Q:

Does sterling silver turn your skin green?

A:

Quick Answer

Copper within the sterling silver is the likely culprit when a piece of jewelry turns its wearer's skin green, according to About.com. The green color on the skin is not dangerous, but some people may have a rash or other reaction.

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Does sterling silver turn your skin green?
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Full Answer

Sterling silver is generally composed of 92.5 percent pure silver, and the remaining 7.5 percent usually contains copper, according to SnailSilver. The presence of copper can cause green skin, although it may indicate that the jewelry is of lower quality than sterling silver. Silver-plated jewelry and lower-quality silver alloys have higher copper content, according to SnailSilver, so they are more likely to cause skin to turn green. Exposure to acids causes sterling silver jewelry to oxidize and tarnish, notes About.com, and this tarnish darkens the skin.

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Related Questions

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    Why does sterling silver turn black?

    A:

    Sterling silver turns black or tarnishes due to a chemical reaction caused by contact with sulfur or hydrogen. Some foods or everyday items containing sulfur can cause tarnishing, but even polluted air can turn sterling silver black.

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    What is better, silver or sterling silver?

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    Silver is considered to be higher-quality than sterling silver. Silver is comprised nearly completely of silver, while sterling silver is an alloy that is comprised of silver and other metals.

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    Why does my ring turn my finger green?

    A:

    A ring turns a finger green because of a chemical reaction involving the metal mixed with acid naturally present in a person's skin. The higher the acidity level in an individual's skin, the quicker the discoloration occurs. The type and grade of metal of the ring also contributes to the possibility and speed at which discoloration occurs.

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    What element is a shiny reddish metal?

    A:

    Copper is a metallic element known for its reddish-brown coloration and luster. It is signified by the atomic symbol Cu and is notable for its high thermal and electrical conductivity, which is second only to silver among elements. Twenty-eight isotopes of copper are known to exist.

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