The History of Stainless Steel Jewelry: 100 Years of Metalworking
Comparatively speaking, stainless steel jewelry is an incredibly new invention. Making jewelry from gold, silver, and other precious metals dates back thousands of years, so stainless steel is a relative newcomer to the market.
Even so, it’s got a pretty interesting history. Let’s take a look at how stainless steel jewelry came to be and why it had such an impact on the industry.
The History of Stainless Steel Jewelry
To better understand the origins of stainless steel jewelry, we must first look at the discovery of the metal itself. Stainless steel was officially created in 1913 by an English chemist called Harry Brearly. He, like many other chemists, was after a metal that was resistant to rust and corrosion.
Originally, stainless steel featured in car parts and other industrial settings. Its main advantage over other forms of steel (and other metals more generally) is that it’s incredibly hard, doesn’t rust, and is resistant to acid attacks.
Unsurprisingly, this made it pretty useful to jewelers, too. French watchmaker Cartier began using normal steel in the 1840s in its men’s watches, but stainless steel was a more sensible product to use.
And this is where stainless steel jewelry really began: in watches. It didn’t catch on that fast, as most jewelry wearers were more interested in gold and silver. Steel had a more industrial look that didn’t become popular until much later.
By the 1980s, construction techniques had advanced to the point where it was possible to buy wholesale stainless steel jewelry. This made it easier to access and more affordable for the consumer. Also, trends in fashion had changed, making it a more attractive option.
Why is Stainless Steel Better than Traditional Metals?
We’ve already touched on the major benefits of stainless steel over more traditional jewelry metals. First, it’s much harder than something like gold, meaning the jewelry is more resilient in everyday settings. For consumers, this is a big advantage.
Second, it can be plated with other metals. For example, wholesale steel bracelets could be coated with gold. This gives you the appearance of a more valuable metal but with the important properties of steel.
Also, stainless steel is a good alternative for people with nickel allergies. Nickel is commonly used in silver and gold jewelry and can cause nasty reactions. Something like wholesale steel earrings can still be plated to look like gold but they won’t react with the wearer’s skin. This is important for all jewelry but is particularly useful for something that sits within your ear.
Final Thoughts on Stainless Steel Jewelry
Although stainless steel jewelry is fairly new, it offers a lot of benefits to the consumer. It’s less expensive, longer-lasting, and can be worked to look like many other metals.
So, if you’re in the market for stainless steel jewelry, check out what Monera Jewelry Design and Manufacturer has to offer. Our products are fashionable, high quality, and available in bulk. Browse the website for more details.