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Nickel vs. Chrome: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 6, 2024
Nickel is a chemical element (symbol Ni) with atomic number 28, while chrome refers to chromium, another element (symbol Cr) with atomic number 24.

Key Differences

Nickel is a silvery-white metal known for its ductility and resistance to corrosion, often used in alloys and plating. Chrome, with a more distinct, shinier appearance, is prized for its decorative appeal and resistance to tarnishing, commonly used in automotive and decorative applications.
The major use of nickel is in the preparation of alloys like stainless steel and nickel-copper alloys. Chrome is mainly used for chrome plating and in the production of stainless steel, where it adds corrosion resistance and a shiny finish.
Nickel can be magnetic, depending on its alloy composition, and is often utilized in fields requiring magnetic properties. In contrast, chrome does not exhibit magnetic properties but is known for its high melting point and hardness.
In terms of health, nickel can sometimes cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to it, particularly when in contact with skin. Chrome, particularly hexavalent chromium, can be toxic and carcinogenic, necessitating careful handling.
In the environment, nickel compounds can be moderately toxic, impacting air and water quality. Chrome, especially in its hexavalent form, is highly toxic to aquatic life and can cause severe environmental damage if not properly managed.

Comparison Chart


"Nickel" has six letters.
"Chrome" has six letters.


Pronounced as /ˈnɪkəl/.
Pronounced as /ˈkroʊm/.


Two syllables: Nic-kel.
Two syllables: Chro-me.

Part of Speech

Used as a noun.
Used as a noun and adjective.

Usage in a Sentence

"The coin is made of nickel."
"The faucet has a chrome finish."

Nickel and Chrome Definitions


An element used in various metal alloys.
Nickel adds durability to the alloy.


Informal for the Google Chrome web browser.
I prefer browsing the internet on Chrome.


A US coin worth five cents.
He handed her a nickel for the candy.


Referring to decorative metalwork on vehicles.
His vintage car boasted original chrome details.


A silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge.
Nickel is used extensively in coins and stainless steel.


Used to describe a shiny, silver-like appearance.
The artist's palette included a shade of chrome.


Describing a silvery color.
The car's paint had a nickel hue.


A shiny, hard metal known for its silver color and corrosion resistance.
The chrome plating added a glossy finish.


In chemistry, a reactant in some processes.
Nickel catalyzes this chemical reaction.


A decorative, shiny finish typically used on metals.
The motorcycle's chrome accents were eye-catching.


Symbol Ni A silvery, hard, ductile, ferromagnetic metallic element used in corrosion-resistant alloys, stainless steel, catalysts for hydrogenation, and batteries, and for electroplating. Atomic number 28; atomic weight 58.69; melting point 1,455°C; boiling point 2,913°C; specific gravity 8.902; valence 0, 1, 2, 3. See Periodic Table.


Chromium or a chromium alloy.


A coin of the United States or Canada worth five cents.


Something plated with a chromium alloy.


Can nickel cause allergies?

Yes, nickel can sometimes cause allergic skin reactions.

Why is chrome used in cars?

Chrome is used in cars for its aesthetic appeal and corrosion resistance.

What is nickel?

Nickel is a silvery-white metallic element used in alloys and for plating.

How is chrome harmful?

Hexavalent chromium compounds can be toxic and carcinogenic.

Is chrome used in browsers?

"Chrome" informally refers to Google's web browser, Google Chrome.

Are nickel and chrome the same?

No, they are distinct elements with different properties and uses.

What colors are associated with nickel and chrome?

Nickel has a silvery-white color, while chrome is known for its shiny silver appearance.

What is chrome?

Chrome typically refers to chromium, a shiny, corrosion-resistant metal.

Is chrome more expensive than nickel?

The cost varies based on the application and market conditions.

Do nickel and chrome have health risks?

Both can pose health risks; nickel in allergies, chrome in toxicity.

Are there environmental concerns with nickel and chrome?

Yes, especially with improper disposal and industrial use.

What is the main use of nickel?

Nickel is primarily used in making stainless steel and other alloys.

How do you clean nickel and chrome surfaces?

They require different cleaning methods; chrome often needs gentle polishing.

Can nickel and chrome be used together?

Yes, they are often combined in alloys for enhanced properties.

Is nickel magnetic?

Nickel can be magnetic, depending on its alloy composition.

Can both be used in cooking utensils?

In alloys and coatings, yes, but their usage is subject to safety standards.

What's the difference in their corrosion resistance?

Chrome is generally more corrosion-resistant than nickel.

Can nickel be used in jewelry?

Yes, but it can cause reactions in sensitive individuals.

Are nickel and chrome recyclable?

Both can be recycled, with specific processing methods.

Can nickel be found naturally?

Yes, nickel occurs naturally in the Earth's crust.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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