The jewelry world is witnessing it’s largest growth in stainless steel jewelry, specifically for the discerning urban men that want to add a bit of style to their daily routine. Mens jewelry has rapidly become a popular trend in recent years, and there are several reasons behind this. The top 5 reasons for this growth includes strength and durability, masculinity, affordability, and virtually zero maintenance. For these reasons, mens steel bracelets and rings can be worn daily and nearly anywhere. So how is stainless steel establishing itself at the top of the mens jewelry podium?
Strength and durability in mens jewelry is important if it is to survive years of wear and use. Stainless steel is composed of iron ore (prone to corrosion) combined with chromium (anti-corrosive properties) which combats corrosion or staining, hence the stainless aspect of steel. Carbon in very small amounts (less than 0.5%) are infuse with the metal for increased durability and strength. These materials are, fortunately, much more abundant than silver or gold. We are left with a low cost yet very solid metal to work with.
Stainless steel is not very scratch-resistant when it is polished to a shine, which pertains to most stainless jewelry available. Most surface scratches are not visible from 6 inches or furthur fortunately. Silver polishing cloths will not remove most scratches but will restore the shine of your stainless steel jewelry just fine. There are ways to re-polish your light surface scratches away with very low-cost materials and this can be done at home, a topic which will be discussed in a future article.
Steel Jewelry Production Costs
Stainless Steel bullion costs about the same as copper, which is between 5-10 times less than pure silver, as verified by a nationally recognized bullion distributor – metalmint. This relatively low cost is yet another reason for stainless steels recent adoption in the mens jewelry industry.
Used by blacksmiths for several centuries and extensively used today from our automobiles to aircraft, steel has a certain sense of masculinity embedded within. Industrial applications have kept steel exclusive, until about 5 years ago. Men now have a wide selection of stainless steel bracelets and stainless steel rings available to them. Steel is also finding its way into chain necklaces, making for a long and heavy steel based chain that appeal to men for a much lower cost than before.
The manufacture of stainless steel jewelry is also fairly simple, keeping production costs low. The casting process ensures repeatable results, which gives creative mens jewelry designers the freedom to instill bold, masculine style in a tough and stylish package.
Stylish Appeal and Affordability
Bike chain and skull jewelry styles are popular for this very reason.A motorcycle chain is usually responsible for propelling a wheel. This same bike chain has now been designed as a stainless steel bracelet for men to wear daily, and is the perfect example of stainless steel’s purpose in mens jewelry: Bold style in a tough package.The links in a bike chain bracelet however must be polished and rounded, amongst other modifications, in order to make it practical for daily use.
The latest skull jewelry rage is now finding its way into stainless steel. Heavy and thick chains (widths exceeding 6mm) which typically cost several hundreds of dollars in sterling silver can now be made in stainless steel for a fraction of the price, which gives the consumer a myriad of options. Stylish chains and some familiar classic styles such as Rombo, Cable, Curb, and bike chain designs are now available in a thick and heavy package, for under 100 dollars, rather than several hundreds.
Allergic Reactions to Steel Jewelry
Allergic reactions to stainless steel metals is unfortunately a reality for a very small percentage of the population, as stainless steel MAY consist of nickel, titanium, chromium and other alloys, which can cause skin irritation or skin rashes.Stainless steel jewelry contains nickel, but its combination with the steel makes it highly unlikely to be the culprit for those with nickel allergy.Still, those with nickel allergies may want to exercise caution with steel jewelry. Check with your doctor to find out what affects you.
There are universal appeals to Stainless Steel Jewelry, and it’s recent fame will grow as the trends adopt more designs and styles in stainless steel. Low production costs and daily usability will substantially contribute to the rapid growth of stainless steel products available in the next few years. Hypoallergenic gold and silver will remain as the ideal metals for those with strong nickel allergies, but for all other purposes stainless steel jewelry can be substituted at a substantial cost saving for both manufacturers and consumers!