Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel Jewelry

The main difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel used in jewelry lies in their composition and properties. Here’s a breakdown of the distinctions:


  • 304 Stainless Steel: It contains a minimum of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, with small amounts of carbon, manganese, and other elements.
  • 316 Stainless Steel: It contains a minimum of 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molybdenum, along with other trace elements.

Corrosion Resistance

  • 304 Stainless Steel: It offers good resistance to corrosion in normal atmospheric conditions and mild environments.
  • 316 Stainless Steel: It exhibits excellent corrosion resistance, making it highly suitable for jewelry that may come into contact with harsher conditions, such as saltwater, chlorine, or acidic environments.

Suitability for Marine Environment

  • 304 Stainless Steel: It is generally resistant to corrosion in marine environments but may show signs of tarnish or discoloration over time.
  • 316 Stainless Steel: It is specifically designed to withstand exposure to saltwater and marine environments without corroding or tarnishing. It is often referred to as “marine-grade” stainless steel.

Strength and Durability

  • 304 Stainless Steel: It is strong and durable, making it suitable for everyday jewelry.
  • 316 Stainless Steel: It is even more robust and has higher tensile strength than 304 stainless steel, making it ideal for jewelry that requires enhanced durability, such as bracelets or chains.

Hypoallergenic Properties

Both 304 and 316 stainless steel are considered hypoallergenic, as they do not contain allergenic metals like nickel. They are generally safe for individuals with sensitive skin

In summary, while both 304 and 316 stainless steel are commonly used in jewelry, 316 stainless steel offers higher corrosion resistance, increased durability, and is better suited for harsh environments, such as marine settings. However, in TTT Fashion Jewelry supplies high quality stainless steel and some other materials such as cooper, natural stone, crystal, pearl and beads etc. to custom your own story jewelry series.