MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Why Does Cheap Jewelry Turn Your Skin Green?

Cheap costume jewelry can really make an ensemble pop…but it can also leave you red-faced by staining your skin green. And unless you were going for the Statue of Liberty look, then that’s not a good thing.

Lady Liberty’s dye job occurred naturally, though, as she’s made of copper, and copper turns greenish when it oxidizes. Oxidation often involves some element reacting with oxygen, and it’s a similar process that causes cheap jewelry to discolor your skin. There’s a good chance the bauble in question contains copper or some other metal that takes on a new hue when it oxidizes. Heck, even things made of gold & sterling silver have been known to change color, since nowadays they’re rarely made from pure gold or pure silver. And any number of things on your skin can lead to the necessary reactions for turning your skin green: soap, lotion, even good old-fashioned sweat. And that situation isn’t always consistent, either: one day, it might not happen to you…then, on another, it could based on the heat & your skin’s sweatiness & the closeness of the item’s contact.

If you want to avoid the problem altogether, only wear white gold, stainless steel, or other materials that don’t change color. But you don’t have to immediately toss out all your cool costume jewelry just yet, because there’s a pretty effective way to keep the green from tinting your finger: just coat the underside with clear nail polish, which should work for any jewelry…though intricate bracelets & necklaces might be a little harder to paint. But isn’t it worth it to look fabulous?

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Shoot me an email: [email protected]!

BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Berryville Graphics