Does Sterling Silver Turn Green Or Black

When you have your precious jewel gift, the last thing you ever need is for it to turn to a different color. It’s never easy to find the right jewelry to match your dress, but when you finally find one, it’s okay to be very excited.

But when you notice the green or black marks on your skin, you will begin asking if it was legit.

Contrary to most beliefs, it’s not only cheap jewelry that turns green and black; even the high-quality ones turn green and black.

More reading: What Kind Of Jewelry Turns Your Skin Green And How To Avoid It.

Why does the sterling silver turn black or green?

First off, it’s true that sterling silver does turn black or green based on the following factors.

sterling silver turn black

Moisture and humidity

It’s hard to prevent moisture in the air or our skin. When silver comes to contact with the moisture, then it reacts to form a black or green color.

You will mostly experience this if you are in a humid and hot environment. Also, if your skin is moist, then expect discoloration to occur.

Generally, it will react with the acid and hydrogen sulfide that are present in the air. It will then form the black layer since silver hydrolyzes quite fast when there are light and humidity. This is what then causes a change in color.

Heres how to solve this

Since you realize it’s not something you can avoid per se, it’s best to prevent it. You can use a clean cloth to polish the surface. Make sure you polish the jewelry from time to time.

Do you have moist skin? Use an absorbent powder. You can use the powder on the parts where you will wear the jewelry.

Remember, if you are going to the shower, don’t go in with your silverware. Even if you are going to the gym or spa, you shouldn’t use the jewelry either.

Never keep your jewels in the bathroom either as they will turn to black and green color.


Women like to use makeup, but unfortunately, if you didn’t cleanse them right then, you can cause color changes. This happens because the cosmetics have harder minerals that will react with silver. They will, therefore, tarnish and change their color.


Again, if you can keep polishing the jewelry, then it won’t change the color. Remove the makeup once you reach home. But still, clean the parts of your skin where the jewelry will come in contact.

Sulfur compounds are your silverware enemies.

Basically, Sulphur is the primary cause of tarnishing. So you should avoid wearing the jewelry if you are in an environment that’s polluted with sulfur in the air.

But why does it cause discoloration on the skin?

Allergies and sensitive skin

Some people are just too skin sensitive. Therefore, if you have copper and nickel in the silverware, you may have them cause skin discoloration. It, however, is no cause for alarm as you can quickly clean the color.

The body has salts

Notice that your skin produces some salts and acid, which then will react with the silver. When this happens, then it will cause skin discoloration.

The good thing is that you can wash off the color with just some water and soap. With that said, you should never panic when you realize the change in color. It’s nothing to cause an alarm.

Things to keep the sterling silver from turning black or green

We have had people complain about this; actually, they even freak out. Most things can cause tarnishing, as we have seen. You can’t avoid the gasses in the air or the chemical environment; therefore, you can be sure it will cause a change in color.

925 sterling silver

Notice that the jewelry changes its colors in a few days, but sometimes it tarnishes in months. There’s no rule of thumb to show you that it will tarnish in a few weeks or months. After you have cleansed it within a short while, it will start to change color again.

Store them right

How you store the jewelry will determine whether they tarnish sooner or not. So you can keep them in a soft bag and in a zip lock bag. The bag then will keep the air off.

Nonetheless, keep checking the jewelry from time to time since oxygen can still seep through to cause the color change.

Be wary of chemicals.

You may have to use chemicals in your cleaners and other detergents at home. This will often cause a color change, so you should keep your silverware out. Don’t wear them when you are washing or touching the detergents.

Keep it clean

Sometimes you may not prevent the possibility of the color change. Thus you should always clean it. But don’t clean it with acidic chemicals. Most of all, keep polishing the silverware to keep it shiny and free of green and black color.

Take the best quality silverware.

Of course, this is not the main reason why the silverware may turn green and black, but it may sometimes be a factor. It will serve you if you find out the material that made the silverware fast.

If you are sure you took the authentic sterling silver, then it turns green or black; it has nothing to do with the quality.

Maintain the dryness on the parts where you are wearing the jewel.

You see, if you wear or set the jewel in moist skin parts, it will get green. The secret is to make sure the parts remain dry at all times. Try to remove the ornament when you are going into the water at all times.

What can I do when my skin gets green?

Eye makeup remover

If you have a waterproof eye makeup remover, you can use it to remove the green color. So you can rub the content on the skin gently to remove the colors.

Polish remover

Of course, this does remove the nail polish, and it will remove the green color too. So then use the cotton wool to remove the stain but be gentle with it.

Just wash the part of your skin.

Sometimes just a water and soap solution will work to keep it clean. Just apply the solution to the green color to remove it.

Should you use the sterling silver anyway?

Of course, would you want to miss the elegance that comes with it?

Do you have sensitive skin?

If you do have sensitive skin, then you will find this jewel be safe to use. Here’s the thing though if you develop the green or black skin parts, it’s no health hazard. You can clean it easily.

It looks beautiful

I have never heard anyone complain about wearing silver. It always makes you look and feel beautiful. Often when you get the perfect sterling silver, you can have it be a source of attention.

The tips of consideration when you have the sterling silver

You will always look and feel beautiful when you have the perfect jewelry matching your cloth. But unless you care for it, then you will damage it soon.

  • The way you store it will then determine how long it lasts. Remember to store the silverware in a useful pouch and keep it safe in a cool, dry place.
  • Suppose you can store the silver in a sealed bag; the better. It will keep the air out, thus limiting the color change.
  • Although you can polish the sterling silver to keep it from changing black or green, you don’t have to do it all the time.
  • If you are going to polish the jewel, then you should stroke it up and down and not in a circular motion.
  • There are liquid jewel cleaners, but you shouldn’t use them as you could subject the silver to a harsh acidic solution. If you can find the special silver clothes that are better.
  • If you are going to be in a very hot environment or a wet place, remove the jewel. Silver can’t stand wet environments and hot one.
  • Always keep the silver dry if you want to keep it looking shiny and new.

Things to use in cleaning

Sometimes it’s not easy to prevent the color change, and this is why you need to know how you can remove it.

Buy a silver cleaner. Most jewelers will already have these detergents, but you can also buy them in the supermarkets. Be sure, though, that you acquire the best cleaner for the silverware.

I prefer polishing cloth because I don’t have to use any liquid on my precious pieces.

You can use home remedies, but only if you are sure about everything. This can turn out to be a disaster, so I’d rather avoid it. However, if you are familiar with it and the silence of the whole process, then use this method by all means.

To answer your question.

Yes, sterling silver can turn black or green, and sometimes it will turn even your skin to black and green, but there’s no cause for alarm.

This color is not toxic to your skin, and it’s easy to wipe off. Also, your silver will tarnish, but you can remove the tarn using the methods above. Remember to keep the jewel in a zip lock bag and in a cool, dry place.

1 thought on “Does Sterling Silver Turn Green Or Black”

Leave a Comment