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Article: 925 Sterling Silver vs Stainless Steel Jewelry: Which is better?

925 Sterling Silver vs 316L Stainless Steel Jewelry: which is better?

925 Sterling Silver vs Stainless Steel Jewelry: Which is better?

Ah, the Stainless Steel vs Sterling Silver debate – it feels a bit like the Batman vs Superman dilemma, right? But here's the thing: why must we always pick a favourite? It's not a "wear one and stick with it" situation. You can have both in your collection (and you absolutely should). It’s more about understanding how, where, and when to wear them.

Think about it this way – you probably wouldn’t put on your favourite t-shirt to decorate or go on a country walk in pristine white Air Force Ones, right? Well, actually, most of us probably have made one of these questionable style choices at some point, only to regret the mess later. The point is, think of your jewelry choices in the same way. They require the same consideration, even if it's not quite as obvious. 

Man sat down wearing a casual red and black jacket. He's accessorising some silver jewelry including rings, bracelets and chains

Now, if you're already well-versed in this topic, no worries. We'll link up the key points of this article below, so you can skip ahead and find the information you need. If not stick with us and let’s dive in… 

925 Sterling Silver:
316L Stainless Steel:

Spoiler alert, there's no outright superior choice between Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel; it's about what works better in different situations. But, by understanding the unique qualities of each metal, you can begin to make much more confident decisions on how to build and maximise the potential of your jewelry collection.

925 Sterling Silver is the real deal in men's jewelry. As a precious metal, it stands out as a more exclusive and valuable piece to own. What sets it apart is its unique 925 Hallmark, ensuring genuine and authentic quality.

Model wears a black t-shirt and layers a sterling silver Cuban Chain. An unclose shot reveals the real 925 hallmark.

This distinctive feature alone adds a special touch, making it feel more exclusive than your average piece. 925 Sterling Silver is crafted for the man seeking an extra touch of class and personalisation to his outfit.

Soft Pliability for Detailed Designs

925 Sterling Silver boasts a soft, pliable nature. This characteristic not only ensures unmatched comfort against the skin but also allows for the creation of more detailed, eye-catching, and sharply designed pieces of jewelry. 

Comparison of the quality of Cuban Links between Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel

Displayed Left: This premium Cuban Link Chain is handmade using traditional techniques and CRAFTD from solid 925 sterling silver, ensuring sharper, cleaner-cut Cuban Links and a high-polish finish.

Developing unique Patinas Over Time

Strength is often a double-edged sword. For Sterling Silver, its soft and pliable nature also makes it susceptible to the influences of nature itself—water, air, and the oils on your skin can contribute to its gradual fading and tarnishing.

Man leans over the door of a classic car and looks at girl. He's wearing a classic white t-shirt and Sterling Silver accessories

While this might raise concerns for some, for others, it's precisely what makes Sterling Silver a highly desirable metal. Its authenticity and character become clear as your favourite pieces develop their own patinas and textures over time, carrying stories of the places you've been and the unique marks they leave behind.

Man leans it to kiss girl. An unclose shot reveals the allure of his premium Sterling Silver Jewellery

Embracing Imperfections

Far from being a flaw, the evolving well-worn look adds a real charm and personality to your jewelry collection. Rather than perceiving Sterling Silver's ‘vulnerability’ as a downside, embrace it as a superior quality that contributes to its timeless value.  

Man and women in a classic car. The gentleman is wearing classic sterling silver jewellery

Think of it as you would an analogue or film picture—yes, it may have a bit of grain, but that's the raw, unfiltered beauty that comes with a film image. With that grain also comes a vibrancy of colour that cannot be replicated.

Similar to Sterling Silver, behind its one perceived ‘flaw’ lies a layer of strengths that make it truly unique. And while you can easily remove its tarnish with a jewelry cloth, its subtle indentations and markings will always remain.

Man's hand adjusting the side mirror on his car. He wears two sterling silver onyx band rings

The real beauty lies in these imperfections and the nostalgia that it develops over time. So, go easy; instead of over-polishing, learn to embrace the rugged look that's been rightfully earned over timed. 

Who is 925 Sterling Silver for?

It's the above qualities that make Sterling Silver such an inherently romantic and authentic choice of jewelry for all men. It transcends age, being equally perfect for a 16-year-old or a 65-year-old. Now, pair 925 Sterling Silver with a minimal band ring or classic Cuban Chain, and you've got the gift every man truly desires.

Man's hand wearing a 925 Sterling Silver Band ring

Where, When and How to wear Sterling Silver

Suitable for men of all ages, Sterling Silver is a timeless and refined piece, particularly suitable for special occasions and evening events where you need that extra touch of sophistication.

Man leaning over car wearing 925 Sterling Silver Cuban Link Chain

While we wouldn't recommend filling your entire jewelry collection with Sterling Silver (as that may not be practical), it excels in adding an extra layer of class and individuality to your wardrobe. It stands as a premium, understated, and timeless addition that enhances any man's collection.

