Stainless Steel Jewelry FAQ – 17 Facts You Need To Know About Stainless Steel Jewelry

There are hundreds of questions people ask here, and that’s why it’s better to handle them in such an article. However, we don’t handle all jewels today; we are choosing stainless steel.

We will try to bring you all the answers you need, but please feel free to ask if you have more questions.

1. Whats stainless steel?

Stainless steel is a standard metal in the household. You will find it in your garage and the kitchen. However, one place it has made a successful impact is in the jewelry industry.

Stainless steel ring

Stainless steel jewels are jewels that are made using stainless steel. Often you can use any stainless steel to make the jewel, but here you ought to choose the safer grade.

It often features an alloy of chromium, steel, and a small nickel percentage to make it more manageable and colorful. But the ones that have a lesser percentage of nickels are safe.

For the skin sensitive, it’s on you to choose the higher grade level ones to be safe.

2. What are the grades of stainless steel great to choose from?

There are different grades of stainless steel, and they fit different uses, but the ones you can use with your jewels are as below.

Grade 304

Let’s say that this is one of the most common options for stainless steel. You will find it in the kitchen for your cookware. But sometimes they also use it for jewels.

Notice that it contains 10.5% of nickel and carbon alloys. It’s a medium-quality jewel and not the very best choice.

Such a metal then is excellent since it has a high level of tensile strength, and that’s why people like it. People further like it for its temperature resistance.

As such, you can use it in different temperature settings. You notice that it’s corrosion-resistant, and it, therefore, offers a wide range of uses for you.

Grade 304L

You will further notice some metals called 304 L. Such are still great choices. They often have lower carbon but more nickel and, therefore, are not suitable for you if you are sensitive to nickel. Still, some people use it in jewelry.

Grade 316

Here is one of the very best choices you could ever have. It has a high tensile strength, which is also why people like it so much. Most people like stainless steel because it’s resistant to chlorides.

This is also why you can use it when you are going to the swimming pool. It will never rust easily. It doesn’t matter even if you exposed it to the salty environment, as it will still stand it.

It contains less carbon and nickel, so you will find them even for body jewels.

Grade 430

This, although it’s not as standard, you will find it sometimes in your favorite jewels. Most people say it’s the safest choice of jewel you could even have.

It contains about 0.5% nickel, which is the lowest any stainless steel metal has at any time. These jewels are acceptable by the EU regulations.

Surgical steel

This is another one of the best preferred stainless steel because you can use it in implant surgeries. It’s much suitable for your surgeries.

This shows you that it’s safe to use when you are in surgery too.

More reading: Surgical Steel Vs. Stainless Steel

3. But what does 316L mean on jewelry?

This is often also one type of surgical steel. And it means that the metals contain lesser carbon. Most people like it more because it has the perfect color to use for different jewels.

Most people use it on watches just because it’s non-corrosive and safe to use with different metals.

Stainless Steel Jewelry 2

Here’s why people like it

It’s strong

The features of stainless steel are great in that they will never deform. In fact, it has the perfect tensile strength to stand the different levels of harsh conditions.

This is an antioxidant

It is also highly oxidative, and it further is the perfect and most challenging option; thus, it’s less prone to wear and tear. It will maintain its perfect jewel look, remember.

Its further corrosion resistant

You won’t struggle with metals that change their features as soon as they are subjected to a lot of oxygen in the air.

The versatility

You will have a wide range of options to use. Such metals allow you to use them for different styles of jewels.

4. Is stainless steel jewelry safe?

While most people think that stainless steel often works only for auto appliances and cookware, you can use it for jewels. Since it’s getting quite popular, most people want to know whether it’s safe to use the jewel.

Here’s the thing a jewel is only not safe when they contain other truly unsafe elements for the skin.

This is the truth, especially for those with skin sensitivity. This is why people opt to use high-grade stainless steel or, better yet, medical-grade ones.

Related article:  Is stainless steel hypoallergenic

So when you use the medical-grade ones, you are sure they are good to go even for the body jewels. Mostly you will choose the surgical steel or 316L jewels since they are the medical level jewels.

Stainless Steel Jewelry 3

Of course, such metals also lack the nickel that would otherwise cause the counter-skin reactions. Here’s what makes any metal unsafe to use.

If it contains cadmium

Cadmium is useful in batteries’ solar cells, but that’s where it ends. When in jewels, then it’s unsafe to use. Most states in America avoid it basically because it causes different types of cancers.


Most countries have already banned the use of lead in different jewels and tools. It’s not safe to use it, especially for your bone growth.

This is not ideal for kids; this is why some states typically did away with them.


Most jewelers use nickel to reduce the brittleness or make it manageable, or even give it a better color.

