Everything You Need to Know: Does Sterling Silver Turn Your Skin Green

Everything You Need to Know: Does Sterling Silver Turn Your Skin Green

It is never an easy process to find the perfect jewelry. It can be easy to get excited when you finally find the perfect sterling silver jewelry that reflects your personality and blends in your daily fashion sense. There might be a downside that you might notice when you wear your silver jewelry, which is having a green tint on your skin.

Anyone who has ever worn any silver jewelry would have experienced this minor inconvenience, especially on finger that you put on your silver ring. You are most likely to get in contact with moisture or chemicals or even to perform any activity using fingers. It is the time where your silver ring be exposed to possibility of sterling silver turn green. You be wondering  also why does 925 sterling silver turn your finger green, is it because of the quality or any other aspect that affects the silver; but there is more to this green tint than just the quality of your silver jewelry piece or time. Understanding why certain jewelry turns skin green will help you understand what you can do to both avoid and solve this problem.

Will Sterling Silver Turn My Skin Green?

If you’re wondering why does sterling silver turn your skin green, here are five common reasons to explain why skin discoloration happens: -

1. Weather

Weather plays a large role in silver discoloration, especially if the weather is hot or humid outside. One of the most common reasons why jewelry made of sterling silver turn finger green by leaving the green stains on your skin is due to the moisture stuck between the silver ring and your skin. This moisture leads to the chemical reaction with the copper present in the sterling silver and eventually caused sterling silver change color.

2. Products

When sterling silver jewelry turns skin green, it could be the chemical reaction that occurs between the sterling silver and ingredients in the certain products such as personal care that includes perfume, skin lotion, sunscreen; or food products that contain sulfur which includes eggs, onions, mustard etc. The chemical ingredients present in the creams or liquids will caused sterling silver oxidize, leaving tarnish sterling silver jewelry turns skin green.

3. Low Quality Jewelry

Rings made of subpar silver material often with high tendency of causing sterling silver change color and leaving green stain on your skin. It may not be sterling silver but on silver plated onto metals with high percentage of cooper. It is essential to make sure that the sterling silver jewelry you own are made of genuine 925 sterling silver combination. However, there is also possibility of .925 sterling silver turn your finger green, with lower tendency as compared to lower quality jewelry. It is because the stain can also be caused when you purchased and wear with other lower quality jewelry.

4. Type of Base Metal

The type of metal used in your jewelry plays a large role in the silver discoloration that affects the discoloration of your finger. Some of the common metals that can cause skin discoloration include copper and brass. However, there will be 7.5% of combination of copper and other metals in 925 sterling silver for durability in creating the jewelry. Therefore, it does not necessary means that tarnish jewelry is a piece of cheap jewelry even if it is made of genuine 925 sterling silver composition. It is required to bear in mind that every metal oxidizes after certain period of time, every person’s skin reacts differently towards the metal and method of taking care of the jewelry.

5. Sweat

Sweat is another cause for moisture that speed up the reaction between the metal and skin. Sweats can cause silver discoloration when sweat comes in touch between your skin and your sterling silver jewelry. This is due to the raise of acidity level on your skin, it speed up the reaction taken place and could tarnish sterling silver.

Types of Jewelry Metals That Turns Your Skin Green

When it comes to finding the causes of green fingers, the type of metal used in making jewelry can heavily influence skin and silver discoloration. You might have doubts if 925 sterling silver is entirely the cause of green fingers.

As mentioned previously, pure sterling silver will not turn your skin green. However, it can also not be made into sterling silver jewelry on its own. Generally, there will be a part of a metal alloy with abstracted materials such as copper or nickel, and these abstracted components may cause your skin to have a green tint.

Today we will be comparing sterling silver to other common types of jewelry metals and how they cause skin discoloration.

1. Copper

Copper is one of the most commonly used metals in jewelry making as well as the largest contributor to the green fingers. Oxidation is the chemical reaction that happens when copper is exposed to oxygen in the air, sweat and other oils on your skin, this can lead to your fingers having a green stain. Therefore, if you have high sensitivities to copper, you should avoid picking copper as the base metal of your ring band.

