Will Stainless Steel Jewelry Tarnish?

Will Stainless Steel Jewelry Tarnish?

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Stainless steel is a commonly used metal because of its resistance to corrosion and durability. Many jewelry pieces are made from stainless steel and since it is more affordable than real silver or gold, it is chosen as accessories for daily wear. 

Jewelry isn’t the only thing made from stainless steel. There are many items that feature the metal because of its durability. It also has an appealing look to it. But back to jewelry made from this shiny metal. It lasts for a long time and is supposed to be corrosive resistant. 

But, does stainless steel jewelry tarnish?

Although it is highly resistant to corrosion, stainless steel does tarnish over time. If exposed to the right conditions, this popular jewelry item can tarnish. It is a good idea to regularly clean your stainless steel jewelry to help it last longer and reduce the tarnishing on it. 

Over the years, (and without proper cleaning) jewelry starts to dull. It will lose the luster it once had and instead of being a shiny metal, it will become a dull colored one. This is just what happens. 

The same goes for stainless steel. 

Stainless steel is said to be corrosion-resistant and while this is true, after several years and being exposed to elements of daily life, it will eventually tarnish. 

What is tarnishing? Tarnishing is when something loses its luster. This can result because of exposure to air or moisture. When a piece of jewelry tarnishes it becomes dull in color and loses its brightness. 

Stainless steel is an affordable and durable metal used to make many types of jewelry.  Stainless steel is an alloy of metals all of which make it the durable metal it is. Because of its strength and durability, it is worn often and when worn often, it is exposed to many conditions and elements which can break it down. 

This causes tarnishing. So, unfortunately, just like other metals, stainless steel does tarnish.To see the most popular pieces of stainless steel jewelry just click here. 

Is Stainless Steel Good For Jewelry?

The chromium that stainless steel contains protects it from rusting. The best stainless steel is mainly made up of about 10 percent chromium. But, this doesn’t mean that the jewelry won’t ever tarnish. 

So, is stainless steel good for jewelry?

Stainless steel is good for jewelry. It is a metal that is stain and corrosive resistant and lasts for a long time. However, over time and due to wear and tear, stainless steel can tarnish. Still it is a good choice for inexpensive everyday jewelry.

Stainless steel jewelry is affordable and durable. It is made up of several elements that make it corrosion resistant. There are different types of stainless steel as well. The type used to make jewelry is called 316L stainless steel. This type of metal can take a lot from conditions and elements. 

A higher level of this is 316LVM which is ideal for sensitive skin. Stainless steel was chosen as jewelry because of its strength and durability. It is a shiny silver color but not to be confused with sterling silver. 

Stainless steel is different from sterling silver. Sterling silver is pure silver mixed with alloys to make it more durable whereas stainless steel doesn’t contain silver but a combination of alloys. They are similar in color but stainless steel is a less expensive metal since sterling silver contains pure silver.

Stainless steel is not an expensive metal but it is durable and long-lasting. This is what makes it great for everyday use. It is a popular choice for many jewelry buyers because it isn’t a valuable piece of jewelry but looks nice and can be worn on a day to day basis. 

The environment that the stainless steel is exposed to also affects if it will tarnish and how quickly. While it is okay to shower with stainless steel jewelry on, you should remove it whenever you are exposed to seawater which can react with the metal. 

When stainless steel is exposed to the air, it develops an oxide layer. This then protects the metal from corrosion, but this oxide layer will also form after the metal is damaged or nicked. So most often, stainless steel jewelry will get scratched and then tarnish.

Does Stainless Steel Change In Color?

You may have noticed that your stainless steel jewelry isn’t as shiny as it used to be. You wonder if maybe there was a defect in making it. You know that cheap jewelry doesn’t last very long and will change colors over time. 

Does stainless steel change in color?

Stainless steel can eventually fade in color. This can happen depending on what it is exposed to and if it is cleaned regularly or not. This metal can turn from a shiny bright silver to a dull grayish color if it is not taken care of.

The changing of stainless steel’s color is referred to as tarnishing. Tarnished jewelry lacks its former luster it once had. Stainless steel can tarnish if it is exposed to harsh conditions or elements. Solid gold doesn’t tarnish but gold-plated jewelry can as well. This is because it is made with 100 percent gold and has added alloys. 

Metal alloys used in jewelry are more durable but are also more susceptible to tarnishing over time and the more it is used. The gold-plated finish on the pieces is very fragile and if too thin, the layer can get scratched and tarnish.

Because stainless steel can tanish, it should be cleaned regularly. This can be done by a professional or by ultrasonic cleaning but this can get expensive for your inexpensive piece of jewelry. Try cleaning the jewelry with soap and water or baking soda and water. Then scrub it with a toothbrush. 

Jewelry cleaners are also available at many stores that come with the cleaning solution and a small cleaning brush. A jewelry polishing cloth will also come in handy. 

So, to keep stainless steel jewelry in good condition, clean it and take care of it. Everyday wear and tear will cause the metal to tarnish. Stainless steel will eventually change in color from a shiny silver to a dull gray.

Final Thoughts

If exposed to harsh environments and scratched, stainless steel will tarnish. This just happens eventually over time and the more you wear the jewelry the sooner it will happen. 

Cleaning the jewelry will help to preserve the shine of the piece and can also protect it. Because stainless steel does tarnish it should be cleaned on a regular basis. 

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