But so many people have nickel sensitivity, so most prefer not to use it. You will find the nickel in medical-grade stainless steel but at the lowest level.

So it’s true to say that stainless steel is safe to use. This is why most people are buying such options for jewels.

Related article: What you need to know about nickel-free jewelry.

5. Is stainless steel jewelry excellent or bad?

I know this is one of the most common questions you will have people asking. I always say that since people like it, it’s getting quite popular, it’s only because it’s a great option to use.

Notice that stainless steel metal has some drawbacks; those don’t outweigh the good. People mostly like such jewels because they will serve you for a long time. Remember just to polish the jewels right, thus making sure they last longer.

You will like it for its versatility.

Remember, you can use it for different styles of jewelry but also the different household items. Whether you want earrings, necklaces, rings, or watches, you can always find a suitable choice. You will like it more because it’s attractive to use.

It’s durable

More than anything, you will find these jewels to be good because they can stand different levels of harsh conditions.

When you buy the stainless steel jewel, therefore, you are buying it to last for ages. Notice that the jewel is naturally a hard alloy.

It will further stand the wear and tear, which is why it’s a great choice.

6. How much is stainless steel jewelry worth

I know you may ask this just because you realize that the prices are much lower than the precious jewels one. The reason for this is just that the other precious metals are much harder to access than stainless steel.

With the right components of the alloys, you can be sure you have a worthy metal.

It’s our advice for you to go for medical-grade stainless steel mostly because it’s safe, beautiful, and free of toxic chemicals and elements. So when you are talking of such jewel options, yes, you can be sure it’s the best option.

I prefer to use the jewels with the stainless steel that’s marked to show you the quality, and you should too. This will make sure you only choose the best, and it doesn’t further cause any skin reaction. Let’s say that if you are going to buy the 316L one, you are good to go.

You can get the best stainless steel jewel at $20, but you can also get one at $700, mostly depending on the gemstones they add.

It can be costly, but if you add diamond and gold, it’s often cheaper and less than $100.

7. Are stainless steel necklaces good?

They are generally as great as any other stainless steel jewel, provided you choose the good quality ones. Such jewels are becoming quite popular, you know, but it’s all because they are secure and good-looking.

They look more like regular sterling silver; in fact, it’s hard to tell them apart.

Stainless Steel Jewelry 1 1

When you, therefore, choose the medical-grade option of 316L or 316 types, you are safe. Albeit you can also go with 430 one.

People like these options just because they are safe to use and will be easy to maintain. Remember, you don’t have to worry about corroding, and it changes its color. The jewel will maintain its look.

Also, people enjoy it because it’s safe to use, especially when you know the right metal components made it.

You will like the necklaces come in different shapes and styles. Did you know that you can also combine the diamond in it? This will always make it easy to work with yet safe to use too.

8. Does stainless steel jewelry fade?

You will like the metal for the fact that it doesn’t change its look ever. It will continue to look as good as new. It has the perfect shine like gold and silver, and you know it doesn’t lose this shine even if you subject it to harsher weather conditions.

If you ever notice a fade, then you should polish it to get it to remove the oxide layer that is already formed.

This layer prevents corrosion and rust, but it regains its color and shines when you polish its surfaces.

Remember, if you notice the rust, you can be sure it’s because of the elements mixed in to form the alloy.

It’s rare for this to occur, but it’s possible to develop rust sometimes.

Remember, it’s easy to clean the jewels, though you may only need soap and water.

Want to know more? Check out Does Stainless Steel Tarnish.

9. How to tell if stainless steel jewelry is real

The jewelry business has so many people who are not so truthful. Therefore, they could use any other metal, making you believe it’s stainless steel when it’s not. Here are the ways you can use to test if the metals are stainless steel.

Know the codes

This is the very first style to use in checking the authenticity. You will notice the stainless steel code we have discussed in length in these blogs before.

This is not always the perfect choice to use in identifying the right stainless steel jewel. Sometimes you may have them without codes, but it’s still good stainless steel. Also, it should be a non-issue check other mentioned below.

Magnet test

I know you would think it does this even work, but it will help you know. Just know that the stainless steel is magnetic. So if you didn’t find the code, then you should test it with the magnet.

If it sticks on, then most likely is stainless steel. Notice that steel is not the main reason why it attaches to the magnet; rather, the chromium and the carbon are the reasons why it sticks.

Does it rust?

Of course, this will take longer to know, but it’s another more comfortable way to identify stainless steel. You can also check it using nitric and hydrofluoric acid, and when the rust sticks on, then the chances are that this isn’t real stainless steel.

