Caring for your Jewellery and Avoiding the dreaded "green finger"

Fall 2016:

Caring for your jewellery and avoiding a green finger

Ever wondered why some people say rings turn their fingers green?

A sterling silver ring, or a ring that is plated with sterling silver, will turn your finger green due to a chemical reaction with moisture on your skin that is reacting with the alloys in the metal. This moisture can be as simple as water, sweat or humidity.

A similar reaction will occur when you wear a copper ring as well. The green finger or tarnish is common with copper (which is an alloy that is commonly used in silver / sterling you can see the connection with silver and a green finger.

Again, most people assume that if your finger turns green or your ring tarnishes, that the ring is not genuine sterling silver. The opposite is true because acids that cause the silver to oxidize, which are commonly found in the air, water, lotions, soaps, produce a reaction and cause tarnish. This can leave a dark ring or green on your finger. 

Now that you know why it happens, you can easily avoid having a green fingers by following some simple care steps. If you can remember to take off your ring when washing your hands, in the pools, cleaning, applying lotion, etc, tarnish should not be an issue. Avoiding these things will help prevent tarnish.

Humidity encourages tarnishing, so always store silver-plated jewellery in a cool, dry place.  A simple plastic resealable bag (sand-which bag) will work wonders, keep items dry in separate compartments while also helping to avoid scratches.

Always take off your silver-plated jewellery before swimming, showering or cleaning as well as when putting on make up or using hair care products or perfumes. The water and chemicals used during these activities could cause the item to tarnish more quickly. Anti aging facial skin care products are acid based and should be avoided touching your jewellery (as in with a necklace) even if they are dry. A vitamin c cream or glycolic acid cream or retinol product may tarnish your items in a way that is not removable or it may expose the base metal. Use these products at night to avoid them damaging your plated and fine jewellery.