Metal Reactions

    What is Sterling Silver
    Silver is a precious metal and much like gold it is too fine to be made in a 100% form. To make it durable for jewerly, pure silver (999 fineness) is often alloyed with small quantities of copper (7.5%), thus comes sterling silver (92.5% or .925). Copper is added to strengthen the silver and make it durable to be use as a decorative or in fashionable jewerly.

    Why does silver tarnish?
    The tarnish is due to exposure from sulfur and oxygen. Common sources of sulfur in the atmosphere include food (such as eggs and onions) and materials (such as wool and rubber bands). When jewelry starts to tarnish, it will take on a yellowish color. Without cleaning, the yellow becomes brown or black. If jewelry is worn regularly, it will generally not tarnish. The oils in the skin and the act of handling the jewelry keep it shiny longer.

    Why do my sterling items tarnish quickly?
    Many people wear sterling silver and note that their silver will tarnish sooner than others'. Approx 5% of the population have an acidic perspiration that affect the level of tarnish on silver.

    Also, many medications can affect the acidic concentration in your skin. Individuals’ skin reacts differently to metals and some who have a highly acidic skin may tarnish silver more quickly than others. Avoid cleaning products, chlorine, hairspray and perfume as these can affect the level of tarnish, and damage the sterling silver. There are some great internet articles which discuss this. You may find it helpful to research this on the internet if you are in this 5%.
    (we suggest searching the internet using these keywords..... sterling silver tarnish skin).

    My skin is green

  • Sterling silver 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloys, usually copper.
  • Copper reacts to the acidity in some people and turns skin green

    Have you ever noticed an old copper penny can appear green...or that old copper pot at your grandmothers house has a green appearance. Even the copper patina on the trendy decor items have a light green hue.

    Copper reacts to the acidity in some people and turns skin green. The piece you're wearing might not be pure copper, but it might have enough copper in it to cause a reaction, and some people seem to have body chemistry that's prone to staining. The most common stains from sterling silver jewelry are black, and occur when the metal tarnishes (darkens due to a reaction with gases in the air).

    Has your silver jewelry ever left greenish or black marks on your skin? It's happened to most of us at least once or twice, and even though some people are allergic to certain materials, most staining isn't caused by an allergy--it's a reaction between our skin and the metals used in jewelry, especially when the jewelry touches areas that perspire.

    Here is an article that explains this reaction
    http://jewelry.about.com/od/jewelrymetals/a/skin_reactions.htm

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