To many people taking interest to alternative metal jewelry, the top three contenders to consumers’ choice are stainless steel, tungsten, and titanium jewelry. Though very different from each other, these three metals have something in common that is very important to many customers: affordability. The shadow of recession and the threat of a new financial crisis are still glimmering by the horizon making many consumers and retailers wary in investing on precious metals like gold and platinum. But does titanium jewelry even get close to the appeal of white metals with great market value or is just solely at the realm of fashion and style?
To those who have already tried out titanium jewelry, one of the most interesting properties of this metal is its weight. It is lighter than steel by forty-five percent but just as strong. Also, it has biocompatibility that makes it hypoallergenic and will not cost allergic reactions unlike other types of alloys which contain nickel. Titanium jewelry is also very stable and impervious to environments rich in salt water (ocean or even sweat) and chlorine (swimming pool). It is highly resistant to corrosion and can withstand volatile materials like aqua regia, also known as nitro-hydrochloric acid which has been known to dissolve both precious metals gold and platinum.
Though affordable, titanium has not always been cheap. In the past, only highly specified applications use this metal and its alloys due to its complicated and costly processing and refining. These special industries in which titanium were solely used in the past are aeronautics, military, and medical applications. It has been used as parts for airplanes, spaceships, weapons, electronics, and implants. But when a new technique to process titanium ores had been developed, the metal became an instant celebrity in terms of materials in various industries and applications. Steadily, titanium began to appear in consumer goods, furniture, gadgets, tools, utensils, and most of all, titanium jewelry rose in popularity and demand.
When it comes to titanium jewelry, the metal does provide great benefits for designers, retailers, and consumers. For designers, crafting titanium jewelry needs a certain degree of know-how but nothing beyond what the industry requires. Unlike gold and silver that can be handcrafted though, titanium jewelry needs to be machined due to its durability but design wise, it is very flexible and can be formed in various types of accessories from rings, bracelets, pendant, and among others.
Retailers benefit in offering titanium jewelry due to its appeal and breaking the monotony of precious metals or “old” alternative alloys like stainless steel or tungsten carbide. Because it is relatively cheaper to stock, the gamble for return of investment is not too high as titanium is quite popular nowadays. Available products in the wedding and engagement market also provide a good way for retailers to start offering titanium jewelry to their customers and then further expand to casual accessories for other consumer markets.
Buyers will most certainly enjoy what titanium jewelry can offer. Athletes and those with active lifestyle can take advantage of titanium’s durability and stability. With regard to style and design availability, further improvements in the processing and manufacturing delivers more products to the market that people can enjoy. Titanium jewelry can be crafted to have almost permanent hues or colors by anodizing surface crystals of the metal instead of ordinary plating utilized in other jewelry metals.