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Finishes and skin discoloration


#1

Hello :), this topic may seem to be a bit low level for this
forum, but im sure someone knows the answer, perhaps all. <by the
way, thanks for all the response to my joining, what a great
place > I’ve had a few college course in jewerly making and
silversmithing and am pleased to say it is a wonderfuly
fulfilling hobby. However, I must be forgetting something,
because I teach High School art and I work after school with kids
who want to try their hand at metal work. Mostly they want to do
bands and wearable items. We work through the grits on paper,
and degrease and buff with tripoli and rouge. After this I’m
stuck. Most of the work is leaving a discoloration where worn,
(copper, brass, nicker silver). Is it the material? or the
finish? I’ve tried waxes for protection of surface and as a
barrier, but with no success, is there something extremely basic
I’m overlooking? Well, we thank you for any response :slight_smile: Terry
Swift


#2
Most of the work is leaving a discoloration where worn,
(copper, brass, nicker silver). Is it the material? or the
finish?

Copper, brass and nickel silver will all leave marks where worn.
Some people are highly alergic to these metals as well. You
might try using some sort of laquor (ie. fingernail polish) on
the areas that touch skin. This may help for a time until the
coating starts to wear and flake off.

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego
mailto:brixner@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brixner


#3
  Most of the work is leaving a discoloration where worn,
(copper, brass, nicker silver). Is it the material?

Probably. Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast.
Arthritus brecelets for example.[they don’t work BTY] About the
best fix is to tell the wearer to wear the piece when showering.
This works for bracelets,or such without stones.

I sometimes combine brass or copper with silver, but place
silver next to the body

Anything you paint, plate, wipe, or dip will come off

If it weren’t for electricity we’d all be watching television by candlelight.

Bobert


#4

Dear Terence: The discoloration is caused by the metals that
your students are using(ie: copper, brass and nickel silver)
These metals when worn against the skin will cause a nasty
greenish hue to the wearers skin. It is caused by the chemical
reaction from oils and acids released by the skin. Maybe you
should try having them make their final wearable pieces in
Sterling (relatively inexpensive). When I was in school they
taught us the techniques on the cheap metals, and when we had
mastered the technique we could move on to precious metals…The
price difference between the cheaper metals and the move to
Sterling silver is negligable…so your students would have
wearable piece of jewellery they can cherish forever!


#5

Terry all of the metals you mentioned will react to the natural
acids in the skin and turn the finger green or black. Silver is
very cheap and only turns on about half as many people. or you
can setup a plating system and gold plate the items but that can
get expensive. I have heard that you can use a battery charger
for the plating machine but i don’t know how.


#6

Hi!

It has always been in my case that unless you are using one of
the more valuable metals (such as silver or gold) most other
materials will leave some discoloration (and it varies from
person to person, some have problems, some don’t, i guess it
depends on the ph level of that particular person.)

Try using some of the conventional acrylic sealers (clear nail
polish works well),

Bryan Steagall
@bsteagal


#7

I once had a student who was so reactive to copper that I could
watch the fingerprints appear on the metal as she lifted her
hands from it. Unreal!

Marilyn Smith


#8
  The discoloration is caused by the metals that your students
are using(ie: copper, brass and nickel silver) These metals
when worn against the skin will cause a nasty greenish hue to
the wearers skin.  

18K gold turns my finger greenish grey! This happens every time
a wear the ring that has 18K stamped on it . . .


#9
18K gold turns my finger greenish grey!  This happens every time
a wear the ring that has 18K stamped on it . . .

I also have an 18K gold ring that turns my finger green,
although it doesn’t happen all the time, usually after I’ve eaten
something with tomatoes. Especially after eating Ohio home grown
tomatoes. So— when I plan to wear that ring I stay away from
acidy tomatoes.

Nancy

@nbwidmer


#10

Nancy Do you think maybe it could be that the 18K was alloyed
using silver to give it a more green color? Do you have a
reaction to silver? I’m intrigued. Michael


#11
Nancy Do you think maybe it could be that the 18K was alloyed
using silver to give it a more green color? Do you have a
reaction to silver? I'm intrigued. Michael

Michael - No I don’t have a reaction to silver. I doubt it was
alloyed using silver, but I really don’t know. It is an old ring
custom made for my mother by a very reputable jeweler.


#12

I once had a student who was so reactive to copper that I could
watch the fingerprints appear on the metal as she lifted her
hands from it. Unreal!

It’s real allright! I am one of those super acidic people
myself! It would amaze my teacher as well when I was in
school.-Carrie Nunes