Sterling silver is a beautiful metal choice for a ring in most circumstances.
Its outside layer can be polished until you have a brilliant luster.
But you might have noticed that when wearing your sterling silver ring, the skin around your ring tends to turn a weird green/blue color that seems to have come from the ring.
Your sterling silver ring can turn your finger green and it’s fairly common actually. You can avoid this by keeping your hands clean and avoiding any products that may cause your ring to oxidize. Just because it tarnishes does not mean it is of low quality.
There are several things that you can do to prevent your ring from turning your fingers green.
It is just a matter of what is most convenient to you and what you are willing to do.
What is Oxidation?
Let’s first talk about oxidation and what it is.
Oxidation is the process of a material losing electrons.
Because it has lost its electrons, it wants to gain them back, so it goes out and searches for something to attach in the place of electrons.
Usually, it finds pieces of oxygen and oxygen is happy to bond with something that has lost its electrons.
This is what causes your ring and your finger to turn green. This is also the same process that makes jewelry tarnish.
So, when your sterling silver becomes oxidized, is it losing very tiny bits and pieces of itself.
There is not too much to worry about here, your ring will not suddenly lose all of its material.
It will only cause your skin to turn that green color that we talked about earlier.
How do I Prevent Oxidation in My Sterling Silver Ring
You can easily prevent your skin from turning green by following some simple guidelines and tips.
The first thing that you should look at before purchasing a sterling silver ring is determining whether it is made of the right materials.
You are going to be looking for an alloy.
Nothing made of pure silver will last very long because pure silver does not have a reputation for being very strong.
It bends and breaks easily, making it unsuitable for wearing.
This was a problem for many jewelers because they still wanted to make money and have their clients be happy.
People still wanted to wear silver because it is pretty.
So as a compromise, jewelers made an alloy that is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% mostly copper.
This will make it so that your ring stays durable while still being able to look nice.
A high-quality sterling silver ring will have a 925 stamp on it.
It should not have any amounts of nickel in it at all.
Nickel is a low-quality ingredient in rings and will very quickly turn your finger green.
Be aware though that if your finger turns green, it is not always because your ring has low-quality materials.
It can be from many other factors, so don’t immediately assume poor craftsmanship.
Another way that you can prevent your finger from turning green is by using clear nail polish.
You can coat the inside of the ring with a layer of clear nail polish to prevent your finger from turning green.
This layer will make it so that the ring’s material is not actually in contact with your skin, which makes it impossible for the ring to even turn your finger green.
You will probably need to reapply the nail polish every few weeks.
Constant movement from your body will cause the nail polish layer to wear away.
A way that you can prevent green fingers that might be overlooked is by watching what chemicals you put near your body.
Everything has chemicals in it.
Your household cleaning products have a whole lot.
Your makeup has a bunch and even your lotion has chemicals in it.
The chemicals will react with the materials in your jewelry and can cause an even darker stain if you are not careful.
Make sure that any chemicals have been absorbed completely into your skin before putting on your rings.
Water can also be a strong oxidizer.
You should take off any type of jewelry before going swimming, taking a shower, or washing your hands, but that goes doubly so for sterling silver rings.
The chlorine in most swimming pools can also leave a green stain on your hands and even cause damage to your ring.
A final thing that you can do if you are constantly getting a green finger is to take your ring to a jewelry store and ask to get it coated in rhodium.
Rhodium is a hard metal that’s similar to platinum.
It makes it so that your sterling silver ring will not get scratched or scuffed too badly and it also creates a barrier for your skin.
This is essentially a big upgrade from a clear coat of nail polish.
How to Care for an Oxidized Sterling Silver Ring
If you have already gotten this curse of a green finger you can rest assured that it is not permanent.
You can scrub the stain away with hot soapy water.
If the stain is super strong and is not removed by the soap and water, you can use rubbing alcohol or makeup removing wipes.
This should be enough to get rid of it. If not, you may consider getting your ring coated in rhodium.
This will make it so that the sterling silver will have a harder time rubbing off on your skin.
Sterling silver jewelry should not be left around casually because many things can cause tarnishing and damage.
Caring properly for your sterling silver jewelry will help it last a long time. You may even be able to pass it on as a family heirloom.
Along the same lines, you should not sleep with your jewelry on.
While sleeping, our bodies produce a lot of sweat.
The ring has nowhere to go and will just absorb all of the sweat that your hands make during the night.
It is best to take off your ring before even going to bed. Set it aside and put it back on in the morning.
You can even switch it up a little bit and not wear them every day.
By wearing a piece of jewelry every day, you increase the wear and tear on it.
If you wear a different ring every day this will extend the life of the jewelry.
This can be easy, as sterling silver tends to be less expensive than other types of jewelry.
You can still look highly fashionable without even breaking the bank
Sterling silver is a great choice for a ring.
They can be a great addition to any jewelry collection. The brilliance of it is second to none and will look great on your finger.
By carefully taking care of your jewelry, you can not only extend the life of your rings but also be happy with what you have because you will not have to replace them all the time.