construction and surgical equipment to cutlery, pots, pans, and furniture, stainless steel is a popular choice for a variety of industries.
So, what is it that makes stainless steel such a shining star across domains and applications?
As the name suggests, this alloy has the inimitable characteristic of staying blemish-free and sparkling, no matter what. Once polished, stainless steel offers excellent light reflection, giving it a shiny appearance that works brilliantly in the case of jewelry.
The versatility and dynamism of stainless steel makes it a top choice for jewelry makers around the globe. Today, you are likely to find an array of varying finishes in stainless steel jewelry – it can be made to look like white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, and even sterling silver! Add to that the fact that it is strong, durable, and corrosion resistant, and you have yourself a winner!
Here’s a quick snapshot of the key features, benefits, and characteristics of stainless steel:
- Resistant to scratches and dents
- Strong and durable construction
- Longer life span
- Doesn’t lose its natural sheen
- Resistant to corrosion or oxidation
- Dynamic and versatile in terms of applications
- Cheaper than silver
- Ideal for everyday jewelry
- Low maintenance
You can explore a massive variety of stainless steel rings, necklaces, earrings, bangles, bracelets, or complete stainless steel jewelry sets online at P&K Jewelry. You can also discover an array of stainless steel jewelry that is studded with gemstones or pearls, adding another level of elegance to it.
Everything You Should Know About Sterling Silver Jewelry
Perhaps the most popular form of silver that promises the same luster and allure that fine (pure) silver would, sterling silver or .925 silver jewelry is a in the jewelry world for several reasons.
One of the top reasons for the undying popularity of sterling silver is that despite being a “precious” metal, it is way more affordable when compared to gold or platinum. Sterling silver is an alloy that mixes 92.5 portions of fine silver with 7.5 portions of other metals (generally copper, palladium, or nickel). A process called flashing, where the jewelry is plated with a layer of pure silver (.999), is used for making sterling silver jewelry. Sometimes, the jewelry pieces are coated with copper or rhodium before the flashing process. The resulting product has a shiny, glossy finish.
Alloys are usually made because the primary metal (silver, in this case) is way too malleable and soft, making it difficult to mold and hold a shape for an extended period of time. Also, fine silver is prone to dents, scratches, and oxidative damage over time. With sterling silver, most of these issues are resolved automatically – it hardens the silver and makes it easy for jewelry makers to give it any shape they desire.
You can cross-check the authenticity of a sterling silver jewelry piece by asking the seller about its hallmarks or engravings. You will often find genuine jewelry sporting 925, .925, or 92.5% hallmarks on them.
Here are some of the salient features and characteristics of sterling silver:
- Valuable and yet affordable
- Cheaper than pure silver, gold, and platinum
- More expensive than stainless steel jewelry
- Easy to maintain, clean, and polish
- Elegant appearance (just like fine silver)
- Available in glossy finish and matte finish
- Prone to tarnishing
- Susceptible to scratches and dents
- Not hypoallergenic
- Versatile and malleable
If you are on the lookout for high-quality sterling silver jewelry, beware of duplicates! There are lots of fake silver jewelry sellers on the market and it might be difficult for a layman to differentiate between what is fake and what is genuine. As mentioned above, always look for the sterling silver marks on the jewelry pieces and do your research and background check on the seller before you purchase anything.
You will find the physical and online marketplace flooded with various types and varieties of sterling silver jewelry items, including bangles, bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces, pendants, and more.
Depending on your needs and personal preferences, you can choose from a massive assortment of both stainless steel as well as sterling silver jewelry at P&K Jewelry.
Explore our stainless steel jewelry (available wholesale) here.
Take a look at our selection of .925 sterling silver jewelry (available wholesale) here.