You found it - you've saved a little extra money and you're ready to loosen up those purse strings to buy a beautiful sterling silver ring that perfectly reflects your unique taste and style.
Oh it's even more beautiful on your finger! Definitely a well deserved and much needed present for all the hard work you've done lately... but wait... oh no! Beneath that oh-so-perfect sterling silver ring you notice an unsightly green stain on your finger! ...
Yes, this nightmare is one that could potentially come true - has this ever happened to you? There’s more behind the green tint than the passage of time or the quality of your jewelry. Lets take a look at why some jewelry can turn your finger green, even if it is silver, and then some things you can do to prevent or remedy the situation.
Why Are My Sterling Silver Rings Turning My Finger Green?
Yes, it is possible that your new beautiful silver ring could turn your finger green. It doesn't mean the ring isn't silver, but it does indicate the quality of silver of the ring.
It all has to do with a couple things - the makeup of the silver used to make the ring and the wearers skin type or sensitivity. Silver in it's purest form, or, 100% silver, is liquid. In order for the silver to be made into jewelry, or anything else for that matter, it has to be alloyed or blended with another type of metal. Silver is most commonly blended with copper for the purposes of jewelry making.
In fact, .925 Sterling Silver actually means that the item consists of 92.5% pure silver. So that beautiful .925 Sterling Silver ring your wearing is actually made with 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper! The mix with copper is what gives the metal the durability necessary to turn it into jewelry.
While the copper is a necessary ingredient in the creation process, it has a tendency to result in the green coloring on your fingers. It's important to bear in mind that everyone’s skin reacts differently to copper. There are many reasons that people react differently to copper, including:
- Varying content of chemicals in the skin
- Composition and severity of sweating
- Products and creams one uses
Now that you know how your silver ring can possibly discolor your finger, lets explore some ways you can prevent it from turning your finger green.
How to Prevent Green Discoloration on Your Fingers
1. Avoid Wearing Low Quality Jewelry
Although it is not the only reason that your fingers may turn green, rings made from subpar materials are very likely to leave you with the green imprint on your fingers. Be sure to inquire about the materials used to make the rings you’re wearing. Rings made from a combination of pure silver and copper are reliable, and if they do happen to turn your fingers green, it won’t be due to low-quality.
If you wear rings over skin that is damp or wet, you increase the likelihood of ending up with a noticeable green tint. Be mindful and remove your rings before washing your hands or taking a shower. Try to allow lotions and other body products to absorb into your skin before putting your rings on, as well. There are chemicals in beauty and cleaning products that prompt oxidation and will accelerate the deterioration of your rings. Don’t forget: If you are going to swim in a pool, make sure you take your rings off. The chlorine will cause your fingers to turn green and damage your rings permanently.
3. Apply A Clear Nail Polish
One simple and practical method to avoid green fingers is to coat the inside of your sterling silver rings with clear nail polish. Here’s how:
- Paint the inside of your rings with clear nail polish. You can apply nail polish to any part of the ring that touches your finger
- Leave your painted ring on a flat surface to dry for at least twenty minutes, or until the nail polish is completely dry
- Wear your ring
- Apply the clear nail polish as needed
It’s important to note that matte rings will be given an added shine using this method.
Another option other than clear nail polish to protect against green fingers is the use of a barrier product, such as Jeweler’s Skin Guard. These barriers are designed specifically to seal the metal and prevent staining.
- Just one application of a polymer barrier will prevent staining for about two months
- You can apply the barrier as much as needed, in relation to how often you wear your rings
What Do You Do to Fix Your Green Finger
If your fingers have already been colored green by your sterling silver rings, there are a few simple ways you can remove the stains. Try one of the following methods:
1. Use Eye Makeup Remover or Rubbing Alcohol
If you have sterling silver rings, it’s a good idea to keep some waterproof eye makeup remover, or rubbing alcohol, on hand just in case you need to remove green stains.
- Use this method for small stains
- Put your liquid of choice on a cotton ball and rub the area gently
- Remember to rub in the webbing of your fingers, as the green coloring often concentrates on the nooks and crannies
- Wash your hands promptly after to avoid drying, especially when using rubbing alcohol
2. Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
For more drastic, dark green stains, nail polish remover may be necessary.
- Wipe the area with the cotton ball gently but firmly to remove the stain
- If your skin is irritated or you have open wounds, try one of the above methods instead
- This method can be quite harsh and should not be used more than once per week
Benefits of Wearing .925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
Although dealing with green fingers can be inconvenient, the benefits of wearing 925 sterling silver far outweigh the slight drawback.
The main benefits of wearing .925 sterling silver include:
Safety for Sensitive Skin: sterling silver is a 100% non-reactive metal which can be put in direct contact with your skin without producing adverse reactions. Remember, green fingers are aesthetically displeasing, but are not a health hazard!
Energy Stimulation and Focus: when you wear sterling silver jewelry that comes into direct contact with your skin, the proper flow of energy is stimulated in your body. This can help fight lethargy and reinvigorate your senses. Sterling silver is also known to enhance mental focus and concentration.
Help With Inflammation and Arthritis: sterling silver can be absorbed directly into your skin and transmits strong pain-relieving effects once in the body. Silver promotes sufficient blood circulation and targets pain in the muscles and tissues, common symptoms of inflammation and arthritis problems.
How to Keep Your .925 Sterling Silver Jewelry in New Condition
Your sterling silver rings will boost your mood and add character to each and every outfit you wear. To keep your favorite rings in good shape so that you can wear them for many years to come, follow these simple tips:
- Store rings individually in pouches or cases in a cool, dry place
- Consider sealing your sterling silver rings in airtight bags to fight humidity and oxidation
- .925 Sterling Silver is sturdy and does not need very frequent polishing
- When you polish your rings, use up-and-down strokes, not circles, as it can worsen the tarnishing or dirt
- Do not use chemical liquid jewelry cleaners to maintain your rings. Use a simple microfiber cloth or specially designed silver polishing cloth, treated with appropriate and gentle chemicals
- Be sure to take your rings off when doing things that involve strong heat and sunlight, harsh chemicals, water, and sweat
- In general, keeping your sterling silver rings dry is the best policy
At the end of the day, green fingers are a common occurrence when you’re a frequent ring-wearer. Don’t forget that green fingers are not necessarily a sign of cheap or low-quality rings. The composition of .925 Sterling Silver lends itself to the occasional green discoloration because of the presence of copper. Green fingers are harmless and there are simple measures you can take to prevent discoloration. It’s all a matter of preparation and maintenance!