Stainless steel as a wedding ring has plenty to recommend it-affordable and retains its lustre and gleam for years. The pros and cons of stainless steel rings are in the spotlight. Desirable, stylish, and the preferred choice for personal and wedding jewelry for many people.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a highly durable compound of iron and carbon with at least 10.5% chromium and may contain other elements like nickel and magnesium. To class as hypo allergic, the stainless steel must be free from nickel. The best grades include 13% chromium. It forms an invisible protective layer on the surface that prevents further oxidisation and corrosion. The chrome makes steel, stainless or “rustless,” as first described back in 1913.
There are over 100 commercial grades, depending on the alloys actual element mix. There are five types of stainless steel:
- Precipitation Hardening.
The category covers the crystal composition, and the elements included in the mix. All these steels have different properties and different applications. It is essential to select the right grade to make men’s rings that won’t tarnish and oxidize. Contrary to popular belief, some stainless steels do rust.
Austenitic steels in the 300 series (chromium-nickel) are the best for stainless steel wedding bands. It is more straightforward to work and corrosion-resistant. A nickel-free version is suitable for hypoallergenic rings.
Reasons to Buy a Stainless Steel Ring
The pros of stainless steel ring for a wedding band or general use are:
All the Style at a Fraction of the Price
You can get stylish and fashionable stainless steel wooden ring with gemstones, inlay, carved designs, and a range of finishes from brushed satin, hammered, and high polish at substantially less than in traditional precious metal.
Tungsten carbide, titanium or Stainless steel are cheaper and look fantastic and don’t cost you a fortune in insurance. In appearance, it fits seamlessly with rings made from high-price metals.
You can get all the style and flourish of a more expensive ring in a robust and cost-effective way.
Stainless steel rings are oxidization free (provided you get it from a reputable source), scratch-resistant, and exceptionally slow to tarnish. They may look a little dull after a few years, but a clean and polish will restore them to their pristine finish. Ideal for wearing every day and in most places because steel is durable and strong.
Trumps using rare metals because it costs less in terms of energy and materials to make. The primary raw material for steel is recycled waste. Naturally, your stainless steel wedding bands are entirely recyclable. Precious metals like gold, and platinum involve mining and industrial processes that consume energy and have environmental consequences like erosion, deforestation, and toxic pollutants.
Lower Thermal Conductivity
Thermal conductivity refers to how heat passes through the material or how quickly the ring will warm up when exposed to heat, like cooking, or (worse case) fire. Stainless steel varies (depending on grade) between 15 and 19 for thermal conductivity, compare that to silver at 428. Under heated conditions, a precious metal ring will get hot enough to burn far quicker than an equivalent stainless steel ring.
In hazardous working conditions, removing jewelry (including wedding bands) is an excellent workplace safety measure. In everyday life, a ring’s low thermal conductivity means you have fewer problems with potential burns when cooking or sitting out on hot sunny days than when wearing a gold ring.
It is relatively easy to find a hypoallergic ring certified as nickel free. Even ‘pure’ metals often contain trace amounts and substantial amounts in white gold, which uses significant quantities in the alloy. Platinum rings may also contain traces unless certified as pure.
A hypoallergenic stainless steel, tungsten or titanium ring is better priced than the alternatives made in other metals.
No Need for Rhodium Plating
Most expensive rings have a hard metal rhodium coating or flashing to increase their sparkle and durability. The plating on a wedding band worn every day will wear away in one to two years. Your white gold yellows and your ring can now tarnish and scratch. Regularly replated is an additional costly expense that doesn’t apply to stainless steel rings. You save on the initial purchase and continue to save through years of little maintenance.
Light and Comfortable
Lighter than the equivalent in expensive metals and are comfortable all day avoiding wear and tear. This property means you can choose a heavier design with gemstones and inlays with less discomfort than a similar design in other materials.
Reasons Not to Buy
Stainless steel rings have many advantages over their counterparts. But there are cons of stainless steel rings. Here are the reasons why it is not your best choice?
Relatively new on the jewelry scene. They are gaining popularity because they are inexpensive, hard wearing and look great. The number of models available is less than that in traditional metals. But that is changing as designers wake up to the sterling qualities for wedding rings.
Cons: Resizing and Repair
The benefit of durability means there is a downside in repairing or resizing. One of the cons of stainless steel is it’s not as malleable and workable as silverware. It is often more effective to simply replace than to attempt a repair or change the size.
To avoid disappointment, check your ring size by measuring it a couple of times at different times of the day and over a few weeks. Plus, purchase from a supplier that gives you a generous return and warranty policy.
Cons: Sensitive to Chlorine
Stainless steel is not the only material with problems with the aggressive impact of chlorinating in swimming pools, hot tubs, or even household cleaning. Chloride leaches out silver, zinc, and nickel from any metal, so your precious metal alloy is more susceptible to damage than your stainless steel rings. The effect is to corrode and weaken the ring.
Wearing a wedding band in a high chlorinated environment, pure gold or pure platinum are your best options. Stainless steel is resistant, but repeated exposure will cause some pitting, and you should remove rings before swimming.
Cons: Resale Value
The attractiveness of expensive metals, is the scrap value providing a base resale value. In practice, the value of an antique ring depends on style and age as much as the material content.
The scrap value is negligible, and the market for antique steel rings (at least one hundred years old) has not started. However, vintage steel rings with classic or collectible designs hold their value in the second-hand market.
Buying Quality Stainless Steel Wedding Rings
Quality items are a joy to own and are treasured by families as a pleasant memento of a loved one. Rings constructed to a high standard and with a good design are likely to fall into the treasured possession range in a lifetime. Today stylish stainless steel jewelry increase in popularity for people.
The main points in purchasing metal rings that will stand the test of time are:
- Choose trusted manufacturer that designs their products with care and attention.
- Choose quality stainless steel like 316L.
- Select for fit and comfort as well as style.
- Buy an authentic ring (hint: if it is dirt cheap, it is probably fake).
- Avoid plated rings because the plating will wear away and need regular replacement.
Most of all, only get steel rings that you want to wear and suit your style. Eco-friendly rings can round out your outfit, express your personality, and remind you of the giver if received as a gift.
Pros: Personalised Gifts
Stainless steel wedding rings can be laser etched inside and outside the band. Or you can go for traditional engraving. It is ideal for a profoundly personal message either hidden away or boldly displayed outside as part of the design.
As a gift to a much-loved son, you can pass on words of wisdom or a wish for a bright future; as a romantic token, you can include a hidden wedding message. Personalisation changes a simple stainless steel wedding ring into a special connection with a loved one for life.
Metal bands are relatively maintenance-free as they are strong, and scratch-resistant and retain a lasting polish.
Hygienic cleaning of your hands often includes removing your rings. Before you replace the ring on your finger, wash it with soapy water because infectious bacterial and viruses can remain on metal surfaces for two to three days. Soap and warm water will not harm it.
You can clean your rings with a solution of I tablespoon of vinegar mixed with one tablespoon of warm water applied with a soft cloth. This mixture will remove any surface dirt and grease from the oils in your skin or daily activities and let the steel shine brightly.
After years of wear, your ring may lose its luster. You can have your ring polished to restore it to its newly bought lustre. That is a personal choice and not necessary for you to continue to enjoy your ring.
Pros: Affordable Not Cheap
Wedding rings are affordable jewellery pieces available in classic and modern styles. Luxury brands like Calvin Klein, Armani, and many others produce signature stainless steel jewelry to add the finishing touches to their clothing ranges. High-quality watchmakers embrace it for their wearable and stylish designs because it is superb for jewellery -always affordable, but never cheap.
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