Over on our Facebook page this week there has been a great discussion in answer to the question posed:
"What's more important? Jewellery finish OR what it's made from?"
But if I was to choose between material and finish I would definitely choose material. I came to this conclusion after weighing up what possible outcomes would occur with each choice.
If you were wearing something with a low polish, generally you will develop an irritation in the piercing and in some cases it will prevent the piercing from healing altogether.
If you were wearing a low quality material, you could develop an allergic reaction (ie itching, rash, extreme swelling, pain), a blackening of the jewellery (sometimes resulting in a permanent staining or "tattoo" of the skin), or the jewellery could degrade (making it toxic to the body). Toxicity is a massive issue, with some materials containing lead or other chemicals that have been known to be cancerous.
So with that in mind, I think a low polish poses less dangerous risks than a low quality material.
As far as the titanium vs steel debate, well that's a hard one. As previously mentioned, you can get different grades of the same material and therefore you cannot compare the two unless they are of the same grade. Assuming both are implant grade, titanium has been proven to be more biocompatible than steel. However, you cannot assume steel is a poor choice just because titanium has higher biocompatibility.
Steel can be polished much higher than titanium, although recently a particular manufacturer has been achieving excellent results with new methods of polishing titanium. But even still, titanium looks darker or more grey than steel because of this issue.
Titanium can be anodised and steel cannot. This is an advantage as anodising creates an oxide layer on the jewellery, further increasing it's biocompatibility.
But after all is said and done, the difference between titanium and steel is MARGINAL. They are both excellent choices in my view and honestly, I'm more concerned with choosing between implant grade and non-implant grade as this is a bigger issue healthwise.
So with all this information please:
Thanks again Dan :)