Acid test

When you use the acid for the test, you’ll check so many metals’ authenticity, with one being stainless steel. Before you take part in this test, though, you should know that it could damage your jewel.

So you should conduct it on the invisible part of the jewel. You should further wear gloves to protect your hands.

The stainless steel is never affected by the acidic reaction. If you apply the acid, but the jewel is unaltered, then the chances are that it’s real stainless steel.

Be careful when cleaning it.

When you do all the above and still have doubts, you should observe it as you clean it. When you clean and polish the jewel, it should retain a mirror-like look.

If you notice that it has tarnished, then this is not the real stainless steel.

10. Does stainless steel jewelry rust?

We have briefly mentioned this already. It’s important to say that nothing will last forever fast, and you, therefore, could have the jewel rust.

For stainless steel, it happens because maybe it’s already worn out. It’s important to know, though, that the stainless steel jewel never rusts.

Stainless steel contains chromium, nickel, steel, and sometimes iron. Now the presence of chromium prevents the possibility of rust.

Nonetheless, even if your metal is safe when you use the ones that have chromium, it’s not always fully safe.

It also forms a protective layer when the alloy elements react with the oxygen, preventing rusting.

Simply put, the stainless steel will never rust, and it’s thus easier to care for. People like it mostly because it’s easier to maintain; therefore, they are safe to use.

Does stainless steel jewelry turn skin green?

The simple answer is no; it doesn’t change your skin green. The reason why any metal will turn your skin green is because of the metal content. In this case, sterling silver and gold may quickly turn your skin green but not stainless steel.

It often has chromium, nickel, steel, and titanium but not copper. Stainless steel is a favorite for many because of this aspect, as it’s even corrosion-resistant.

When you buy this metal, you are sure you won’t deal with corrosion issues, and the skin is turning green. Always remember, though, to choose the surgical steel one. This, you are again sure, will never contain toxic elements.

More reading: What Kind Of Jewelry Turns Your Skin Green And How To Avoid It.

11. Does stainless steel change color

People like these options because the metals don’t change their surface when subjected to different environmental conditions.

Notice that this metal will never tarnish, rust, or corrode but neither does it change the color.

The jewel that’s made using stainless steel has a way to avoid even UV rays, which is why it will never change its color.

It’s further hard, and as such, it may be one of the most durable jewels. Remember, it has different surface looks that range from shiny to even matte finish.

12. Does stainless steel jewelry tarnish

I bet we have already talked about this in length. The simple answer is no. If you want more, though, you can read our blog on does stainless steel tarnish?

13. Can you shower with stainless steel jewelry?

You can have many jewels on even when in the shower, but there are still some you shouldn’t. Stainless steel happens to be one of those metals that are never affected by water.

Throughout this article, we have shown you that they are never affected by the water or most other elements.

It’s not always advisable, though, to have it on all the time. Let’s focus on being cautious and loving to our beautiful jewels, not fearing that they will get damaged. Check out our article on what jewels you can wear in the shower.

14. Is stainless steel hypoallergenic?

Yes, stainless steel is on the list of hypoallergenic metals. It’s not every day you hear of people who developed skin reactions from wearing stainless steel jewelry. You should, however, choose the best quality jewel to be on the safe side.

If you have sensitive skin, choose surgical steel options of jewels or any other medical grade one. They are medical grade types, therefore, contain no hazardous metals.

15. Is surgical steel the same as stainless steel?

Not really. Surgical steel is a type of stainless steel but remembers not all stainless steel is surgical steel, so they aren’t the same.

There are other different types of stainless steel. Surgical steel is called so because its tools are sometimes used in surgery. It’s even safe to use for implant surgery.

This also means that it’s the safest style of stainless steel jewels. You can have others with a lot of nickel, and they are, therefore, non-hypoallergenic. Remember, surgical steel is costlier than most other types of steel.

16. Can I resize my stainless steel ring?

It’s not easy. If you have to do it, then don’t do it by yourself just because the metal is much more challenging.

The jeweler will sometimes resize it even though it’s tough. Other metals like gold and silver are much easier to resize.

If you want to resize it, you will have to take it back to the manufacturer as it’s hard. Remember, some of the stainless steel metals have titanium, that’s much harder.

17. What entails stainless steel care?

Of course, when taking care of the stainless steel, you have to keep it clean. You will like most about it most because you don’t have to do a lot about it. You won’t have to figure out how to keep it away from oxygen, for example, as it’s never affected.

It’s further easy to clean it as long as you have mild soap and water, you are good to go. Also, remember to remove your jewels before you go to sleep.

And there’re you go. Do you have any other questions you would love to handle? Comment below to add some of your burning questions to the FAQs.

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