Stainless Steel is an alloy, which means that it's a metallurgical substance composed of two
or more metals. The number '316' is the alloy's designation.
The 'L' denotes a low Carbon content, a necessary component for the alloy's
resistance to corrosion. The 'VM' denotes "vacuum melted," whereby the metal is
produced in a zero-oxygen, vacuum environment in order to eliminate the introduction of dust particles and other debris from the metal's composition. 316LVM is is made up of eight primary
elements with a number of trace elements. This metal has proven to be a comfortable and
durable metal for body jewelry. The Stainless Steel captive and fixed bead rings
that we carry are annealed. Annealing is a process which softens
the metal, thus making it easier for you to manipulate
the jewelry when inserting or removing.
Titanium is also an alloy.
It is composed of 90% elemental Titanium, 6% Aluminum
and 4% Vanadium. This alloy was designed for use in the
medical and dental industries. Its hypoallergenic properties have
proven to be exceptional. When tumbled and hand polished correctly,
Titanium 6/4 can exhibit an amazingly uniform and shiny surface
appearance approaching that of Stainless Steel. Titanium also
exhibits the unique property of reacting to specific applied voltages of
electricity. This process is commonly referred to as anodizing. The brilliant
colors exhibited on the surface of the jewelry are a result of
successive layers of oxidation that form on the surface of the metal
as electricity passes through it. The colors you see are actually a result of
light refracting through these layers of oxidation.
The voltage of electricity applied determines the thickness
of the oxidation layer, and thus determines the colors you see.
As a microscopically thin layer of oxidation,
the color can fade with wear and abrasion.
Niobium is an element. This means that the metal is in it's
natural state as mined in ore form from the earth's surface,
and cannot be broken down into further metallurgical components,
such as in 316LVM Stainless Steel. Niobium as an element is completely
hypoallergenic. Like our stainless steel, our Niobium captive rings
are also completely annealed for easy insertion and removal.
Niobium shares with Titanium a similar crystalline structure, and the
unique property of reacting to electricity via anodizing to produce bright,
durable colors. With the exceptions of matte black and charcoal,
Niobium colors can also fade.
(Solid, NOT plated or filled)
18 Karat Gold is an alloy of the element Gold,
along with small trace amounts of metals such as Nickel and Aluminum.
These additional elements act to harden the alloy, as pure gold
is too soft and malleable for most jewelry applications.
Allergic reactions to Gold body jewelry are only slightly higher than
316LVM Stainless Steel. While 14k Gold is an acceptable choice, 18k affords
a higher luster due to it's higher pure gold content (75% vs. 58% for 14k),
and is also less prone to possible stress fractures due to its higher malleability.