We all know the disappointment of buying a cheap piece of jewellery and after a few weeks the dreaded green finger mark appears as the thin plated silver / gold wears off.
Bizarrely with solid sterling silver a green mark can appear in the first few days of being worn. The difference being, this stops after a few days as your skin gets used to the new ring. It only affects a handful of people. We do not use any kind of platings or coatings on any of our jewellery.
In the UK, the jewellery industry is tightly regulated. We partner with the Birmingham Assay Office who verifies the metal we use is 100% solid sterling silver, this is a legal requirement when pieces weigh over 7.78g!
So what is causing the green marking?
Sterling silver is 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% copper (the copper is added to strengthen the silver and make it more durable). The stain is usually a result of the copper reacting with your skin. Acid from your sweat or something on your skin eg. hand lotion can react with the copper to create copper salts. This then marks the skin. Some people might not experience any discolouration at all, it is down to your own body chemistry! Some people who have worn silver for years can randomly have a sudden reaction to a new piece of jewellery they've added to the collection. This is strange but could be attributed to more copper being worn. Again it will only be temporary.
The polish we use!
We use a plant based environmentally friendly polish that is non-toxic for us humans to use in the workshop. It gives a brilliant shine and we soak the rings in a warm ultrasonic bath after polishing to remove any remnants. However, it's possible for some polish to remain, when the rings are then worn on warm hands the natural oils in hands can cause the polish remnants to leave a mark on the skin. With hand washing this mark will go in a day or so!
Other factors include creams you may be using and not drying hands well. If you notice a green mark it's best to wash your hands to clean the area, dry it well and then keep wearing your ring. In really rare cases, the reaction can become red and a bit sore, this may indicate a more severe reaction to the copper in which case give your finger a decent break from the ring and try again when it's healed.
Any questions, give us a shout!!