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Colored Stainless Steel

Q. Can you color stainless steel? If so, how? N.L.

A. Yes, you can color stainless steel, but it is not a process that is typically performed in a plating shop. The basic process, which was developed by Inco (International Nickel) in the 1970s, is to immerse the stainless steel in a chromic and sulfuric acid solution at a temperature just below the boiling point of the solution. A thin layer of chrome oxide forms on the stainless steel, and by controlling the thickness of the oxide layer you can obtain colors that vary from bronze to blue, gold, purple and green. After treatment in this solution, the stainless steel is rinsed and given a cathodic treatment to harden the oxide layer. The layer can vary from 0.02 µm to 0.36 µm; the thicker the layer the darker the color. Most commonly, 304 grade stainless steel is used. The coating is reasonably robust but will scratch.

I am aware of one company that produces colored stainless steel, and you should be able to find others as well. Search the PFOnline.com database using the term “coloring stainless steel” to find an article about another recently developed process.

Some artists use a lacquer-based process for coloring stainless steel which is good for decorative purposes but will not stand up to heavy use. 

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Does Gold-Plated Stainless Steel Jewelry Tarnish? The Truthful Answer and Our Best Advice

Discover everything you need to know about high-quality stainless steel jewelry and find out if your favorite plated stainless steel jewelry will tarnish over time. 

In this post we will address the never-ending question of whether stainless steel jewelry fades or ages over time. Also, we'll offer our top tips for preserving your pieces so you may continue to enjoy it for years to come.

Will your stainless steel jewelry tarnish? Here's the scoop!

Let’s face it, we all love our favorite pieces of jewelry, and we want them to last forever. But will your favorite stainless steel jewelry pieces tarnish or turn green over time? In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about high-quality stainless steel jewelry and give you the lowdown on whether or not your plated stainless steel jewelry will tarnish.

Does gold-plated stainless steel jewelry tarnish?

Stainless steel is an incredibly long-lasting metal that is resistant to rust and corrosion thanks to its Chromium content. However, the plating on stainless steel jewelry can fade over time when exposed to chlorine, saltwater, and direct sunlight. The plating can also chip or wear away if not cared for properly.

What is stainless steel jewelry?

Stainless steel jewelry is created by combining Chromium, Nickel, and Iron. This metal is highly durable and resistant to corrosion and rust, making it the perfect choice for creating beautiful pieces that can last a lifetime. Stainless steel is also hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for jewelry that those with sensitive skin can wear. At Salty Threads, we use hypoallergenic stainless steel as a base for most of our collections of plated stainless steel rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, making sure each piece is carefully crafted with the utmost care and attention.

How to clean gold stainless steel jewelry?

Although plated jewelry can tarnish, using stainless steel as the base metal makes it less likely to wear significantly over time. However, there are still some ways to make your gold-plated stainless steel jewelry and rhodium-plated stainless steel jewelry last longer, such as using a microfiber cloth to wipe the piece down after use, using gold plated jewelry cleaner instead of harsh chemicals, avoiding water and detergents when wearing your gold plated jewelry, and keeping it stored in its original pouch out of direct sunlight.

Why is stainless steel jewelry so popular?

This metal has become increasingly hyped in recent years due to its affordability, durability, and style. Stainless steel jewelry is often plated with gold or rhodium to give it a high-class look and feel. The metal is also extremely adaptable and can be combined with other metals and materials to create unique pieces that can be cherished for years when care instructions are followed.

What is plated stainless steel jewelry?

Plated stainless steel jewelry involves bonding other metals such as gold or rhodium onto the stainless steel surface using an electric current. While the plating may still show signs of wear and tear over time, the stainless steel base of Salty Threads's jewelry makes it more durable and less prone to fading or rusting, even for the most delicate pieces.

Does gold-plated stainless steel jewelry tarnish?

Gold-plated stainless steel will tarnish over time, but the stainless steel base will help slow down the process. The best way to keep your gold-plated stainless steel jewelry lustrous is to clean it with a soft cloth and store it in its pouch.

How long does gold-plated jewelry last?

The life of gold-plated jewelry will depend on the quality of the base metal and plating, as well as how often it is worn. Our high-quality stainless steel jewelry with 18k gold plating can last years with proper care.

How long does stainless steel jewelry last?

The short answer is “it depends”. An important factor in the longevity of stainless steel gold-plated pieces will be determined by the quality of the base metal, the plating and how often it is worn. Stainless steel jewelry has been known to last for up to two decades, and many use cases of this metal in everyday life suggest much higher longevity. While all stainless steel jewelry pieces will tarnish, their longevity is much higher than other metals such as gold, silver, or rhodium. The good news is that stainless steel jewelry is not only durable and long-lasting but also stylish and affordable.

Proper care can greatly extend the life of your stainless steel jewelry. Regularly cleaning with a soft cloth and avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals or prolonged periods of direct sunlight can help prevent tarnishing and discoloration. Storing your jewelry in its original pouch or a jewelry box can also protect it from scratches and damage.

In addition to caring for your stainless steel jewelry, it's important to buy from a reputable source. Look for high-quality pieces that use hypoallergenic stainless steel as a base and have been plated with durable and long-lasting materials like 18k gold or rhodium.

At Salty Threads, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality stainless steel jewelry. Our pieces are carefully crafted with attention to detail and made to last. From our minimal and dainty collections, to our classic pearls, we offer a wide range of stylish and elegant jewelry that can be worn every day and on special occasions.

Can I revert the damage on tarnished stainless steel jewelry?

While you may not be able to achieve a flawless finish on your own, you can definitely bring back the brilliance of your jewelry by using a soft cloth and mild soap to wash the surface gently. Just be sure to steer clear of harsh chemicals or abrasive solutions, as they can damage the plating and decrease the lifespan of your jewelry. And if you really want to really make it shine, a microfibre polishing cloth will do the trick. With proper care and maintenance, your stainless steel jewelry can last for years without tarnishing!

Is gold-plated stainless steel jewelry waterproof?

While it's not the end of the world if it gets wet, it's best to keep it out of water as much as possible. Stainless steel jewelry is water-resistant, meaning it can withstand exposure to water, but it's not waterproof and won't do well when submerged for a long time. So, while stainless steel pieces can handle occasional contact with water, it's not recommended to wear them while swimming in a pool or ocean due to the chlorine and salt content. Always put your Salty Threads jewelry in its pouch while in the bath or shower to avoid moisture.

Looking for the perfect jewelry for a gift or yourself?

Our exceptional quality stainless steel jewelry is accessible for anyone to enjoy and offers hypoallergenic properties and rust-free wear. Our jewelry sets are curated with the modern woman in mind and make putting together a show-stopping ensemble effortless. Whether you're looking for a ready-to-wear bracelet stack or want to achieve a minimal look, our range of gold plated stainless steel jewelry pieces can be mixed and matched to create a one-of-a-kind look.

Stainless steel jewelry is a great option for those who want affordable, durable, and stylish jewelry. While it can tarnish over time, proper care and buying from a reputable source can greatly extend its life. With its hypoallergenic properties and ability to be plated with other metals, stainless steel jewelry is a versatile and practical choice that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Let us know in the comments below which one is your favorite. You can also show us on Instagram @shopsaltythreads using the #saltythreadsstyle.

Colored Stainless Steel

Does Gold-Plated Stainless Steel Jewelry Tarnish? The Truthful Answer and Our Best Advice

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