Jewelers! What kind of metals won't turn my skin green?

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Original Post

AmyEsther says

So, I'm looking to buy a ring for myself, but my budget is rather limited.

I know that in the past, cheap rings (made of some silvery looking metal?) have made my fingers turn green. Also, earrings that aren't gold have had a tendency to irritate my ears.

What do you think? Does that mean I can only get a gold ring? Or are there other (cheaper!) materials that I could consider?

I'd like something I could wear every day!

Posted at 11:33 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT


I would try out sterling silver or gold filled.

Posted at 11:38 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

AmyEsther says

Forgive my sterling silver different from what is in a cheapo drugstore ring? That's the sort of thing that irritated my hand back when i wore them in middle school...

Posted at 11:45 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

Triplelle says

Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver. The crap you find in a cheapo drugstore ring is only silver by color, not by content...usually they're alloys of nickel and/or aluminum.

Fine silver (99.9% pure) should not turn you black or green either.

Posted at 11:48 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

yes, sterling silver is a precious metal. Most people are able to wear sterling silver.

May I suggest for a ring?

Posted at 11:50 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

GoTo says

cheapo-drugstore ring would be "base metal". Sterling silver would be muchhhhhhh better.

Have you tried making earings with plastic hooks?

Posted at 11:50 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

Triplelle says

Oh, back to your original question...sterling is more expensive than it used to be, but it's still MUCH more reasonable than gold. (Sterling is hovering in the vicinity of $20-ish dollars per ounce, as opposed to the $900-ish dollars per ounce for gold.)

You might be able to get away with silver plated, as well. That's a piece of mystery metal that's been plated with a very thin layer of fine silver. Bad news there is that it wears off, and the underlying metal might give you a reaction.

I wear sterling silver rings every day. They do eventually wear out or at the very least need refinishing, but they're pretty darn sturdy if well constructed!

Posted at 11:50 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

AmyEsther says

Ah, thank you, triplelle. That makes sense. Have you heard of sterling silver irritating skin, or does it usually have a high enough silver content to avoid that?

(I know every person will react a little differently, I'm just trying to get a sense before I plunk down a bunch of money!)

Posted at 11:51 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

mailled says

I'll vote for sterling or gold-filled as well. I have sensitive skin and neither bothers me...

Posted at 11:52 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

Krishenka says

Hi Amy

I use ring mounts which have no nickel content in them and they have never gone green yet, they are fully adjustable to so no need to worry about will it fit me.

Have a look and see if there is something that might take your fancy, if not happy hunting

Posted at 11:52 pm Jul 14, 2008 EDT

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