Why Is My Ring Turning My Finger Black? May 01, 2018 13:25

We get this question from time to time. Mostly from women, but also from men once in a while. The answer can be quite complicated (sorry). It can be as simple as taking the ring off at night, but it can be very complex and involve medications or hand lotions.

Why does my ring turn my finger black?

The answer below was copied from one of our favorite trade magazines, InStore. This was in the April 2018 edition. It is an excellent summary of areas to investigate if your ring is causing a reaction:

"Here is some helpful information: What do you do with a customer who claims their rings are turning their finger black?

Ask her if she’s recently changed her choice of hand lotion or make-up. This is the most common cause of such smudging, as cosmetics often contain chemical compounds, which — astonishingly — are harder than the jewelry itself. When these hard compounds come in contact with jewelry metals, abrasion occurs, causing tiny particles of metal to break off as a black dust. When mixed with perspiration or other liquids, it results in the alarming black stain.

It’s also possible that a change in diet or even a new course of medication is resulting in a chemical reaction where perspiration and metal meet. If she is going swimming with her jewelry on, chlorine is another possible suspect. To prevent the smudging, suggest she avoid cosmetics that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ferric oxide and calamine.

Also, tell her to try removing the rings while applying cosmetics and cleaning her fingers with soap and water in areas that will be in contact with her jewelry. Finally, if the problem persists, suggest she consider having the inside of the bands coated with rhodium to prevent such a reaction."
InStore Magazine "Ask InStore" April 2018 edition