Bright, shiny, versatile and tarnish resistant stainless steel is widely used in fashion jewellery and watch manufacturing. Leading brands such as Ben Sherman, DKNY, Fossil and Guess all use stainless steel in jewellery. All of the leading watch manufacturers including Citizen, Seiko and Sekonda use stainless steel in watch bracelets and cases.
Leading fashion brands use stainless steel for all kinds of jewellery including belly bars, rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Stainless steel is particularly good for earrings and belly-bars as it prevents adverse skin reactions or allergies. For the same reason it is favoured as a material for watch bracelets and cases.
Other uses for stainless steel include the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem on Rolls Royce cars, Swiss Army knives, the Chrysler building, Savoy Hotel London, Lowry Art Gallery, Monument of Light in Dublin, Wales Millenium centre Cardiff and the York Millenium Bridge are all stainless steel. Stainless steel was also used extensively in the Apollo rockets that took mankind to the moon. Stainless steel is a remarkable metal that truly deserves its place alongside gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals.
Stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 11% chromium content by mass. To the lay person stainless steel is a white shiny metal that does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as other steel.
Stainless steel differs from carbon steel because of the chromium. Carbon steel rusts when exposed to air and moisture as the carbon oxidises. The chromium in stainless steel forms an oxidised film of chromium oxide to prevent corrosion.
Stainless steel is said to have been discovered by Harry Brearley in 1913 while trying to develop a rustproof gun barrel. The story goes that he had discarded the gun barrel among rubbish, only to notice weeks later that it was unblemished. He then tested the metal with vinegar and citric acid among other substances and realised it was ideal for use in cutlery. Little was he to know that nearly a century later we would be wearing his invention as the very highest fashion jewellery.
Stainless steel can be cleaned and maintained like any other metal. Simply polish it with one of the dedicated H.Samuel cleaning products. It is best to store other precious metals separately from stainless steel as it might damage other metals because it is so hard. On the other hand, don't assume that stainless steel is indestructible, be careful wearing it for manual work or sports.