Gold Ring Turns Finger Green: Why and What to Do?


Many people often complain a green or black stain around their finger as they remove the ring. Mostly people get confused over this as they don’t have enough knowledge about the problem. So is it the time to give up on your favorite accessory? Or there is some solution to the issue. Here is a detailed guide to let you know the reasons why gold ring turns finger green or discolored.

Facts Behind Finger Discoloration

Is it some kind of allergic reaction? Many cases of allergic reactions have been reported as a result of wearing some metal accessory. Actually, no! An allergy would always result in swelling, itching and redness of the skin, not discoloration.

The green circle is actually the result of a chemical reaction between your skin acids and the metals (other than gold) used in the making of the ring. The higher your body acidity level, the easier it stains. Wearing a 24 karat (pure gold) ring does not mean it’s 100% pure gold. 24 karat gold is not only soft and light but also has quite low wear resistance. To make it harder and worth wearing, jewelers these days, use many other metals and alloys with gold like copper, nickel or silver, and those metals are what react with skin acids to turn your finger green.

Other Contributing Factors

The main reason behind it is the secretions that our skin produce. These secretions could be perspiration or greasiness on your skin by using some lotion or moisturizer. People who sweat more or exercise on daily basis are most likely to face this problem. Or in some cases, getting stress also cause perspiration.

These skin chemicals contain salt (sodium chloride) or other acidic properties (lactic acid). And when these skin secretions dissolve with the ring chemicals, the gold ring turns finger green. With each chemical used in the ring, you will experience different colors. If the alloy material is copper, you will have green or blue color on your skin. And pure green would result if the ring is made of nickel mostly. This color formation around the finger is not harmful and can be washed away with a bit of effort on your part.

Examples of Gold Ring and Whether They Stain


Pure Gold

24 Karat is pure gold, to give it a form of ring, other metals need to be mixed. Real gold never turns your skin green. But the mixed metals like copper and palladium may cause your skin turn green or black.



It’s a thick gold coated layer over metal like brass. This type of jewelry is long lasting and barely changes color and does not cause discoloration on skin. People with over-sensitive skin type may face some effects by the mixed metals.


Gold Vermeil

The gold coated jewelry has around 10kt gold covering on pure silver sterling. It does not cause discoloration or irritation on your skin because both gold and silver are purely harmless metals. The gold covering may fade away by the time.



With thin layer of gold over it, gold plated jewelry is made up of copper or other base metals. The gold coating over it will eventually wear off, revealing the inside base metals. That can react on the skin and eventually gold ring turns finger green.


Fake Gold

People buy fake gold rings as it costs them less. But again it has been made of various alloys mostly copper. Copper reacts with skin acids and causes skin discoloration.


White Gold

Most of the white gold that we buy these days is not pure. It consists of rhodium plating or nickel. And it oxidizes with your skin turning it in dark green.

Different jewelers use different percentages of metals for gold rings. Table of examples as explained by Ebay:

Is it Due to Iron Deficiency or Pregnancy?

Some theories suggest gold ring turns finger green because of iron deficiency or anemia in the user’s body. Though it is not a proved theory but it can be related to skin discoloration. PH level in your body can get effected by the iron levels in your blood. If the PH level turns more acidic, it may cause a chemical reaction with the metals in the ring like copper and nickel.

The same goes for pregnancy, because the only reason why the rings are turning your finger green, it’s because of the chemical reaction.

Quick Fixes to Avoid Discoloration and Prevention Measures

Let’s have a look at some important points that can be followed to face this skin discoloration issue.

No Need to Stress!

If something like this happens to you, don’t get panic. It is normal and not harmful in any way. As the ring is removed, the green color would also wear off with in sometime.


Say No to Low Cost Jewelry!

No doubt, low cost jewelry costs you less but it is more likely to oxidize with your skin. So the best to do is to avoid such jewelry pieces and look for jewelry items made from stainless steel, platinum and rhodium plated jewelry.


Keep Ring Away from Water

The best you can do is to remove your ring or any other piece of jewelry before washing your hands or before any other task that can dampen it.


Coat Your Ring

If you find it hard to remove your accessory each time, apply a polymer coating (or simply apply your clear nail polish) on it and let it dry before putting it on. This will refrain the direct contact of skin with the metal. Reapply, if it wears off.


No Sweat!

Gold ring turns finger green because of sweating too. Try your best to keep your ring away from sweat or perspiration. Remove it if you exercise or do anything that cause sweating.


Keep it Clean!

Make it habitual to clean your jewelry on weekly basis. Use polishing cloth to wipe silver jewelry. This will lessen the chances of skin oxidization.