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Jewelry faux pas are extremely frustrating and, honestly, more common than you might think. Chances are, you’ve been there before. From missing pieces or gemstones to tarnished metals, there’s definitely a lot that can go wrong with your jewelry – and rings tend to be the most common victim. The dreaded green (or even black or red) finger brings on rolled eyes and sighs from ring-wearers everywhere, and it can happen as a result of a few things. Here’s a look into the reasons why your finger might become discolored while wearing a ring, as well as how you can fix and even prevent it from happening again. 

Why It Happens

A ring might turn your finger green for a variety of reasons. For fashion jewelry and once-in-a-while worn rings, this might be an annoying but generally okay thing because it’s not something you put on every single day. For more important rings like your engagement ring, this is definitely not something you want to deal with. 

One reason why a ring might turn your finger green is the composition of metals within the ring. Though a harmless interaction with your skin, it can be rather unsightly and noticeable with or without the ring on your finger. Sterling silver rings, for instance, are usually blended with another metal, like copper, for added strength and durability of the piece. Even though everyone’s skin and reactions might look different, putting copper in the mixture might be the reason why your finger is turning green underneath your ring. Your reaction to a copper and sterling silver mix could be exacerbated due to natural oils within your skin, sweating or use of skincare products or soaps on your hands. 

In terms of lower quality rings, your finger is probably turning green or red because of a nickel reaction. If you’ve ever noticed irritation or discoloration on your ear piercings after wearing inexpensive earrings, this is the same idea. Nickel reacts with your skin in a similar way and commonly includes itchiness, redness and irritation in addition to discoloration or green color. 

You might notice a discoloration on your skin that isn’t green. Don’t worry! These are generally harmless as well if not associated with itching, swelling or major irritation. Tarnish of most any metal can leave a discolored look on the wearer’s skin. This happens when your ring oxidizes, or reacts with the air or salts on your skin, causing a greyish or even black mark where the ring once was. 

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How to Prevent It From Happening

Now that you know why your ring is causing a discoloration on your finger, here’s how to help prevent that from happening despite sensitivity, oxidation, skin reactions or metal mixtures. Perhaps the most common solution is the clear nail polish trick, which is great if you’re in a pinch or need a quick fix. Simply brush on a clear polish or top coat inside the ring (where your skin comes in contact) and then let it dry before wearing. This creates a virtually unnoticeable barrier between your skin and the metal itself. If you think your finger is becoming discolored due to a product you apply to your skin, like an oil, perfume, soap or lotion, clean your finger with water before putting on your ring. 

For those looking to rid themselves permanently of this issue, consider a change in material altogether. When it comes to wedding rings, this could mean switching to something new like silicone wedding bands, which are not only more comfortable but also safe and flexible, making it easy to stay dedicated to your partner while doing most any activity. 

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The Good News

If you already have a ring that interacts with your skin or turns your finger green, there are (thankfully) a few ways to prevent this from happening. It’s also good to know that if you are considering purchasing a statement ring, wedding band or an affordable engagement ring, Modern Gents has you covered. The best part? Our rings won’t turn your finger green! Our rings are made without typical metals that cause discoloration or allergic reactions, so you can rest easy knowing your ring and your partner’s ring will stand the test of time, even if you wear it every day. 

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