Stainless steel does not tarnish. It does not oxidize as well. Stainless steel has become more popular in body jewelry due to its hypo-allergenic finish and non-reactive surface.
Stainless steel is an alloy of chromium, iron, carbon and other metals. The chromium oxide helps to protect the metal from rust, tarnishing and discoloration. It is mixed with different alloys depending on the use. The stainless steel for jewelry is different than the stainless steel used in appliances.
Stainless steel has become a popular alternative to sterling silver. The main reason for this is that sterling silver is softer and more susceptible to damage than stainless steel. In addition, stainless steel is more cost efficient than silver.