“Why is my finger or ring turning black or green?” is one of the most common questions we are asked here at The Great Frog, and there are several factors that can factor into this. To answer your questions and ease your minds, we spoke to our head jeweller who gave us the lowdown on why this might happen.
To clarify, all our silver is Sterling Silver, hallmarked at the British Assay office just down the road for us. Sterling silver is known within the jewellery trade as 92.5. 92.5 refers to the amount of pure silver that goes into the mix when making silver suitable for jewellery. Pure silver on its own is far too soft to make jewellery from, which is why it’s mixed with other metal compounds to create Sterling Silver. The silver we use is 92.5% pure silver mixed with 7.5% copper.
Copper: If your finger turns green, this could be a bad reaction to the copper that is alloyed with the silver to create Sterling Silver. This is fairly rare, and used to only affect about 2 to 3% of people. However, this number is rising due to the higher levels of acidity in our skin from our growing use of skincare products, soaps and other toiletries that contain high amounts of chemicals.
Diet: Your diet can also play a big part in how our body reacts to jewellery metals, and high intake of alcohol, drugs, fatty and acidic food and drinks will all affect how your skin react to jewellery. Eat your greens and say no to drugs!
Lack of oxygen: We recommend our customers to take off their jewellery while showering and washing their hands, using soaps, shampoos, doing the dishes, sleeping, exercising or using cleaning products. Moitsure and dirt can gather underneath the ring and cause irritation of the skin. Hot weather and sweat will only add to this and the above, sweating out the substances of the night before on a hot summer’s day.
Oxidizing over time: We chemically oxidize all our silver to get out the darker details and shading in the design. Silver will also naturally oxidize over time as it ages, which could leave a greyish or black coating on the skin.
Too much bling: We’ve had incidents where customers have had loads of jewellery from before without any issues, then all of a sudden reacts badly to a new piece. This could be harder to deal with and figure out, but it’s plausible that this could be your body reacting badly to having more jewellery added.