Kryptonite is to Superman as oxidation is to affordable jewelry. The chemical reaction takes place when copper — a budget-friendly and often gold or silver-plated material commonly used for inexpensive baubles — comes in contact with water or chemicals in things like lotion. This then leads to the infamous murky green residue that appears on our skin. Canadian jewelry brand Mia, however, discovered a summer-perfect loophole: stainless steel.
The brand guarantees green-free skin wherever you dunk its stainless steel jewels, minus the luxury price tag. We're talking sleek jewelry on the market for under $50. The brand even features lab-grown diamond accessories priced all under $200. To test such a bold claim, I adorned my epidermis with Mia's grey rings, hoop earrings, necklaces, and bracelets for an entire month of beach trips, showers, baths, and pool days (even, for a while, against my will — more on that later). Read on for my honest cons, stay for the pros of these glitzy impermeable pieces.
Why stainless steel?
When I think stainless steel, I instantly envision a burly man clad in a wielding mask, not dainty and refined jewelry. The designers behind Mia have taken advantage of the material's tough reputation to increase the longevity of its pieces and decrease the costs. To compare, popular jewelry brand Mejuri's fine (diamond-less) pieces range from $78 to $600. As for skin sensitivity, the retailer specifically works with surgical, nickel-free, lead-free, and cadmium-free stainless steel to prevent allergic reactions. For the silver-colored pieces, that's it. Rose gold and gold pieces are then plated, which might make you ask, who cares about the base material's hypoallergenic attributes? Don't worry; the plating is also hypoallergenic and durable, though not guaranteed to be waterproof. Once again, according to its site, Mia's "plating vapor deposit" process ditches both chemicals and pollution. For the science-obsessed, this means that "solid material is vaporized in a vacuum and deposited onto the surface of a part," atom by atom which "improves the appearance, durability, and/or function of a part or product." I'd like to thank this article at VaporTech for the digestible low down.
Although even a brute like stainless steel deserves a little TLC. To care for your waterproof non-plated Mia jewelry just be wary of rough handling due to potential scratching. As for the plated pieces, try to avoid water and any harsh contact.
[The Puzzle Necklace] is easy to wear either with a sporty or chic garment. A necklace that you can wear every day!
I received the Puzzle Necklace, Pure Love Charm, Puzzle Bracelet, Aura Ring, Round Hoop Earrings, and Soleilo Huggie Earrings. First, we have to talk about the packaging sent from heaven. Each piece came in a sturdy stainless steel (I assume) cylinder holder that locks when you twist it closed. Each container is now home to all of my jewels and the only reason I stay accessorized on vacation — they are perfect for travel. (I was informed these cases only come for free with laboratory diamond purchases, however, they are available on site for $8. Otherwise, your pieces come in lovely light blue pouches.)
Each piece had an industrial flair to it. Unlike other pieces of silver jewelry I own, these were a darker silver and didn't have a flimsy feel — which I thoroughly enjoyed. I specifically picked chains and hoops that gave a hardware vibe since it complements my personal style. Everything hung nicely and was exactly as pictured on site.
One month goes by...
I dunked this jewelry in a pool, the Pacific ocean, the Atlantic ocean, the shower, the bath, and my sweat from the gym. They all look exactly the same, as does my epidermis. To top it off, I actually got the Aura Ring stuck on my finger for a solid two weeks straight — but, hey, my finger never turned green. They do not lack any luster nor are there any scratches or rusty clasps. Oxidation be damned.
Oxidation be damned.
I will say, you can tell that these are not the most high-end pieces on the market. My accessories were a tad less refined in comparison to my friend's sterling silver Gucci pendant necklace. It was also difficult to pair them with the silver jewelry I already owned because of the darker hue. That being said, this only applied to the necklaces and bracelets. The rings were plenty shiny, a bit brighter, softer, and daintier.
I force myself to, at the very least, answer one question in my reviews: Does the product do what the retailer says it should? As for Mia's tarnish-resistant baubles, the answer is a confident yes. Below I provide proof of my embossed, but not green, finger which should be a solid testament to the brand's waterproof guarantee. And, out of all the information I gathered from this review — the plated vapor deposit process, stainless steel durability, etc. — I most importantly now know this, I am not a ring size six.
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