Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Wednesday, 9 September 2015

How To Stop Rings Turning Your Fingers Green

How To Stop Rings Turning Your Fingers Green

The Debrief: It's relatively simple, and you'll kick yourself for having not thought of it yourself

It's the same old story - girl buys ring, girl feels cool in ring, ring makes her hand look like an alien, everyone shuns girl, girls dies alone. Thankfully, there is a way you can break the cycle of rings turning your finger a bizarre shade of greenish grey and yes, it can still happen with silver rings. It doesn't mean your silver ring is fake so don't throw it into the fires of Mordor just yet.

Why do rings turn my finger green?

Certain metals react either with your skin, your sweat or a certain lotion you're using, which makes it go green. It's associated with cheapy rings because a lot of them are either copper, which is the most common culprit, or copper plated - so the moment the covering metal rubs off, and the copper comes through, then you're got yourself an alien digit. It's not just cheap rings though; silver can also make your finger look gross, because it oxidises after coming into contact with certain acids. Also, if a sterling silver ring hasn't been properly 'pickled' (sterling silver is a mix of silver and copper, and when heated by a jeweler the copper can turn into copper oxide which leaves green marks. To prevent this, it's pickled in a solution of sodium bisulphite which gets rid of all that) then it can leave your finger as green as a pickle. Pickle is, inadvertently, what my younger sister calls me as a term of endearment.

Cool. How do I stop this occurring?

If it's sterling silver, then pickle your ring, baby. Soak it for a two days in a 50/50 mix of water and ammonia (you can buy this from most supermarkets, surprisingly) and it should immediately solve the problem. Immediately as in, after two days of pickle-time. If you've got a cheap ass ring, then try painting the inside of it with clear nail varnish. This isn't a longterm solution as the varnish will erode a bit and you'll have to top it up from time to time but it definitely works, and doesn't just work on rings either - you can do it on watches, bracelets and necklaces if you get alien neck syndrome (i.e. your necklace turns your neck green) and nobody will know because it's clear.

Cool, no, really cool actually. Any other tips?

Yeah, avoid covering the ring (and ring finger) in lotions and soaps because that can cause green stains - as can chlorine in swimming pools so wash that shit off fastidiously before popping on that cheap Claire's Accessories, er, accessory. If you can't cope with the idea of a ring possibly turning your finger green, then opt for stainless steel, platinum and rhodium-plated jewelry, which includes almost all white gold. Fancy, yes, but way less likely to cause any colouration problems.

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Tags: Fashion So-Called Rules