"I wore my ring for one day and now my finger is green. I thought this was quality jewelry?!"
We have received this email a handful of times over the years. Since the days of the quarter vending machine rings, there is an assumption that green finger = cheap. This isn't typically the case.
14K SOLID gold consists of 58% pure gold. Gold is too soft of an alloy to wear in a pure form so it has to be combined with other metals like copper, palladium, or silver. This means if your body is highly reactive to copper, there is a chance that even 14K solid gold will turn your finger green. We use 14K gold-filled, which means there is a layer of solid gold bonded to a base layer of brass. The only part touching your skin is 14K gold, but since it is 58% gold, there is a still a chance it can turn your finger. 24K gold contains more gold and less likely to turn your skin, but it is also a lot softer and can lose its shape or scratch easier.
Rose gold is made by adding even more copper to solid gold to give it the pink color. Therefore, your ring will be 58% gold on the outside layer with the rest made up of mostly copper. Skin often turns green when in contact with copper from the oxidation, explaining why your finger could turn.
We use fine silver on all of our name rings, which means it is made up of .999 silver. Our stacking rings are made up of .925 sterling silver. Sterling silver is made by combining 92.5% silver with...you guessed it...copper.
"My finger is black, not green...what gives?"
Your finger turning black is a different issue entirely. Most commonly, this is caused by metallic abrasion. This can be from the alloy on the ring mixing with chemicals (such as bleach, hair products, lotions, makeup). Although it doesn't seem like makeup should do it, if it gets stuck underneath your ring, it can turn your finger black.
Your finger can also turn black from the salt in your sweat and skin combining with the metallic alloys.
"Why doesn't my sterling silver from the department store turn my skin?"
Often times, silver costume jewelry has a rhodium plating that keeps the skin from turning. This does wear off over time.
"What can I do?"
If your finger turns black or green, we recommend removing the jewelry and cleaning your finger and the rings with dish soap and water. It can actually be beneficial to wear your rings and jewelry in the shower to help keep them clean on a daily basis. We do recommend removing them when swimming or getting in a hot tub or cleaning with bleach. If the green continues to bother you, you can put a coating of clear nail polish on the inside of the band to keep it from turning your finger green.