Up close image of man earring multiple sterling silver rings and a cuban link chain

316L Stainless Steel

316L Stainless Steel has become a game-changer in the world of men's jewelry, revolutionising the way we perceive and choose accessories. When it comes to getting the most value for your money, Stainless Steel is the obvious choice, offering multiple benefits with very little downside. 

Man wearing a white t-shirt and blue denim jacket. He is stood leaning against a wall and modelling his stainless steel and silver jewellery including necklaces, rings an bracelets

Cost-Effective Appeal

This is the kind of jewelry that exudes a high-end feel without causing a dent in your wallet. While classics like Sterling Silver and even solid gold will always have their place, there's an almost indistinguishable quality about stainless steel that sets it apart from the real deal.  

Close up shot of man wearing different layers of men's stainless steel jewelry including a chain, pendant and set of men's pearls

With stainless steel, you not only achieve the look, feel and status of premium jewelry, but do so without the hefty price tag. Here, you can effortlessly add endless styles to your collection without the guilt of overspending.

Who is Stainless Steel Jewelry for?

Stainless Steel Jewelry is tailor-made for a specific kind of guy—the ambitious achiever who wants to wear premium pieces every day, not just on special occasions.

American football players on the right in his red kit. Then photographed on the right hand side in more relaxed clothes. He's wearing a black t-shirt and styling men's stainless steel and silver jewellery including an ICED Tennis Chain and Cross Pendant

He’s the gentleman donning sterling silver during a refined dinner with his significant other, yet also slinging heavy weights around in the afternoon. He needs a resilient, durable metal that can keep up, and that's where Stainless steals the spotlight from Sterling Silver. 

Resilient Style for Active Lifestyles

316L Stainless Steel is the go-to choice for the man with a dynamic lifestyle, seeking a premium appearance without the worry of breakage or struggling to keep up with his active pace. It represents the perfect blend of style and durability that never needs to be taken off. 

Young topless man at the beach working on and also riding his surfboard amongst the crashing waves. He's wearing a silver stainless steel North Star pendant to symbolise his passion for adventure

Consider Stainless Steel as the most reliable piece of jewelry in your wardrobe, regardless of the challenges you throw its way. From conquering mountain peaks to morning deadlifts, you refuse to settle for ordinary—so why should your jewelry be any different?

Waterproof, Scratch-Resistant, and No Fading

Stainless steel it's not just waterproof, but also scratch-resistant, and will never fade or tarnish. To add to that, it comes coated in real Silver and 18K Gold anyway, making it nearly indistinguishable from the real deal. I n fact, stainless steel jewelry is so durable that it has even been known to stop bullets. Yes, really. Police in Colorado said a man survived a recent shooting after the bullet became lodged in his necklace. While the necklace was silver in colour, it was likely not pure silver as silver is a softer metal and may not have stopped a bullet. 

Up close shot on man's hand wearing multiple 18K gold band rings and signet rings

Lifetime Protection

And here's a bonus: when you purchase your jewelry from the right brand (hint), your Stainless Steel jewelry will be protected forever by a lifetime warranty, not that you'll ever need it. To be fair, brands like CRAFTD offer a lifetime protection on all their jewelry, including Sterling Silver. So, you can build out your new collection with confidence. 

Man stood looking directly at the camera. He's wearing a plain white t-shirt and accessorising stainless steel necklaces and rings

Conclusion: Finding balance in your collection

Both Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver are essential additions to your jewelry collection. Each brings a unique quality to the table—it's now about finding the perfect balance between style and durability. 

925 Sterling Silver isn't just about accessorising; it's about making a statement. It's the choice for the guy who appreciates the finer things in life, values authenticity, and seeks jewelry that stands out with intricate, eye-catching designs.

Man layering two ICED silver Tennis necklaces

Consider Sterling Silver a bit like the best shirt in your wardrobe. While the temptation to wear it daily is strong, it's advisable to reserve it for more special occasions, alternating with your other favourite styles.

Unless, of course, you can afford to replace that premium piece after more frequent use – in which case, go ahead. However, for the everyday guy, it's about embracing different metals for different occasions.

Up close shot of a man wearing a plain black t-shirt and jacket. These colour of clothing higihglight and showcase his statement silver and stainless steel jewellery he's wearing

This brings us back to 316L Stainless Steel. These pieces should form the backbone of your collection—resilient enough to keep up with your active lifestyle and adventures, yet premium enough to do it in style. 

Stainless Steel stands out for its superior durability and extended lifespan compared to Sterling Silver. By incorporating slightly more Stainless Steel into your collection, you minimise the risk of fading or tarnishing your Sterling Silver items more quickly, ultimately contributing to their longevity.

Man sat down on a chair with an up close shot of his hands accessorising his statement silver rings

Now, the amount of each metal in your jewelry collection ultimately depends on your personal preference and lifestyle; there's no right or wrong answer here. A balanced ratio like 70/30 is a good starting point. 

If you're looking for affordable, trusted, and superior quality pieces, consider exploring CRAFTD London, especially if any of the items discussed in this article have caught your interest.

Medium shot of a man facing the camera. He's wearing jet black clothes and accessorising 18K Gold men's necklaces and pendants

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