​Why Do Some Golds Leave A Green Mark On The Skin?

​Why Do Some Golds Leave A Green Mark On The Skin?

May 19th 2022

The cause of skin greening with gold is the formation of copper salts in gold and jewelry. Now to find out what these salts are, how they are formed and why they leave a green or black mark on the skin.

The cause of green skin with gold and jewelry

It may have occurred to you that after picking up your favorite ring, necklace or bracelet, at the end of the day when you try to remove it, you will notice that there is a green mark on your skin. No doubt you are surprised to see such a scene and the question arises why your skin is green? Well, we're here to answer that question.

Copper, the main culprit

The main culprit for skin greening after the use of jewelry is the presence of a metal called "copper". When acids in sweaty skin combine with copper in gold and jewelry, it rusts copper and produces copper salts. Copper salts are often either blue or green. These salts leave a green layer on the jewelry and this layer is transferred to the skin and appears as a green shade. This situation is exacerbated in the summer. Because in summer the skin sweats more and the salt in the body sweat intensifies this process.

Some people may think that their skin is sensitive to copper and that is why it turns green after using jewelry. But the fact is that when a person sweats, the elements in the body sweat enter into a chemical reaction with the copper in gold, leaving these stains. That is, it has nothing to do with allergies, unless the pigmented area is itchy or red, in which case you need to see a doctor and make sure you are not allergic to copper.

Gold carat

High-quality gold, like 18-carat gold, oxidizes much less than low-grade gold. This is why gold above 18 carats usually does not leave a black or green mark. Because 24-carat gold is a very soft metal, it is combined with other metals such as copper and nickel to provide the strength needed to make jewelry. Basically, quality copper should be used for this purpose. But some manufacturers use low-quality copper instead of quality copper to make 18-carat gold; As a result, with the formation of the slightest moisture on gold, a green trace of it remains on human skin.

This means that the lower the gold grade, the more likely it is to leave a black mark on the skin.


It is not bad to know that the cause of green skin with gold is sometimes related to iron deficiency or anemia. In this way, iron deficiency causes the blood to become acidic. The more acidic the pH of the blood, due to the presence of copper or nickel in the gold alloy, the reaction between the skin and the gold occurs, causing the skin to turn green or black.

The cause of green skin


Some external factors also cause the skin to turn black with gold. These include antibiotics, soap residues, perfumes, colognes, and detergents. These substances cause allergic and chemical reactions, and eventually you will see your skin blacken with gold.

Familiarity with metals that color the skin

We mentioned above that copper causes a green or black mark on the skin. But copper is not always the main culprit. Other metals can have a similar effect on the skin.

Sterling Silver

According to jewelry experts, silver, sold as sterling, is also widely used in jewelry making. This silver may oxidize near human skin. Silver rust appears as black or dark green spots on your skin.


Nickel can also cause the skin to turn green with gold. Contact of nickel with the skin causes a copper-like reaction, but instead of green, it leaves black on human skin. Nickel metal is commonly used in low quality gold and jewelry products. Most white gold is made from a combination of nickel and yellow gold. After fabrication, the gold is coated with rhodium to both make the gold shinier and to protect the skin from contact with the nickel metal. However, when the rhodium coating wears off over time, the skin comes into direct contact with the nickel. And it turns black. It is because of the presence of nickel that white gold darkens the skin more than yellow gold.

Solutions to prevent the skin from turning green with gold

Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent green skin. Here are some of them:

1. Nail polish gold

Just cover the surface of gold or jewelry containing copper with nail polish; the lacquer creates a thin, transparent layer between the skin and the gold, preventing any reaction.

cause of green skin with gold

2. In the last step of appearing, drop the gold jewelry

Use gold jewelry after makeup and dressing. Otherwise, the jewelry may come into contact with more of the creams, perfumes or colognes you wear and the skin may become more black. When you get home, try to keep your gold and jewelry in the first place so that they are less prone to sweating.

3. Do not use gold when exercising and swimming

Because your body sweats a lot during exercise, it is better not to use your gold jewelry. Earn your gold during daily activities such as washing dishes. Or use gloves. Also, as soon as the jewelry gets wet, dry it and your skin well and then use your jewelry again.

4. Plating the gold

Plating and washing gold and jewelry is a good way to prevent blackening of the skin. All you have to do is go to a nearby goldsmith and ask the goldsmith to plaster your gold.

The last word about the cause of green skin with gold

Always remember that each person's body's reaction system to metals and gold alloys is different. So if a piece of gold darkens your skin, there is no reason for it to have the same effect on other people's skin. It is only better to know your skin type and sensitivities: if you are a sensitive person, use quality gold and jewelry, and if gold darkens your skin, wash the black with soap and water and do not worry about anything.

We also said above that if the gold is of good quality and 18 carats, the probability of leaving a black mark with it is very low.