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Why Does Jewelry Stain My Skin

Why Does Jewelry Stain My Skin

Picture this: you just picked up your favourite gold earrings off the rack at your local drug store, they were only $11, your wallet is happy. You put them in right away and wear them all day long. But when you get home, you take them out and notice a green circle around the earring hole on your ear. 

But why is your drugstore jewelry staining your skin? The first answer is that you aren’t wearing dainty diamond earrings. But the second reason is your skin is having a reaction to the metals used in fake jewelry. Keep reading to find out why jewelry stains your skin.

gold rings

The Truth Behind Green Skin

The green skin culprit can happen to anyone and on any part of your body. Whether you’re wearing rings, earrings, or bracelets, certain metals react poorly with chemicals or your skins natural oils creating the green stain on your skin. 


Copper is a common metal found in drug-store jewelry. Because of its cheap material, it is extremely easy to coat in a layer of gold and sell it at an inexpensive price. While you may think you’re getting a good bang for your buck, copper is actually one of the most reactive metals. 

When copper is exposed to lotions, natural skin oils, perfume or water it reacts in the form of oxidation and changes its surface colour to green. In most cases, the oxidation occurs while you’re wearing the piece of jewelry causing your skin to turn green as well. 

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is made of 92.5% pure silver, the other 7.5% is made with other metals, sometimes copper. If you find your sterling silver jewelry staining your skin green it is most likely a reaction from the copper. 

In most cases when sterling silver tarnishes, it will stain your skin with black. This reaction is caused from gasses in the air. 

However, high-quality sterling silver will be coated in rhodium, a metal used to help prevent tarnishing. Drug store silver jewelry usually won’t be coated in rhodium as it is a more costly metal. 

Gold Plated Jewelry

Most drug-store gold plated jewelry will be coated over metals like copper, whcih explain why your skin will often turn green after wearing.

Whereas high-quality gold vermeil jewelry, like dainty diamond earrings, the gold element is plated over sterling silver, which is less susceptible to tarnishing. 

Nickel Allergies

Nickel is most often found in white gold or silver jewelry and it’s one of the most common metals people are allergic to. But an allergic reaction to this metal won’t turn your skin green. Instead, your skin will feel irritated, red or itchy. 

Dainty Diamond: Jewelry that won’t stain your skin

For real gold and silver jewelry, it’s Dainty Diamond. We offer a variety of necklaces, bracelets, rings and anklets that will not turn your skin green. Have questions? Contact us for more information on high-quality gold jewelry.

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