There are tons of jewelry available in the market especially in this day and age of technology.
With the creation of many new metals with unique compositions and combinations, some expected drawbacks such as metal oxidation have plagued a select few.
In the case of silver, visible effects of these chemical reactions are such as itchy skin or black discoloration.
Why exactly does silver turn skin black?
There is a significant number of people in the world who do not wear jewelry. For some, it is simply not their fancy, but for others, they have had enough bad experiences with jewelry that they would dare not venture further.
Unfortunately, the chemical composition of some individuals is acidic to the point of causing a reaction with highly reactive elements like copper.
These reactions could then break out in terms of a rash, itch, or skin discoloration which could be either green or black in appearance.
Why Does Silver Turn Black on My Skin?
Silver turning black on the skin is caused by a chemical process called oxidation which is not a property of pure silver but the copper component in it.
Oxidation happens when the protective coating wears off and the copper base metal is exposed to the air.
Copper is known to seep into your skin as it is a naturally occurring element.
While some people believe that it has healing properties, many others like you right now are frustrated about the unsightly black ring around your finger or neck that you can’t just wash off.
A few of the factors that contribute to this unfortunate experience are;
When there are product build-up and gunk on our skin and clothes, it transfers to the jewelry we are wearing.
These chemicals are most times made of a very abrasive compound that cause the coating to start chipping or rubbing off the more there is friction.
2. Humid Climate
Jewelry is greatly affected by the general environment.
That is why pre0sale, it is always packed in protective covers to keep moisture out. If your region or town is quite hot and humid, this will raise the moisture levels.
This is not good for your jewelry as this moisture seeps into your metal making it pale and dull.
The more your silver comes in touch with water or its forms, it will be prone to causing the black discoloration.
So, remember to take it off before swimming, taking a shower, or going into your steam bath or sauna.
3. Contact with Sulphur chemicals
Preparing foods such as eggs, fish, onions should be done without your silver jewelry.
These foods contain Sulphur which is highly reactive to your silver metal.
4. High levels of acidity
According to specialists, people with high acidic levels are more prone to these metal reactions with silver.
They even suggest that eating a diet high in tomatoes, taking certain medications, or even getting excited could all trigger some rise in acidity which could increase your chances of a skin reaction.
How to Prevent Sterling Silver from Turning Black?
Maybe you bought a piece of silver jewelry and now it turns out it is reacting to your skin and causing it to get discolored.
Here are a few tips that maybe could help you get a handle on the situation temporarily and hopefully permanently.
- Keep your jewelry always clean. Make a habit of wiping down your jewelry when you remove it at the end of a long day. using a soft cotton or fleece cloth, gently rubbing over your silver chain regularly will help keep the shiny sheen on.
- Store your silver jewelry appropriately in an air-tight padded container or box in a dark room. Making every effort to keep your chain away from dust and atmospheric temperatures will keep it looking new for longer.
- Be sure to store jewelry separately even if they are all of a similar color shade. Investing in zip lock bags in which to store them will see you enjoy them for a longer time than most.
- Soak your silver jewelry for a day or two in a solution of equal parts water and ammonia acid. This should almost permanently prevent any future tarnishing or skin discoloration characteristics.
- Jewelers Skin Guard is a protective clear liquid that can be applied over the silver jewelry to create a protective barrier between your skin and the reactive metals. The cheaper, more do-it-yourself alternative to this is to apply clear nail polish on your jewelry to serve the same purpose.
- Keep your skin dry when you wear jewelry. If you have your silver jewelry close to a humid place on your body, try dabbing on some powder to keep the moisture down.
- Buffing your silver jewelry with some talcum powder and wrapping them in tissue if you don’t have a container or zip-lock bag will also keep your silver from tarnishing.
- The last and best way to prevent silver jewelry from turning your skin black is to insist on buying rhodium-plated silver only. The coating may wear off and you will need to get a new coating every few years at an added expense, but it’s worth it.
How to wash off tarnish from Silver jewelry?
As with every life hack, washing off tarnish from your silver jewelry could seem like an impossible task best left to the experts.
Before you give up yet, maybe try one or two of these suggestions and see if you will be as lucky in restoring the shine of your silver metal.
- A quick home remedy you could try is to soak your silver in soap and water and wipe it down. If there are some stubborn areas, you could apply a tiny amount of toothpaste to a soft brush and go over your silver jewelry. Then rinse and dab dry. Beware though that this method is only viable if your silver is authentically labeled 925.
- Another home solution to try rid tarnish off your silver is to wrap it in silver foil having sprinkled it with some baking soda. The black tarnish should come off easily, if not, brush over with a toothbrush like previously advised.
- The professional solution for silver tarnish is a Silver Cleaner which is readily available at your local store or from a jeweler. Having a specially dedicated cleaning agent for metals is ideal because you would be sure that no damage will occur while you clean.
- If the tarnish is not severe, you could probably clean it out by rubbing on it with a specially designed metal polishing cloth. Try that first before anything else.
- If these tricks fail, or if you are not confident enough to try fixing it yourself, you could hand your silver over to the jeweler who can clean, polish, and coat it with a layer of rhodium at a fair price.
Silver jewelry has the coolest silver shine, in my opinion.
Of course, much less than titanium and platinum but more than white gold by far. Its color blends in perfectly with anything and anyone and it doesn’t hurt that its multipurpose.
Finding a silver chain, necklace or some cool earrings will have you torn now that you know so much about silver but it should also help you make a wiser decision like buying that piece you can’t take your eye off.
At least now, if ever it shows any signs of discoloration, you already know how to handle it and you’re mentally prepared. You’ve got it covered.
For more jewelry metal posts, read this section for more. Or see you guys in the next post!
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.