Stainless steel, also called corrosion resistant steel, is a steel alloy with added iron and chromium. The metal is low maintenance, rust-resistant, durable, highly lustrous and extremely hygienic, making it ideal for items such as cookware, knives, surgical instruments, jewelry and watches.
The nearly-indestructible and masculine nature of stainless steel is appealing for many jewelry styles. It has a similar appearance to platinum and polishes to a glistening sheen. Any scratches that may occur from day to day wear can be easily buffed away without endangering the piece. Unlike traditional gold, silver or platinum jewelry, stainless steel jewelry is not poured into molds, but is usually hand-cut from a solid piece of steel, leaving no seams or weak spots. With stainless steel, your jewelry will last a lifetime.
Stainless steel was first recognized in France in 1821 by metallurgist Pierre Berthier. He realized the iron-chromium alloys maintained resistance from acids and recommended their use in cutlery. After several corrosion-resistance related discoveries and patents in Europe and the United States, Harry Brearley in England discovered a modern blend of stainless steel alloy. When it was announced by The New York Times in January of 1915, he was officially credited with the invention of this impressive modern metal.
Created or simulated gemstones:
How are created or simulated gemstones different from natural gemstones? Natural gems are created by the forces of nature and must be discovered, usually by digging in the ground or sifting through a riverbed. When these stones are created in a laboratory, they are called created, simulated or synthetic gemstones.
The purpose of creating gemstones in a laboratory isn’t necessarily to reduce the cost, but also to produce larger, more perfectly consistent stones. Created or simulated gems can be made of any material. Synthetic gems, however, share virtually all chemical, optical and physical characteristics of their natural mineral counterparts.
Austrian crystals: These are known for their excellent reflective quality and prismatic brilliance. This man-made crystal is created using natural minerals and quartz sand, which are then heated and slowly cooled using a process similar to that of creating hand-blown glass. This process creates an end product that can be fashioned into a beautiful crystal.
A special machine is used to create a highly faceted crystal. The crystals are cut in various directions, which allows for excellent light refraction, exceptional brilliance and unsurpassed color quality at an affordable price.
Today Swarovski® is one of the largest suppliers of high-end crystals. In the late 1800s, Daniel Swarovski invented a machine to cut crystal with extreme precision. He patented his technique and to this day, only select Swarovski family members and employees have unrestricted access to the production facility that creates these crystals. They are used to decorate everything from stilettos and sculptures, to chandeliers, jewelry and clothing.