2. Nickel

Nickel is one of the most affordable metals used in making jewelry and one of the most common rings band metals that causes discoloration. Similar to copper, nickel is prone to oxidize when exposed to certain chemicals which can stain your skin green. People with high sensitivity towards nickel may also face itchiness as well as red marks on their skin. Thus, Eleganzia Jewelry are all nickel-free, which makes all our jewelry safe for sensitive skin people with comfort wearing.

3. Brass

Brass is a type of metal alloy that contains primarily a blend of copper and other elements such as zinc. Due to the fact that brass has a chemical mixture that contains mainly copper, brass-based ring bands will most likely give you green fingers as well.

4. Bronze

Bronze jewelry has become quite the trend among jewelry fashion, particularly handcrafted minimalist jewelry pieces. However, bronze is a cheaper metal that is more likely to cause skin discoloration as compared to higher-quality jewelry metal such as sterling silver, gold or even white gold. Bronze rings would make a lovely addition to your jewelry collection, but they are not made to last forever.

5. Gold

Gold is one of the jewelry metals that is less likely to cause skin discoloration because of its chemical components. However, people with sensitive skin may find that gold rings can still turn their skin green. Green skins can happen for gold-plated jewelry, as the gold is coated on the outside.

6. Rhodium

Rhodium is one of the higher quality metals used in jewelry-making, and it is often used to plate jewelry and enhance the base metal’s durability. Pure rhodium won’t give you green skin, but since rhodium is not a malleable brittle metal, it cannot be made into jewelry ring bands. Similar to sterling silver, rhodium is often combined with or plated over other base jewelry metals that could potentially turn your skin green.

7. Stainless Steel

Similar to pure silver, pure stainless steel is one of the least likely metals that turns your fingers green. This is often because stainless steel is not combined with other base metals such as copper. However, be aware and careful not to let your stainless steel rings rust.

8. Sterling Silver

925 sterling silver is one of the most popular precious metals used in producing jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry often contains a tiny bit of copper extract, which can potentially turn your skin greenish.


Despite the minor setbacks, sterling silver is a popular option for jewelry lovers. Sterling silver is the perfect material for making hypoallergenic jewelry that is safe for sensitive skin, is affordable, as well as provides a positive boost of energy stimulation and focus to the wearer.

How to Keep Sterling Silver From Tarnishing?

Nothing improves your mood and adds character to your daily wear like sterling silver rings. Therefore, it is crucial for you to keep your favorite jewelry rings in good condition so that you can wear them for a long time. Here are a few tips you can follow to preserve the quality of your sterling silver jewelry and prevent them from giving you green fingers: -
  • Keep your silver rings individually in pouches or cases in cool, dry places.
  • Consider storing your sterling silver rings in sealed airtight bags to prevent any humidity and oxidation.
  • 925 Sterling Silver is a sturdy material, so you do not need to polish your sterling silver jewelry on a regular basis.
  • When you polish your silver rings, you should polish them with up-and-down strokes instead of circles. Polishing your sterling silver rings in circles can cause the tarnishing to worsen.
  • Never use chemical liquid jewelry cleaners to clean your silver rings. Instead, try a simple microfiber cloth or specially designed sterling silver jewelry polishing cloth, and clean them with appropriate and gentle chemicals.
  • Always remove your jewelry rings when you are doing things that involve strong heat, sunlight, harsh chemicals, water and sweat.


In general, the best policy is to always keep your sterling silver jewelry dry. If you’re curious about knowing more about sterling silver jewelry care, check out our article about how to clean sterling silver jewelry here.




In conclude, does sterling silver change color? Yes, they do as time passed by and without proper care.

Green fingers are a common occurrence when you’re a frequent jewelry ring wearer. Don’t forget that green fingers don’t necessarily mean that you have brought cheap and low-quality jewelry rings. The composition of .925 Sterling Silver can sometimes lead to green skin due to the copper abstract. It also comprises a lot of possibilities as mentioned above, but most importantly the method of taking care of sterling silver jewelry that makes the huge difference in the tarnish condition.

Overall, green fingers are generally harmless and there are easy ways to prevent discoloration from happening, and it shouldn’t stop you from wearing fine silver jewelry. So what are you waiting for? Check out Eleganzia Jewelry today and find your newest favorite sterling silver jewelry, promising with nickel-free, lead-free and cadmium-free metals that suitable for sensitive skin people.


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