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Contrary to popular perception, the ring of skin that becomes green beneath sterling silver jewelry is not caused by poor ring quality and is not hazardous. It is a normal, albeit rare, reaction to some materials in jewelry, and it can occur when wearing exquisite, expensive jewelry and more affordable ones.

But why does sterling silver turn your finger green, and how can it be avoided?

If you like to wear jewelry, chances are you’ve worn a ring that discolored your finger green, at least momentarily. Don’t be concerned; this green hue, while ugly, is not an indication of infection.

The discoloration on your finger is caused by a chemical reaction involving your skin, the skin products you’re using, and your ring. While it is not harmful, most individuals prefer that their rings do not leave a green band afterward.


Does Sterling Silver Turn Green?

Sterling silver has 92.5 percent silver. However, this metal is not adequate on its own. So, the remaining 7.5 percent is a mix of different metals, most often copper and zinc. These other metals contribute to the durability of sterling silver, which is utilized in goods such as bracelets, tableware, and cutlery.

When a ring tints your finger green, it does not necessarily imply that it is a low-quality piece of jewelry. This is a widespread misconception: regardless of the piece’s value, all metals oxidize at some point.

A chemical reaction sandwiched between the metal and your skin causes your finger to become green from sterling silver. Copper is typically to blame; since it reacts with the pH levels on your skin to produce the green color where your skin and the metal come into contact.

Copper oxidizes when it meets moisture, lubricants, or chemicals. This indicates that a thin coating of corrosion occurs and gradually turns green. Continued exposure to each element accelerates corrosion and wipes off your fingers.

Does Sterling Silver Turn Green?

Does Sterling Silver Turn Your Finger Green?

A common question about “does sterling silver turn your finger green” bothers most jewelry lovers. The fact that your fingers glow green while wearing a silver ring does not imply that the band is phony or of poor quality.

Metal abrasion or corrosion could be causing the green or black hue on your finger. Under damp conditions, some metals, such as silver and copper, can corrode and generate a dark-colored complex. These substances have the potential to turn your finger green or black.

Softer metals, particularly gold, frequently corrode when exposed to more potent chemicals commonly found in cosmetics. This causes microscopic metal particles to rub off, forming a black mark on your finger.

What causes the situation of a ring staining your finger green so prevalent is that you are almost certainly exposed to at least some of the triggers that corrode or rub the metal in your ring daily. As strange as it may sound, sweat has a high concentration of lipids, fatty acids, and chlorides, which may be slowly eroding the metal in your ring.

Cosmetics, soaps, and detergents, frequently a mixture of several chemicals, are also substantial contributors to metal corrosion. Cosmetics contain tougher materials than gold, eventually eroding gold or softer metals.

Why Does Sterling Silver Turn Green?

You believe a ring is a fantastic addition unless you go to wash your hands and discover that it has turned your entire finger green. The stain is caused by the acid in your skin reacting with the metal of the jewelry. It is not hazardous, but it isn’t pleasant.

And it’s not just one metal; according to specialists, a green hue can be caused by a combination of metals. The most frequent metal is copper, but silver and gold metals can also induce discoloration.

When the materials oxidize, a patch of skin contact a ring turns green. This means that they react with your skin’s pH levels to form tarnish, which subsequently leaves a stain on the skin. People with a higher acidic pH in their skin are more likely to experience this phenomenon, and while it is rare, it is good to understand what to do if it occurs.

Chemicals in hand creams are another typical culprit, causing the metal to oxidize even if your skin is not sensitive to metals. Copper is the most common component in any item of jewelry that generates this predicament.

Copper is a helpful alloy mixed with silver or gold-plated jewelry to ensure the piece’s shape and consistency. Because pure gold and silver are too delicate to deal with, they must be alloyed with other materials to create a secure, high-quality piece of jewelry.

While green staining can occur from various jewelry, both high and low grade, lower quality jewelry is more likely to develop a stain. To avoid green colors on your finger, always be conscious of the materials used in your rings.

How To Prevent Green Fingers from Sterling Silver?

  • In a pinch, a layer of clear nail paint on the inner band of your ring will prevent it from oxidizing. This is due to the polish forming a barrier between your skin and the metal. It would help if you still exercise caution, but this green corrosion coating should not develop as long as the coat is kept in good condition.
  • The green staining appearance on your finger from a ring is expected since the metal used to make your jewelry is of poor grade. This isn’t always the case, but it’s the most prevalent. Avoiding green discoloration is more accessible from the start if you only buy high-quality jewelry.
  • Apply the clear nail polish to your ring. Paint the ring’s interior and any other portions of the piece that come into touch with your finger with clear nail polish. Allow the crew to dry for 20 minutes on a clean plate before putting it on. It should be noted that applying clear polish to matte rings will shine the piece.
  • Before putting your hands wet, take off any jewelry. Avoid swimming, hand cleaning, and showering while wearing your rings. Water hastens the oxidation process that causes your rings to turn green, and saltwater, in particular, can corrode your jewelry.


sterling silver turns green

More articles about sterling silver you may interest:

Is Sterling Silver Good Quality?

Sterling Silver VS 925 Silver VS Pure Silver- Are They The Same?

How to Clean Silver at Home?

How To Wear Heavy Earrings That Will Not Hurt Your Ear Lobes?