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HomeJewelry InformationLectureEarring Post - Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel

Earring Post – Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel

Earring Post – Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel post

Earring post come in a variety of materials such as standard post, nickel-free post, silver post, titanium post, stainless steel post, surgical steel post, and more.

Firstly, stainless steel means “stain-less,” implying resistance to rust or corrosion. When exploring accessory wholesale markets like Namdaemun in Seoul, you’ll encounter wholesalers selling stainless steel or surgical earrings.

Some wholesalers may claim to use stainless or surgical steel for earring post. However, confusion between stainless and surgical steel is common among buyers.

Customer: “Is this surgical steel?”
Wholesaler: “Yes, it’s stainless steel.”

Customer: “Are surgical steel and stainless steel different?”
Wholesaler: “No, they’re both stainless steel.”

While the wholesaler’s response isn’t entirely incorrect, it’s not entirely accurate either.

Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel

Looking at the illustration, there’s surgical steel within stainless, so the dialogue isn’t wrong, but it’s not entirely right either.

Stainless steel post and surgical steel post are two different types of earring post made from different materials, although both consist primarily of chromium, nickel, and carbon. Despite stainless and surgical steel being favored for hypoallergenic properties, it’s essential to note nickel, an allergenic component, is present.

Let’s examine the Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel

  1. Stainless Steel Post

    Stainless steel is generally resistant to rust and corrosion, making it a safe choice for most people. There are various types depending on usage, containing chromium, nickel, and carbon among other elements.

Stainless Steel earrings

Types of stainless steel post:

1) 316L Stainless
The most common type, also used in medical applications, with chromium, nickel, and molybdenum.

2) 304 Stainless
Cheaper than 316L, but with lower corrosion resistance and without molybdenum.

Chromium content: 18~20%
Nickel content: 8~10.5%
Molybdenum: None

There are other types of stainless steel, but Namdaemun accessories wholesale stores mainly use 316L and 304.

There is something to be careful about here. 316L has better corrosion resistance than 304 stainless steel, but is more expensive. However, 316L is also called a stainless steel post, and 304 is also called a stainless steel post.

If the wholesaler…
They say, “We use stainless steel post,” but even if they use 304, which is cheaper than 316L, they will still say that they use stainless steel post.

In this case, it is best to check once more. “Is it 316 or 304?”

But here’s where things get a little confusing.
Since 316L is more expensive than 304… it seems to be better (since it is more corrosive…),

but the nickel content is…
I heard there are more than 304… I wonder if allergies are more likely to occur than 304.

In fact, if you walk around the accessories wholesale market, wholesalers will explain that 316L is better and emphasize that they use 316L… but you may not know that it has a higher nickel content.

I think there is a difference in nickel content, but I don’t think that difference has a significant effect on the likelihood of developing allergies.

So, you may think that corrosiveness, that is, resistance to rust or corrosion, is more important than the difference in nickel content.

In order to understand Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel you also need to know this thing below.


2. Surgical Steel Post

A subtype of high-quality stainless steel commonly used in medical and medical equipment, surgical steel is primarily employed for medical purposes and jewelry manufacturing.

With a chromium content ranging from 12% to 18%, nickel content from 0.08% to 1.2%, and carbon content between 0.08% and 0.2%, surgical steel is non-toxic and generally recommended for individuals with sensitive skin.

It boasts high durability and excellent corrosion resistance, with a carbon content of less than 0.08%. Additionally, it contains chromium, nickel, and molybdenum, with molybdenum enhancing its corrosion resistance.

For those with sensitive skin, surgical steel posts are preferred over stainless steel, as they are unlikely to cause allergic reactions even upon direct skin contact.

However, the price comparison reveals that stainless steel 316 is the most expensive, followed by surgical steel, and then stainless steel 304.

Conversely, the nickel content, which is responsible for allergic reactions, is lowest in surgical steel, followed by stainless steel 304, and then stainless steel 316.

In terms of chromium content, which contributes to long-term luster, stainless steel 304 surpasses stainless steel 316, with surgical steel falling in between.

Despite the prevalent notion in the Namdaemun wholesale market that surgical steel is superior, considering the material price, nickel content, and chromium content, it’s challenging to determine which type is objectively better.

If prioritizing corrosion resistance or rust prevention, stainless steel 316 would be the preferred choice. Alternatively, for individuals more concerned about allergies than gloss or rust, surgical steel would be the optimal option.

Assuming the user isn’t sensitive to allergies, selecting stainless steel 304 would be ideal due to its superior sheen. Additionally, price-conscious sellers may opt for stainless steel 304.

Now that we know the Difference between Stainless and Surgical Steel, let’s think again

Ultimately, the choice of stainless steel material depends on individual preferences and priorities.

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