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Why Not Consider Titanium Jewelry?
Most people know titanium as a light metal used extensively in the aeronautics industry, but in recent years it's seen growing use in jewelry manufacture too. Titanium is as light as aluminum, but harder than steel. As the ninth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, this gray-white metal is relatively inexpensive, and is as resistant to corrosion as anything made of platinum, which it resembles. Think of titanium jewelry as a space-age option to jewelry made of precious metals.
Like platinum, titanium is a lustrous shiny-white metal, easy to work and extremely durable. It resists tarnishing, which puts it one up on silver, and is often used in environments where strength and corrosion-resistance are important. It's chemically related to the metal zirconium, which in its crystalline oxide (cubic zirconia) is also used in inexpensive jewelry, and hafnium, which is a metal used in alloys and incandescent lamps.
Besides being light, strong, and inexpensive, titanium jewelry is attractive because it's hypoallergenic, unlike many metals; in fact, it's the most common choice for medical implants for that very reason. It's also nearly indestructible and doesn't corrode, so you don't have to take it off when you're working outside, playing sports or when you're washing dishes or in the shower. For this reason, some people use titanium jewelry for "backup" wedding or engagement rings when it's unsafe to wear the precious-metal versions. Whereas simple paperwork can scratch up gold as surely as sandpaper, titanium jewelry won't be affected.
Last but hardly least, titanium jewelry is stylin'. Anything you can do in gold, silver, or platinum, you can do in titanium. One situation in which it outshines precious metals is in those extra-cool tension settings for rings, in which the stone is held only at its edges, kept in place only by the springiness, or tension, of the ring material. The idea is to let the light shine straight through the gem, so that it scatters more effectively and makes the gem sparklier than a stone in an ordinary enclosed setting. To do this well with gold or silver, you need a big, clunky ring that looks somewhat odd. Not so with titanium, which is far stronger.
Every shape, and two colors
Titanium jewelry can take just about any basic jewelry form, but it seems most popular as rings, particularly engagement and wedding rings. Given its high-tech look and retro pricing, it's certainly catching the eyes of more and more jewelry buyers these days. However, many people bear a bit of prejudice against titanium jewelry; they think of it as cheap because it's inexpensive, and it looks too much like steel for some peoples' liking. This needn't always be the case, however.
Through a proprietary (and therefore secret) process, titanium jewelry can also be produced that's black in color. The black isn't a coating: it's produced using a special blend of rare earth elements, temperature and atmospheric conditioning that not only colors but strengthens the metal, and develops from the outside in. The result is a ceramic-like surface material that resists scratches even better than pure titanium.