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topic 45671

Is it possible for real sterling silver to turn your finger green?


My husband and I got sterling silver wedding bands and mine is fine but his is turning his finger like a dark green color like you see with fake jewelry. I was told they were real sterling silver but is it possible it really isn't and how can I tell.

Connie M
consumer - Dallas, Texas


Dear Connie,
Sterling Silver rings have been known to cause peoples fingers to turn green. It is a reaction with the copper content in the Sterling Silver and caused by an individuals body chemistry. It is more often seen in people with very sweaty hands. Sterling Silver contains 92.5% Silver and 7.5% Copper.

Best regards,

Jim Sivertsen
Refining & Alloys - Alden, New York


Assuming each of you has a finger of appropriate diameter, swap rings for a while and see if the green follows the ring or stays with the originally stained finger.

After swapping, if your finger turns green, the ring is the problem. If your husband's finger turns green, he is the problem.

Bill Reynolds
Bill Reynolds
   consultant metallurgist
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

We sadly relate the news that Bill passed away on Jan. 29, 2010.


Connie's husband may not care for this insightful answer, Bill, which allows her to so easily prove that "he is the problem" :-)

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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