In Maine, the only digit we hope to be green is our thumb.
Why Does Gold Discolor Fingers?
Nope – it’s not faulty manufacturing or under karating when a ring “turns,” blackening or discoloring the skin and clothing, or the jewelry itself.
The most common reason is metallic abrasion, caused by makeup on skin or clothing. Cosmetics often contain compounds harder than the jewelry itself, which wear or rub off very tiny particles. Very finely divided metal always appears black rather than metallic, so it looks like a jet-black dust. When this dust comes into contact with absorbent surfaces such as skin or clothing, it sticks, forming a black smudge.
To prevent this, try switching cosmetics. If this is not possible, remove rings and other jewelry while applying cosmetics, lotions etc. and clean skin areas in contact with jewelry with soap and water. You can try using an absorbent power, free of abrasives, on skin that comes in contact with jewelry.
Another cause of discoloration is actual corrosion of the metals. Gold itself does not corrode, but its primary alloys of silver or copper will do so (forming very dark chemical compounds) under moist or wet conditions. While perspiring, fats and fatty acids released can cause corrosion of 14-karat gold, especially when exposed to warmth and air.
Chlorine in pools, spas or showers are corrosive to metals. So, Heidi Klum, as much as we love seeing you in our pool, it’s best to leave your jewelry at home. The same before going to the gym and definitely take jewelry off before jumping into the hot tub!
The design of jewelry can be an influence. Wide shanks have more surface area to contact abrasives or corrosives. Concave surfaces inside a shank form collection points that trap moisture and contaminants, also causing a type of dermatitis.
It’s best to remove all rings before using soaps, cleaning compounds or detergents, and clean your rings frequently. As well as solving the problem, you will be amazed at how much better your rings look!
If the problem persists, we often recommend switching to 18-karat gold or platinum. The lower alloy content of 18-karat gold (25%, versus almost 42%) significantly reduces the problem, and the use of platinum should eliminate it completely.
If you have a piece that’s particularly troubling, stop by Pyramid Studios in downtown Ellsworth and maybe we can find a solution.
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