There will never stop being a search for jewelry materials that are excellent and cheap. Why do you ask? The reason is simple; you want to look great, and at the same time, you don’t want to spend a ton of cash on that.
Because of this, we have created what is essentially the ultimate list of cheap and excellent Jewelry metals that don’t tarnish but yet won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and certainly not a kidney.
Metals that Don’t Tarnish
One of the most annoying things about jewelry is tarnishing. You definitely don’t want to wear rings or earrings that look centuries old because of the tarnishing. But mercifully, there are jewelry metals that don’t tarnish.
Some features of these metals are:-
The hardness of the metal: Metals that don’t tarnish are hard, simply because the hardness of the metal ensures that the metal’s luster isn’t lost, and as such, tarnishing isn’t allowed. It is, therefore, no surprise that hard metals like titanium and palladium don’t tarnish.
Hypoallergenic: Metals that don’t tarnish are also generally hypoallergenic. This means that not only are these metals tarnish-resistant, they also won’t react with your skin and turn it blue or green or any color for that matter.
Having covered this, let us talk about these metals that don’t tarnish and are yet, affordable.
Palladium is a metal that is naturally very hard and is found as part of the platinum family of metals. It is basically platinum but without the rarity and the consequent costliness.
Generally, palladium metal is about 95% palladium and 5% ruthenium. Ruthenium is an inert metal (inert metals are metals that are chemically nonreactive) and is also a member of the platinum family.
Jewelry pieces made of palladium have the following advantages:-
- They are usually very strong, due to the natural super strength of palladium and it’s a high level of purity.
- Palladium jewelry pieces are very lightweight, and in addition to this, they develop a wonderful patina over time that ensures that scratches don’t affect your jewelry at all.
- In spite of the strength of the metal, the rings made from palladium can be easily resized.
2. Ceramic Carbide
No, this doesn’t mean regular ceramic. Ceramic carbide is a relatively new entrant in the world of jewelry metals, though that has not stopped it from making waves. This is generally due to the fact that it is very resistant to scratches and is very lightweight, not to mention that is super affordable.
It comes in a variety of colors and is heat resistant, alongside being a unique jewelry material, in that it is man-made.
You’re forgiven for humming the tunes of the wonderful song equivalent of this metal. Titanium is, in fact, the world’s hardest natural metal, so you can see what Sia was driving at with the song.
The metal is not just incredibly strong, it is also amazingly durable as well, not to mention quite affordable. A very wonderful combination.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to titanium’s strength though; titanium jewelry can’t be resized. If your favorite piece of jewelry is titanium and for some reason, it gets too loose for you, you can’t resize it. Rather, you’d have to get new ones.
Titanium is also not as resistant to scratches as we want, but the good part is that with just a little bit of cleaning and care, you will have your titanium jewelry looking as good as new.
Pretty cool, eh?
4. Tungsten Carbide
This is another very strong metal, actually four times stronger than titanium. It is gotten from alloying 20-25% of carbon and 70-75% of Tungsten. The name tungsten is Swedish for ‘heavy stone’.
Tungsten carbide is naturally grey or white and as such, jewelry pieces made with this metal are usually very elegant and great to look at.
A downside exists, however; because of the extreme hardness of tungsten carbide, it is impossible to resize rings made of this metal. The hardness makes the metal brittle such that it would easily collapse under pressure, and as such, if your tungsten carbide rings become too small or too large, you would have to get new ones.
This is another metal that is highly affordable and known for it’s resistance to tarnishing. It is also very popular because it resembles white gold, and for this reason, a lot of people gravitate towards this metal for use as wedding rings.
Think of it like this; using white gold without paying exorbitantly for it. Sounds great? Exactly. That’s the reason for it’s rising popularity. It has a very high resistance to scratching and is usually bonded to copper or nickel, so you would do well to ask your jeweler about the components of your cobalt ring, especially if you have an allergy to nickel. Cobalt is hypoallergenic though.
6. 316L Stainless Steel
316L stainless steel is another great option for you if your choice is the cheap and excellent metal that doesn’t tarnish. Unlike other grades of stainless steel, this grade is tarnish-resistant and will retain it’s silvery finish forever, provided you care for it a bit, that is.
Cleaning it is very easy, and because it has a high molybdenum content, it has good resistance to scratches.
7. Rose Gold
The last in our list of cheap and excellent metals that don’t tarnish rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. Gold naturally doesn’t tarnish, but it also isn’t always pocket friendly. So, rose gold comes in.
As we mentioned earlier, it is an alloy of gold and copper and since copper is a very hard metal, this increases exponentially the durability of rose gold, making it even better than white gold, hecisse unlike white gold, you don’t have to keep going to get a rhodium plating every few years.
Just take care of the jewelry pieces by washing them with mild soap and water and your rose gold jewelry piece will maintain its luster and not give way to tarnish.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
These metals we have talked about are the go-to metals when it comes to metals that don’t tarnish and are yet affordable. They are also generally hypoallergenic, so even if you have allergies to metals, these ones wouldn’t affect you.
Let us know what you think about these metals in the comments, and do tell us if you have purchased anyone before or you’re planning to.