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What Does Green Skin Mean?

Why does some jewelry turn my skin green?


Have you ever worn a piece of jewelry you really liked for an entire day only to get home and discover that it’s left a green tint on your skin? This happens more often than you think. The root cause is the kind of metal your jewelry is made out of reacting to your skin.


Most commonly, the green hue on the skin tends to occur on hot days when we are more likely to perspire. Sweat and metals are the root cause of your skin turning green. There are some myths that because a piece of jewelry causes the skin to turn green that it must be low quality or not real. This is not the case. Much of it has to do with the alloying process that your piece underwent before you bought it.


For example, copper is usually responsible for causing a green tint on your skin. Have you ever tried wearing a pure copper balance bracelet? These usually help with arthritis and can be found at your local pharmacy. Well, after prolonged use, these bracelets, despite being made of high quality cooper, will turn your skin green if they aren’t properly cared for.


The same can be said for gold and silver. These two metals are often alloyed with copper to make them more durable. Overtime, 14K gold can be worn down and the copper it’s been mixed with can start to leave a green tint. It can happen with silver too, for the exact same reason.


So what can you do to prevent this from happening?


First, you should bring in your jewelry so we can see how much of it is alloyed with copper. This will help you understand how best to maintain your jewelry and when to wear it.


After you’ve determined that your jewelry has enough copper in it to turn your skin green, you should do the following.

  • Avoid wearing it on days when you’re more likely to sweat. Sweat and copper together are the primary causes of green skin

  • Be sure to remove your jewelry when you are showering or swimming

  • Clean your jewelry often. Build up from body oils and dirt can cause your skin to react

  • Be mindful of your cleaning solutions. Sometimes the chemical components of these cleaners can react with your pieces and cause discoloration

Ultimately, we suggest taking extra care when wearing jewelry that contains a significant amount of copper. We know that it can be time consuming, but if you want your pieces to last, and your skin to not be green, this is the way to go.


Having copper heavy jewelry should at least give you peace of mind that your pieces are durable and will last a long time.


If you notice your gold or silver jewelry turning your skin green, bring it into our store so we can have a look. Sometimes re-dipping these pieces in their primary metal can help ease the occurrence of green tint.

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