Not all jewelry is created equal. Some pieces are more delicate than others and require special care, while others are practically indestructible. If you're looking for jewelry that can withstand the elements, we have a few suggestions.
First, What Causes Metal to Rust?
Iron oxide is a substance that causes rust on metal. When iron comes into contact with oxygen in the air, it erodes due to this chemical reaction. The appearance of rust on metal is usually an orange-brown discoloration. The rusting process affects iron and its alloys, such as steel, by corroding them. When iron, water, and air are combined, metal rust forms. Water is the main cause of metal rust. Water molecules can enter microscopic openings in iron and steel, which seem solid from the outside. This process begins the corrosion. Iron rust is accelerated when salt is present; similarly, exposure to sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide will accelerate the corrosive process.
The rust of iron causes metal pieces to expand, putting significant strain on the entire structure. Simultaneously, metal particles become flaky and brittle as a result.
What is Corrosion? The Difference Between Rust and Corrosion
Some people confuse rust oxidation and corrosion. Corrosion is a catch-all phrase that refers to the degradation of any metal material. The broad term corrosion means the deterioration of a metal caused by oxidation or other chemical processes. In contrast, rust is the process of corroding iron and iron alloys. The difference between corrosion and rust is that the word "rust" refers only to the rust of iron, not all types of corrosion.
10 Metals That Don’t Rust
1. Aluminum Metal
Aluminum metal is one of the most widely used metals on the planet, and it's perhaps the most well-known for not rusting. Only iron's particular oxidation is known as rust. In aluminum production, iron is not used but aluminum is still vulnerable to metal corrosion.
When you expose aluminum metal to the air, a thin layer of aluminum oxide forms on its surface and acts as an impenetrable rust barrier.
2. Brass Metal
Brass metal contains little iron; therefore, it does not rust similarly to aluminum.
3. Bronze Metal
For the same reason as aluminum, bronze metal does not rust, and it has a tiny amount of iron in it. Because of this, no iron oxide, or rust, can develop.
4. Copper Metal
Copper metal does not rust, but it can corrode. Copper is a naturally brown metal that changes color as it corrodes to a bright green. Copper undergoes a comparable rusting process, whether it is considered tarnish or oxidation.
5. Corten or Weathering Steel
Weathering steel, also known as "COR-TEN" steel, contains up to 21% of alloying elements such as chromium, copper, nickel, and phosphorous. The alloys form a protective rust patina that slows down the metal corrosion process with time.
6. Galvanized Steel
Galvanizing is a rust prevention technique that uses hot-dip galvanizing or electroplating. Galvanizing applies a thin layer of zinc metal to the iron or steel object. The zinc metal prevents oxygen and water from reaching the underlying metal, serving as a sacrificial metal. The zinc oxide layer prevents rust formation on galvanized steel, thus eliminating the rusting process.
7. Pure Gold Metal
There is no iron in pure gold; it does not rust. Gold metal is the most non-reactive of all metals, and it is entirely safe in both natural and industrial settings. Because gold is a non-reactive metal that does not react with oxygen (one of the most active elements), it will never rust or tarnish.
8. Platinum Metal
Platinum is a pure metal that doesn't rust since it does not include iron. Platinum metal doesn't rust, corrode, tarnish, or change color. Instead, it is dense, malleable (easy to shape), and at the same time, very robust.
9. Pure Silver Metal
Pure silver doesn't rust because it doesn't contain iron. Silver is a brilliant white metal that is quite pliable and soft. It is resistant to metal corrosion and does not oxidize readily, although it readily develops a silver sulfide tarnish on its surface layer.
10. Stainless Steel Metal
Stainless steel metal is a rust-resistant alloy that contains at least 11% chromium metal. The chromium metal in this compound forms a protective film of chromium oxide, which acts as a rust shield. If the barrier is damaged, the protective film will reform. With the addition of nickel, corrosion resistance improves even more.
How to Get Rust Off of Jewelry
There are a few ways to get the rust off of jewelry. You can use baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice.
1. Baking Soda for Rust Removal
Baking soda is a great way to remove rust from jewelry. Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Then, apply the paste to the rusty areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub the paste into the rust. Then, rinse the jewelry off with water and dry it off.
When baking soda and water are combined, the rust dissolves in the resulting solution.
2. Lemon Acid for Rust Removal
Lemon juice is another great way to remove rust from jewelry. The acidity of the lemon juice reacts with the rust (iron oxide) to soften and dissolve the deposits making them easier to scrub away.
First, soak your jewelry in lemon juice for a few minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub the lemon juice into the rust. Then, rinse the jewelry off with water and dry it off.
3. White Vinegar for Rust Removal
White vinegar is another excellent way to remove rust from jewelry. The acid in vinegar destroys rust because it is acidic. The acid in the vinegar will eat through the rust and corrosion that has tainted the metal, making it simpler to remove with an abrasive sponge.
First, soak the jewelry in white vinegar for a few minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub the white vinegar into the rust. Then, rinse the jewelry off with water and dry it off.
How to Prevent Rust
1. Remove Jewelry Before Swimming
Swimming, of course, involves getting your jewelry wet, making it easier for rust to form. Furthermore, chlorine and components such as salt found in oceans and pools can aid the rusting process. These chemicals and harsh elements can have several negative consequences on jewelry.
2. Apply a Sealant Spray
Sealant sprays are available at most craft and hardware stores. Some are created with silicone as a basis, while others use different chemicals. Spraying your jewelry and allowing it to dry completely produces a barrier between water, oxygen, and your piece. This barrier slows down or even prevents the rusting process.
3. Use Clear Nail Polish
Costume jewelry benefits from a coat of clear nail polish. Be prepared to reapply the nail polish regularly; it may flake off. The polish produces a barrier between your skin, the jewelry, and the environment.
4. Utilize Clear Bags
You might want to keep each piece of jewelry in its own sealable bag. Even if the pieces are in a sealed container, the extra layer of plastic can help to keep the air out. Small, translucent bags allow you to see inside easily, so you can choose necklaces, bangles, and earrings without exposing them to moisture.
5. Use Gel Packs
Place gel packs in jewelry storage containers to absorb any moisture that may have crept in. Place gel packs in boxes or bags to give the storage unit an extra layer of protection.
6. Clean Jewelry Regularly
It would be best to wipe your jewelry down regularly to remove dirt, sweat, and other materials that can speed up the tarnishing process. A polishing cloth is excellent for eliminating grime in a pinch.
7. Avoid Contact with Chemical Products
If possible, avoid getting makeup or hair products on your jewelry. Chemicals in conditioners, shampoos, gels, mousses, and hairsprays can cause the metals in jewelry to rust.
There are a variety of metals that do not rust. These include aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, Corten, galvanized steel, gold, platinum, silver, and stainless steel,etc. Each metal has unique characteristics that make it resistant to rusting. With proper care and maintenance, these metals can last a lifetime.