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Sterling Silver ring turning finger black

Hello Everyone,

Had a question about a sterling silver ring I made for my daughter’s
25th birthday about six months ago. She wanted a sterling silver
wide band with a blue star sapphire. I made the ring and she was
thrilled with it and has been wearing it a lot. In the last few
weeks a black line has appeared on the inside of the band, probably
wear it was soldered together. But it has also left a large black
mark on her finger. She’s very sensitive to metals and can’t wear
many without breaking out in a rash but sterling has never bothered
her in the past. Is this just tarnish on the ring and on her finger?
She works in a restaurant and is exposed to a lot of grease,
detergents, etc. Could this be causing the problem?. I’m sure I can
polish off the black on the ring but I don’t know what to tell her
about her finger!

any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks in advance

Sue in Ohio

Sounds like the makeup of the solder might be the problem. Just a
guess. If she’s that sensitive to metals, it might be the lower
amount of silver in the solder. Don’t know beyond that.


It sounds like something I’ve seen before, and usually has to do
with sulfur content in the skin. But since it’s only this ring and no
other sterling pieces, maybe it’s something to do with a new
detergent at work?

Hello Sue!!!

Is she having trouble cleaning the black mark on her finger??? This
happens to my Mom too. Once she told me that they explained her that
it could be her oun PH, to acid probably. It could be the same with
your daughter, but caused by the exposure of grease and detergents at
the restaurant. Her PH might not be balanced.

Have a nice day

I would suspect that perhaps there is a high acidic content in the
persons body at the times that the finger or neck turns black when
one we-ares it. This high acidic rate can be temporary and managed at
best by the amount of acid in foods are eaten or taken. Oranges and
Grapefruit are good for colds but will turn precious metals black if
the acidic rate is high.

Thank you, Stephen

I had an employee who’s body chemistry ate right through silver
solder twice. Did not affect the sterling ring, just the solder.
Second time I used white gold solder, No problem after that.

Richard Hart

Sue in Ohio

I think it has to do with your body chemistry. My first husband
fingers would tarnish black terrible when he wore sterling silver
rings. We had to switch to gold. He was a mechanical engineer and
handled a lot of metal parts all day long. He and his co-workers
noticed that the spots where his he touched the machine parts finger
prints would appear very fast and the parts that were in his office
that sat around a while after he had touched them would rust from his
hand prints. This did not happen with the other engineers. Go figure!
My very amateur thoughts were he may have had a high body acid
content. Does anyone out there in orchid land have any expertise in
the matter?

Cathy Wheless