A Quick History of Stainless Steel Jewelry

A Quick History of Stainless Steel Jewelry

Steel jewelry popularity today can be directly tied to its hardcore properties which allow it to be practicably indestructible. It is the Superman of all metals. Stainless steel was discovered between 1900 and 1915, but there were efforts to collect the metal dating back to 1821. While experimenting with metal alloys and their resistance to most acids, they came across a new combination that produced steel.

In order for this to be done, chromium must be used. A Frenchman named Berthier studied the iron matrix and the effects chromium had on it. He found that at least 10.5% chromium must be used to make the metals more durable. Later in 1872, another Frenchman named Brustlein figured out that carbon (at least .15%) had to be mixed in with the chromium and iron to produce stainless steel.

At first, steel was mostly used for industrial items, such as car grills, appliances, railways, vehicles and plenty of other commercial items. Later, jewelers began to see the value steel pieces could bring for those looking for everlasting jewelry. In 1847, steel jewelry came in the form of watches. They were created by the Cartier dynasty in Paris, France, which was founded by Louis-Francois Cartier. These wristwatches were created for their men’s jewelry line.

People began to see more trends in the stainless steel jewelry realm as the years went on. In the 1980s, steel bracelets, steel rings and earrings were becoming readily available, among other pieces. The popularity of the stainless steel wristwatches, which were known to last a very long time, may have influenced the growth of steel in jewelry fashion. Not only are jewelry made in steel fashionable pieces, but they are recommended by doctors to patients who have allergic reactions to nickel, which can be found in sterling silver and gold lower than 14k.

Stainless steel is often compared to gold because the two are last long and are exude style. Of course, stainless steel jewelry over-lasts gold because it is immune to a lot more elements including time itself. Jewelry collectors looking for a non-mainstream look have chosen stainless steel rings and bracelets over sterling silver and gold. Compared to sterling silver, Steel has a darker silver-gray color. More and more people are beginning to lean more towards steel, especially in men’s jewelry. There are various types of steel jewelry finishes, such as hot rolled, cold rolled, brushed, reflective, mirror, bead blast, heat colored, satin, course abrasive and bright annealed. They are classified under different types, which are numbered series between 100 and 600.

There are more jewelers selling steel for women and men’s product lines, containing bracelets, rings, necklaces, watches, anklets and earrings. Stainless steel is more popular than mainstream metals because of its lifetime guarantee. Steel is by far one of the most sought after metals, not only in the jewelry industry, but in the housing, construction, decoration and other industries that require long lasting materials.

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