Ask The Jewelry Expert... Why does gold jewelry discolor and/or irritate my fingers?
Your may think that faulty manufacturing might be the problem when a Gold ring turns brown, or black in spots, discoloring your skin and clothing. However, this is not the case. Below are some causes and solutions to the problem.
Cosmetics The most common reason for Gold jewelry and finger discoloration is metallic abrasion, caused by makeup on skin or clothing. Cosmetics often contain compounds harder than the jewelry itself, which wear or rub off very tiny particles. Very finely divided metal always appears black rather than metallic, so it looks like a jet-black dust. When this dust comes into contact with absorbent surfaces such as skin or clothing, it sticks, forming a black smudge.
Corrosion Another cause is actual corrosion of the metals. Gold itself is a noble metal and does not corrode, but its primary alloys of silver or copper will do so, forming very dark chemical compounds under moist or wet conditions.
Perspiration Perspiration causes fats and fatty acids to release, and can cause corrosion of 14-karat gold, especially when exposed to warmth and air. This problem can be worse in seacoast and semitropical areas, where chlorides combine with perspiration to form a corrosive element that discolors skin. Smog fumes gradually attack jewelry and are evident as a tarnish that rubs off on the skin. Design Even the design of jewelry can be an influence. Wide shanks have more surface area to contact abrasives or corrosives. Concave surfaces inside a shank form collection points that trap moisture and contaminants, also causing a type of dermatitis.
Solutions to the problem... >Try switching cosmetics, soaps and/or Lotions. >Always remove rings and other jewelry while applying cosmetics or lotions, and clean skin areas in contact with jewelry with soap & water. >Remove all rings before sleeping, showering, swimming, using soaps, and cleaning compounds or detergents. >Clean rings frequently. >Remove jewelry often. >Use an absorbent powder, free of abrasives, on skin that comes into contact with jewelry. >>Switch to 18-karat gold or platinum. The lower alloy content of 18-karat gold 25%, versus almost 42% significantly reduces the problem, and the use of platinum should eliminate it completely. INFORMATION provided by Stuller Setting, Inc. & JWestDesigns
Independent Custom Jewelry Designer Since 1999 8465 KEYSTONE CROSSING, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46240