Niobium - a fantastic choice for quality crafted jewelry

August 09 2023 – Erica Elliott-Caswell

What is Niobium? Let me tell you all about it and why I love incorporating it in my creations, especially for making ear wires. 

Niobium is a grayish-white, soft, and ductile metal. It has a relatively high melting point and is resistant to corrosion in many environments, including acids. Niobium's natural resistance to corrosion and its hypoallergenic properties have made it a popular choice for making jewelry, especially for individuals with metal sensitivities.

  •  Hypoallergenic Properties: Niobium is considered hypoallergenic, which means it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions in most people. This is especially important for individuals with sensitivities to metals like nickel, which is a common allergen found in many other metal alloys used in jewelry.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Niobium has excellent corrosion resistance, even when exposed to moisture, sweat, and other environmental factors. This property ensures that niobium jewelry remains free from tarnish, discoloration, and other forms of deterioration over time.
  • Variety of Colors: Niobium's unique anodizing properties allow it to be easily colored through anodization – an electrochemical process that forms a protective oxide layer on the surface of the metal. This oxide layer can be manipulated to produce a wide range of vibrant colors without the need for dyes or coatings. This feature makes niobium jewelry visually appealing and versatile in terms of design options.
  • Lightweight and Comfortable: Niobium is relatively lightweight and comfortable to wear, making it a preferred choice for earrings, necklaces, and other types of jewelry that come in direct contact with the skin.
  • Durability: Niobium's inherent strength and toughness make it a durable material for jewelry that can withstand everyday wear without easily becoming scratched or damaged.
  • Eco-Friendly: Niobium is a naturally occurring element and is mined without the environmental concerns associated with some other metals. Additionally, the anodization process used to color niobium jewelry is generally considered environmentally friendly.

Due to these properties, niobium has recently gained popularity as a material for crafting high-quality, fashionable, and comfortable jewelry.

I love that anyone, especially people with metal allergies or sensitivities can comfortably wear it, and I appreciate the unique, vibrant colors that can be achieved through anodization.