What would you do if your brand new jewelry suddenly started turning your skin green? You’d be (understandably) very upset, and you might assume the quality of the ring was poor. But you could be wrong!

It's true that costume jewelry and cheap, low-quality pieces can turn your finger green, but do you know why? It's because these pieces are often made of brass, copper or nickel, and some people are allergic to these metals. The reaction is what causes your finger to turn green.

It's also possible for high-quality fine jewelry to turn your finger green. Pure 24k gold is too soft for use in fine jewelry, so other metals are added to make it harder and more durable. These often include copper for rose gold, and nickel for yellow and white gold. Some people are simply so allergic to these added metals that even the small amounts of copper or nickel in 18k gold can cause their skin to turn green—including our own CMO, Brittany Bozmoski.

Shortly after Brittany got engaged, her 18k yellow gold ring started turning her finger green. The way to fix the problem is to use a hypoallergenic metal. The most popular one is platinum, but palladium is also hypoallergenic. Palladium tends to be more difficult to work with, so it is typically only used in very simple designs. Platinum is much easier to work with, so it is a much more common choice.

Brittany was set on having a yellow gold ring, so she and our jewelry designers worked on solutions that would reduce the contact between the gold and her finger. First, they tried simply ‘lining’ the inside of the ring with platinum. While that would have prevented Brittany’s finger from changing color, she didn’t love the look.

Instead, they reworked the design, making the internal rope design feature more prominent and casting those inner pieces in palladium. The rest remained 18k yellow gold. Now, there is more of a buffer of palladium between the ring and Brittany’s skin, and she loves the design. Win, win!

Want to know more? Our Metal Types blog can help!

Questions? Let us know in the comments, or give us a call at 877-202-9044.