Many will think that faulty
manufacturing or uderkarating might be the problem when a ring
"turns," blackening, discoloring or irritating the skin and
clothing, or the jewelry itself. However, that is not the case. This guide
will help you understand the causes and how to prevent it.
The most common reason is metallic
abrasion, caused by makeup on skin or clothing. Cosmetics often contain
compounds harder than the jewelry itself, which ware or rub off very tiny
particles. Very finely divided metal always appears black rather then
metallic, so it looks like a jet-black dust. When this dust comes into contact
with absorbent surface such as skin or clothing, it sticks, forming a black
To prevent this you may try switching
cosmetics. If this is not possible, then you should remove rings and other
jewelry while applying them on, and clean skin areas that were in contact with
jewelry with soap and water.
Another cause is corrosion of the
metals. Gold itself does not corrode, but its primary alloys of silver or
copper will do so-forming very dark chemical compounds-under moist or wet
When one perspires, fats and fatty acids
released can cause corrosion of 14-karat gold, especially when exposed to
warmth and air. This problem can be worse in seacoast and semitropical areas,
where chloride combined with perspiration to form a corrosive element that
discolors skin. Smog fumes gradually attack jewelry and are evident as a
tarnish that rubs off in the skin.
A good suggestion is that you remove
your jewelry often and use an absorbent powder, free of abrasives, on the skin
that comes into contact with your jewelry.
Even the design of jewelry can be an
influence. Wide shanks have more surface area to contact abrasives or
corrosives. Concave surfaces inside a shank form collection points that trap
moisture and contaminants, also causing a type of irritation or dermatitis.
A good practice is to remove all rings
before using soaps, cleaning compounds or detergents, and clean your rings
frequently. As well as helping solve the problem, you'll be amazed at how much
better your rings look!
In addition to this corrective actions,
the next recommendation is to switch to 18-karat gold or platinum. The lower
alloy content of 18-karat gold-25%, versus almost 42%-significantly reduces
the problem, and the use of platinum should eliminate it completely because of
the purity of the metal.