How Do You Keep Sterling Silver From Turning Your Finger Green?

Is your new favourite piece of sterling silver jewellery turning your finger green? Here’s your guide to find out why and how to stop it!

If you are wondering what this madness is, this ring is supposed to be sterling silver. Why is my finger green!?! Don’t panic, it’s not a rash or an allergic reaction, and there is a way you can still wear your new jewellery without ending up with green stained fingers that would put the hulk to shame.

Sterling silver is an alloy composed of 92.5% of silver, this is why the hallmark shows 925. On its own silver wouldn’t have the durability to make it suitable to be used for jewellery, so the other 7.5% of the alloy is a combination of other metals, most commonly, copper and zinc. 

When a ring turns your finger green, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been made from cheaper materials, usually the green staining is caused by a chemical reaction to the copper content in the sterling silver. This reaction is caused by pH levels on your skin, hand lotions can often be the culprit, but some people just have naturally oily skin that causes the reaction. 

So how do you still wear your new piece of jewellery? 

  • One option is to paint clear nail polish where the item will have contact with your skin, this will form a barrier between the silver and your skin and stop the reaction happening, you’ll need to periodically reapply to keep the green finger from making a reappearance!
  • A simple solution is to take off your rings before you shower, wash your hands, go swimming, etc.


Now you’re thinking, this is all well and good, but what about this green finger of mine? Because this is just discoloration on the skin, you should be able to wash off the green staining, use warm water and some hand wash, gently rub your finger with a cloth and it should disappear.


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