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May 10, 2022 3 min read

Does Stainless Steel Jewelry Tarnish?

There are an almost unlimited number of materials that artists can make jewelry out of. Ones like sterling silver and gold come to mind most easily, but what about stainless steel? Have you ever considered purchasing handcrafted jewelry made from stainless steel?

You may be wondering if stainless steel tarnishes the same way that sterling silver does and if it is the right choice for you. But, before we get into answering the question of whether or not stainless steel tarnishes, let's get into the basic of what stainless steel is and if it is good for jewelry. 

What is Stainless Steel?

Technically speaking, stainless steel is an iron and chromium alloy that is used in a variety of industries, including jewelry. Lesser grades of stainless steel sometimes have additional metals which can cause irritation, but the stainless steel we use in our jewelry is hypoallergenic. This means that our stainless steel jewelry is safe for sensitive skin or for those with metal allergies!

Does Stainless Steel Tarnish or Rust?

Short answer, no, stainless steel does not tarnish or rust, which is one of the many reasons we use hypoallergenic stainless steel in our jewelry! 

Long answer, stainless steel does not tarnish or rust because of the interaction between its alloying elements and the environment. The elements in stainless steel react with oxygen from water and air to form a very thin film that protects it from the elements. 

Is Stainless Steel Good For Jewelry?

Yes, stainless steel makes an excellent option for jewelry. As mentioned above, stainless steel cannot tarnish or rust, but there are a number of other reasons why we love stainless steel for our handcrafted jewelry, too.

Pros of Stainless Steel Jewelry

  1. Durable- In addition to its resistance to tarnish and rust, stainless steel is durable enough to withstand bumps that could dent softer metals.
  2. Versatile- Stainless steel chain comes in a variety of sizes and grades, allowing us creative freedom.
  3. Low maintenance- Stainless steel jewelry requires little upkeep and does not need to be polished the same way that sterling silver does.
  4. Ideal for every day- If you're looking for jewelry that you can wear frequently without maintenance, stainless steel is a great option.

Read our full blog "Is Stainless Steel Good For Jewelry" for more information by clicking here.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Jewelry

Unlike sterling silver jewelry, stainless steel jewelry requires very little upkeep. But, you still have to do your part to take care of it!

Stainless Steel Jewelry Care 101

  1. At a bare minimum, we recommend wiping down your stainless steel jewelry with a dry or lightly damp cloth every once in awhile to keep it sparkling.
  2. Be sure to apply all body products including lotions, perfumes and hair products prior to putting your jewelry on.
  3. Avoid contact with aerosols, such as sunblock or hair spray.
  4. When not wearing your jewelry, store your beauties in a drawer out of direct sunlight.
  5. Even thought your stainless steel jewelry won't oxidize and tarnish, it is a good habit to store jewelry in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.

For information on caring for jewelry than can tarnish, read our blog "How to Keep Your Jewelry From Tarnishing" by clicking here.

Best Stainless Steel Jewelry

You may be surprised to learn that many of our pieces of handcrafted jewelry are made from stainless steel chain and accents!

Top Five Pieces of Stainless Steel Jewelry

  1. Eliza Statement Necklace- Mixing vintage and modern vibes, our Eliza Necklace is made from stainless steel chain and European crystal pearls. Shop Eliza here
    Eliza Stainless Steel Statement Necklace
  2. Danielle Statement Necklace- Big, bold and beautiful, our Danielle Necklace is also handcrafted from stainless steel chain and European crystal pearls. Shop Danielle here.
    Danielle Stainless Steel Statement Necklace
  3. Alex Statement Necklace- Perfect for everyday wear, our Alex Necklace is chunky and made from stainless steel chain and a stunning gold filled clasp. Shop Alex here.
    Alex Stainless Steel Statement Necklace
  4. Phoebe Statement Necklace- Between the vintage inspired elements, large faceted crystal quartz pendant and stylish stainless steel chain, the Phoebe Necklace cannot be ignored! Shop Phoebe here.
    Phoebe Stainless Steel Statement Necklace
  5. Liz Statement Necklace- While physically smaller than the other four necklaces, our Liz Necklace makes quite the visual impact with her lustrous European crystal and stainless steel chain. Shop Liz here.
    Liz Stainless Steel Statement Necklace

Stainless Steel Jewelry Handcrafted in Canada

Like all of our pieces, our stainless steel jewelry is handcrafted in Canada! Our design studio is based in West Kelowna, British Columbia where our talented team of women create every single piece of Carolily jewelry.

For more of our stainless steel jewelry, take a look at our statement necklaces, bracelets and earrings. You can filter by material to only view stainless steel pieces!

If you have any questions about our jewelry or if stainless steel is right for you, we invite you to email us at hello@carolily.com. We would be delighted to chat with you!


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