If you have been wondering why your finger(s) turn green when you wear certain rings, you are in luck.
This piece not only sheds light on the metals that result in the embarrassing green discoloration on your finger, it also helps you understand why the rings turn your fingers green in the first place.
What Rings turn your finger green? And why?
The first time you notice that green discoloration on your finger, you may think that you just had the worst reaction to the ring and a nasty infection as a result. But you really shouldn’t scream your head off when you notice the green discoloration on your finger because it is a normal reaction and nothing harmful.
The green discoloration on your finger tells you that the ring is made of copper – either pure copper or it could be plated with another metal but with a copper base. In other cases, the copper could be a part of a metal alloy, for example, a sterling silver.
While copper is essential to the jewelry/ metal creation process, it is a highly reactive metal that’s oxidized when exposed to moisture or the air, forming, copper oxide which has a characteristic green color.
In addition to the presence of copper in metals used for the ring, the other reasons why your ring might turn your skin green include your body’s acidity level. The higher your acidity level, the higher the chances, and the faster the speed at which the jewelry turns your fingers green. This happens because the higher acidity level in the body and the acid salts formed will react with the metals in the jewelry, resulting in oxidation and the development of the green color on your finger.
At the same time, the green discoloration on your finger may be the result of an iron deficiency. Some professionals argue that being deficient in iron increases the body’s acidity, hence the green discoloration on the finger.
If you are shopping for rings and you wouldn’t want to deal with the green discoloration on your skin, there are metals and metal combinations used in rings that you’d have to avoid. These rings are listed below:
1.Gold plated brass rings
Gold plated brass rings will turn your finger green, especially after the gold layer wears off. (If you want to read how long does gold plated brass last, this post is just for you!)
So, the copper in the brass will turn the skin green. Also, the copper content in the brass is high, and it reacts with perfumes, lotions, and sweat, resulting in significant oxidation and subsequent color changes.
Brass is a metal alloy made of copper and zinc, which means that oxidation is quite common, expected even. So, if you are buying a ring with brass, the green discoloration will always be a risk.
Copper rings are the most common cause of the green tinge, and the reason for the green color on the skin is the oxidation of the copper, especially in humid conditions, forming the copper oxide.
As mentioned above, copper oxide is the common cause of the green discoloration on the finger.
3.Sterling Silver rings
Sterling silver rings are beautiful and classy, but there is always the risk of the sterling silver rings causing skin discoloration.
The reason for this is that silver is a precious metal, but silver is naturally in liquid form, and it cannot be crafted into a ring on its own.
To harden silver, copper is added to the metal (specifically, 7.5% copper). Copper also increases its durability.
Unfortunately, copper is highly reactive, and it oxidizes to form a copper oxide that stains the skin green once formed. Therefore, if you like sterling silver rings, beware of the risk of the green stain on your fingers.
4.Lower carat Gold rings 14K or 10K
10K and 14K carat rings have a high content of copper added to make the gold hard and more durable.
The high copper content in the 10K and the 14K gold rings mean that the gold tarnishes more.
This tarnishing manifests as the green discoloration on your finger.
5.Lower carat Rose Gold rings
To create the low carat rose gold rings, jewelers add copper to the gold to make it hard and to create that rose gold hue.
So, if you are spending your savings on a lower carat rose gold ring, you will likely have to deal with the green discoloration on your fingers.
While copper is used in these rings to strengthen the other metal, making the rose gold more durable, the lower carat rose gold rings have a high copper content, which results in more tarnishing and discoloration of the skin.
Solutions- To buy rings that will not turn your finger green.
To avoid the risk of your ring turning your finger green, you may want to choose rings that are made of safer and copper-free metals. Here are some of your options:
1.High carat gold rings
Thanks to the low copper content and the high gold content, high carat gold rings are safe on the skin, and the risk of the ring turning your fingers green is quite low, even close to impossible.
High carat and solid gold pieces are biocompatible, durable, and largely inert.
Tungsten is free of copper, safe on the skin, and hypoallergenic. It’s made of tungsten carbide, durable, hardy, and it won’t cause any changes to your skin.
4.Stainless steel rings
Stainless steel rings will not turn your skin green, which is why it makes an excellent choice of metal if you are looking for a metal that doesn’t tarnish or one that doesn’t turn the skin green.
These features make stainless steel a good metal option for rings because stainless steel lacks the elements and the metals that would react with the skin causing skin discoloration.
Cobalt rings feature a classic white design, and it can easily pass for platinum or white gold, thanks to the nicely polished finish. It’s also free of copper, meaning no risk of green discoloration.
Platinum is a beautiful precious metal that is hypoallergenic, free of copper, and it will not cause any discoloration of the skin.
Palladium rings have a white finish that makes the ring standout beautifully. These rings won’t cause green stains on your finger.
Silicone rings are durable, biocompatible, hypoallergenic, and free of copper.
If you are struggling to find a ring that will not turn your finger green, this article sheds light on all you need to know about the best rings that will not turn the finger green.