Will Coin Rings Turn my Finger Green

Posted by Shawn Hall on

      At some point you have probably had a piece of jewelry of some kind that has left your skin with a different color stain. nearly everyone has experience with this effect.
      This is a question I hear almost daily. "Will a coin ring turn my finger green?" If you have metal allergies, then certain coins may leave a green or gray color on you skin. Most coins are an alloy of multiple metals and whether or not  the coin ring leaves a different color depends on how your specific skin reacts to those metals. for example: a Morgan silver dollar Ring is 90% silver and 10% copper; this specific alloy will rarely have any effect unless you have very sensitive skin.
      Sterling silver in 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper so if you have no problems wearing sterling silver, then you should have no issue with silver coin rings. There are seemingly endless alloy combinations. the British and New Zealand half crown coins are a mixture of copper and nickle so you may see a greenish or brown coloring on your skin but it rarely causes any irritation.
      Copper bullion coin rings would be likely to leave a green color under the ring but unless you have an allergy to copper jewelry, you will most likely have no side effects. Most coins that are in currently in circulation are (clad) coins; that means they are a mix of metals such as copper, nickel, and zinc which can react to your body heat and oils resulting in a grayish -blue color on your skin. modern quarters and dimes are good examples of this unless they are silver proof coins which are 90% silver. The chemical interaction between the salts in your skin and the metal in the ring may also tarnish the ring itself.
       How can you prevent a ring from turning your finger green?
  1. Coat your coin ring with clear resin such as fingernail polish or clear epoxy.
  2. Remove your jewelry when you wash you hands
  3. Avoid applying lotion or soap with your rings on.