Professional Jeweler Archive: Alternative Metals

October 2004

Precious Metals/New Products

Alternative Metals

Stainless steel, titanium and tungsten get hot

Non-traditional jewelry metals are taking off, especially stainless steel, titanium and tungsten.

Stainless steel jewelry is often geared toward an edgier customer base. “Not only are the prices attractive to this buyer, the color pulls them in too,” says Joi Frankel, designer/owner of Designs by Joi, New York City. Stainless steel’s gray is easy to mix with yellow or pink gold, adding value to the purchase.

Titanium offers hardness and lightness and is hypoallergenic. “Titanium is experiencing meteoric growth in all consumer products,” says Ed Rosenberg, president/owner of Spectore, Deerfield Beach, FL. “Titanium’s success is most evident in bridal and sophisticated contemporary fashion markets where the consumer is more aware and demanding of it.”

Tungsten is an even harder, dense metal. When tungsten is processed with carbon and other elements, it’s transformed into tungsten carbide and earns between 8 and 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. A special formulation of tungsten carbide has been used to make scratch-resistant wrist watches for nearly 40 years.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

7mm and 9mm Trew Tungsten bands are from the Trewedge™ collection. Ring on the left features a polished top and beveled edges. Ring on the right has a beveled edge with 95 platinum inlay set with a 0.25-ct. F-G/VS diamond in a platinum bezel.

Trent West Design, Watsonville, CA; (831) 768-8298, fax (831) 768-8299.

Black titanium on stainless steel cable bracelet with 14k gold cable accents is from the New Twist™ cable collection.

Reller Inc., Gainesville, FL; (800) 233-4820 or (352) 372-2337, fax (352) 372-9629.

Stainless steel cable and 14k gold baby bracelet includes a gold heart set with a 0.03-ct. diamond. Suggested retail, $150.

Designs by Joi, New York City; (212) 869-4653, fax (212) 869-8588.

Cuff links, men’s bracelet and tie clip in stainless steel.

Stuller Inc., Lafayette, LA; (800) 877-7777, fax (337) 981-1655.

Stainless steel jewelry has black leather accents.

HMS, Addison, TX; (800) 467-4653 or (972) 248-0266, fax (800) 329-4653.

From Edward Mirell’s Titanium Collection, EM Active jewelry features titanium, gold and onyx spheres that move.

Spectore Corp., Deerfield Beach, FL; (800) 422-0220 or (954) 481-8422, fax (954) 421-2391,,

18k gold and stainless steel cuff links feature diamond and sapphire accents. Suggested retail, $140-$520.

William Richey, Portland, ME; (207) 772-5252.

Photo by Robert Diamante.

Stainless steel puzzle link chain.

Mono USA, Bozeman, MT; (800) 308-3532, fax (303) 845-8362.

Stainless steel ring holds a 0.20-ct. tension-set diamond and four round brilliant accent diamonds.

MayB Studio, New York City; (212) 302-6558, fax (212) 302-7855.

Stainless steel ring with 1 carat of diamonds is $5,000 suggested retail.

Werner Haring for Jewelfish Inc., Pittsburgh, PA; (412) 521-0864, fax (412) 521-0865.

point of $ALE

Use these tips to sell jewelry made of these non-traditional metals:

Stainless Steel. The best way to sell stainless steel jewelry is mixed with gold or silver. – Joi Frankel, Designs by Joi, New York City.

Tungsten. Tungsten’s hardness ensures long-lasting beauty. It’s roughly 10 times harder than 18k gold and four times harder than titanium. – Trent West, Trent West Design, Watsonville, CA.

Titanium. Make sure your customers know titanium is mar-resistant. It doesn’t dent, tarnish or react to body or outside chemistry. – Ed Rosenberg, Spectore, Deerfield Beach, FL.

– L.M.O.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications