(Closed) Ummm, what is this?

posted 9 years ago in Rings
Post # 32
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@Mars62312:  I have a nickel sensitivity and I get that reaction you are having.  I began getting that green/dark ash tint on my ears/fingers with nickel mixed ‘surgical steel’ or silver jewelery in my teens.  

I’m from the camp of being very specific when working with a jeweler on getting a mixed alloy gold ring WITHOUT the nickel use.  Palladium or Plat mix is the least ‘reactive’ metal alloys.  I’m so sensitive that I forego the plating/dipping due to additional reactions to the cyanide or whatever the hell cheap chemical-bond treatment they use on white gold.

Post # 33
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

@plchansen:  + 1. this happened to my mom. Definitely something to look into!

Post # 34
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This happens sometimes with my family ring which is a 10K yellow gold ring which I have been wearing every single day for the past eight years.  I tend to just ignore the dark mark but mine is not quite as bad as yours and it only happens a few days out of the year.  I agree with those who are saying that it is not dirt but a skin reaction.

PS: It has yet to happen with my engagement ring or wedding band which are both 18K yellow gold.

Post # 35
5592 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

It’s just a chemical reaction with your skin.  This is actually one of my party tricks.  If I take a yellow gold piece of jewelry and rub it against my skin, I can draw/write things and it looks like someone came at me with a black crayon.

Post # 36
1809 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@dlbaqua:  +1

Post # 37
319 posts
Helper bee


I thought that meant you have an iron deficiency.  That might be an old wives tale though.

Post # 39
7225 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Sounds like a nickel reaction to me. There’s nickel in generally all metals (Some is made with palladium but it is very expensive) and to get around this most jewelery is dipped in palladium or rhodium. It’s a cheaper alternative and it generally “looks nicer” (This is subjective), so what this looks like to me is your plating has worn off.

I would take it to a different jeweler and tell them what’s up. Body chemistry does play a role in it but I wouldn’t say it’s an iron issue. Iron doesn’t usually react so violently with the skin. There used to be an old wive’s tale that you could tell if you were getting enough iron by rubbing a gold ring on your skin. If it tarnished, you weren’t, but I believe it’s just been proven to be a wive’s tale unless someone has some evidence otherwise.

In the meantime you can swipe a clear coat of nail polish on the inside. It will prevent the nickel from tarnishing and rubbing off on you. Don’t worry, it’s not going to hurt your ring and it’s easily chipped off with a fingernail or a q-tip in a little diluted nail polish remover.

Post # 40
8409 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@Hyperventilate:  Just wanted to back you up in case anyone is skeptical of the nail polish thing — it’s true. Many jewelers use nail polish when rhodium plating, to cover parts of a piece that aren’t supposed to get the white color (like the yellow gold of a two-tone piece, or even a diamond!) After the rhodium dip, it gets swished around in nail polish remover and ta da! So yes, nail-polishing the inside of a gold ring is perfectly safe.

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