Custom Wire Rims ring by Brent and Jess

Will sterling turn my finger green?

Will my sterling silver ring turn my finger green
Sterling Silver is a wonderful metal for rings and is very budget friendly. However, pure silver is too soft for jewelry unless it is alloyed with stronger metals. Copper is one of the metals that is used as an alloy. The silver we use is .925 sterling, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. 
Most people will have no problem wearing sterling silver. However, 2-3% of the population have a higher acidity in their skin. This, combined with their city or town environment and the food they consume, can cause a reaction with the copper and result in a green tone on the finger. The green comes off fairly easily. However, it is not desirable for one’s wedding band to cause a finger to turn green!

This has only happened with three of our customers out of the thousands of rings we have made. We encourage you to contact us if this happens to you, because there are several solutions we can explore.


There are several different types of silver used in jewelry making. We use .925 silver, which is 92.5% pure silver alloyed with other metals, mostly copper. The other metals provide strength and durability to the sterling piece. We feel that .925 silver is the best known and most durable metal for our silver pieces.

When exposed to atmospheric pollution, sterling silver tarnishes. If you live in a particularly polluted area with a lot of industry or the burning of fossil fuels, your silver will tarnish faster. In addition, the copper in sterling silver reacts with oxygen to cause tarnish. Your skin oils and your food intake can cause tarnishing, too. Most people will find that their sterling pieces are less likely to tarnish when worn every day because the friction of the jewelry against your skin essentially polishes it.

Sometimes people’s fingers turn green when they wear silver jewelry. Contrary to myth, this happens with .925 sterling silver as well as “fake” silver. The copper in sterling silver can cause a reaction depending on your particular skin make-up, the foods you eat, and air quality where you live. This happens with 2-3% of the population, and the instances of it happening are rising due to the chemical composition of the foods available to us. If your finger turns green while wearing a sterling silver ring, there are several things you can do to keep it from happening again.

First, polish your piece with a soft cloth. If you clean the piece daily, the reaction may stop happening after a week or so.

Soak your ring in a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water for a day or two.

Make sure your skin is dry when wearing your jewelry. Take your ring off before you wash your hands and dry your finger thoroughly before putting it back on.

If your finger still turns green, there are a few jeweler’s tricks we can employ to help keep it from happening. Please contact us.

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