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Stainless Steel Rings May Rust- see why

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One of our fastest-selling products is personalized stainless steel rings.

As you can imagine, we are often asked will stainless jewelry rust?

True stainless steel rings will not rust unless exposed to harsh cleaners or get severely damaged. However, it is extremely rare that either of these things will happen to the point of causing rust.

We will cover several reasons stainless steel may rust but rest assured, unless stainless steel is exposed to certain chemicals or isn't true stainless, odds are you will never see this happen.

Here are all the questions that we will cover.

  • What will make stainless steel jewelry rust?
  • Do stainless steel rings fade?
  • Will stainless steel turn your finger green?
  • Can stainless steel rings be worn in the shower?
  • Is stainless steel a good material for rings?
  • Can stainless steel rings be worn in saltwater?
  • Can stainless steel jewelry be worn every day?
  • Wrap-up

What will make stainless steel jewelry rust?

1. Chemical Exposure

The main reason true 316L stainless may rust is if it is exposed to some hardcore chemicals. 99% of people will never use or expose their jewelry to these chemicals. One reason being is that the chemicals that can cause this are so harsh that people using them must use protective gear.

316L is an alloy of chromium. Chromium is what stops oxidation (rust) and when exposed to certain chemicals can be neutralized. This means it will no longer stop oxidation.

2. Damage

Stainless steel is very tough but if severely damaged, the protective layer against oxidation can be disrupted and lead to oxidation (rust)

3. Not true 316L

It has become more common to see companies selling stainless steel rings that are not true stainless steel. This is why it is important to buy from a reputable company.

Always check feedback and if you see any mention of a ring turning a finger green or rusting, then beware. This is so rare, that if you see that this is happening to someone's customers, they are not selling real stainless steel.

If you are looking for a true 316L stainless steel ring be sure to check out our collection here.

We offer free engraving and free shipping.

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Do stainless steel rings fade?

As with any ring, stainless steel rings can fade. Don't worry though, just like any other jewelry a food cleaning will often bring back the shine.

Permanent fading will only be caused if exposed to harsh chemicals or sustaining damage. The build-up or overlap of scratches can give a dull appearance but stainless steel is very tough and unless you have a job that will expose the ring to a lot of damage, you will be ok.

Will stainless steel turn your finger green?

True 316L stainless steel will not turn your finger green.

Since chromium stops oxidation, you will not get that dreaded green ring. Oxidation is what causes the green color so if you are starting to get the Hulk syndrome, your ring is not real stainless steel.

We have a full article that covers this in-depth here.

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Can stainless steel be worn in the shower?

 Stainless steel rings can be worn in the shower.

 The power of chromium once again comes to the rescue. Simple shower water will not cause rust and none of the soaps or shampoos that you use on your body are harsh enough to damage your ring.

Is stainless steel a good material for rings?

Stainless steel is a perfect material for rings. Not only is stainless steel affordable but the scratch and rust resistance makes it a perfect material.

The upside to stainless steel is, if it is lost or broken, it is much more affordable to replace. Combine that with its toughness and rust resistance and it is an ideal option.

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Can stainless steel rings be worn in saltwater?

Stainless steel jewelry can be worn in saltwater but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Saltwater is corrosive and while prolonged exposure will not cause rust, if your ring is coated with gold or coloring, saltwater may wear this coating off with a lot of exposure.

Another thing that can happen is the build-up of salt residue will cause jewelry to fade. This can of course be corrected with a good cleaning.

We have a great article on cleaning stainless steel jewelry with vinegar here.

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Can stainless steel jewelry be worn every day?

Stainless steel jewelry can be worn every day. Stainless steel is scratch-resistant, rust-resistant, and light-weight, making it perfect for every day use.

The ability of stainless steel to resist rust means you can wear stainless steel rings in just about any weather.

The strength and scratch resistance makes stainless steel ideal for just about any work environment.

Stainless steel is heavier than Titanium but lighter than Tungsten. This means it is pretty comfortable to wear every day.

For more pros and cons of stainless steel check out our article here.


We should have covered just about all of your questions about stainless steel rings, but if we missed something, feel free to use the comments section below.

Stainless steel is lightweight, affordable, durable, and perfect for most work environments. The stigmas of stainless steel is UN-warranted as it is actually one of the best materials for rings. 

With today's designs, you can find a ring that is sure to fit your style.


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