Why Is My White Gold Ring Turning My Finger Red?

No matter whether this is your first experience with your gold ring turning your fingers black, or this is an ongoing issue, there are things you can do to bring back the beauty of a ring without leaving any trace of color to your fingers. There are a lot of things you can do to help prevent your ring from disintegrating and turning your finger black.

A white gold ring turns its wearer’s finger red if it contains nickel and the wearer has a nickel allergy. White gold is an alloy of gold and any one of a number of metals. Nickel is the most commonly used addition. So people with nickel allergies sometimes develop rashes in response to wearing a white gold ring.

If wedding band rashes are caused not by allergic reactions, but rather by water, soap, lotion, dead skin, or other particles that have built up under the wedding ring, then cleaning your ring is the first thing you should do. If you suspect your wedding ring rash is caused by a nickel allergy, see your healthcare provider, especially a dermatologist or someone who specializes in allergies.

The Allergen in the Metal Is Nickel

It is important to remember that, even if your ring is gold, trace amounts of nickel within the metal may cause an allergic reaction. Platinum rings (although even some platinum may contain an allergy-causing alloy, it is far more common with white gold.

Rhodium is the metal, of the platinum metal group, used to plating white gold rings to make them look white. Most white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium so that it looks bright and cool white, just like platinum, but that plating is just a few microns thick, so over time, this plating wears away, revealing the white gold’s natural warm color.

A visible yellow cast is not something you will see in stores, because standard/nickel white gold rings will be rhodium-plated, making them look good and white. The lovely ring below is 18ct white gold and is set with white diamonds- note how the diamond is in another shade of white, so stands out nicely against the setting metal.

The rosy colour of a rose gold ring is not simply the plating on a diamond ring which can break down over time, it is a real colour from the alloy that comes from a composition of copper. This technique, not only does not alter the look and feel of the rose gold engagement ring, it does not let copper and the acid in the body react with each other, thus not allowing a rose gold ring to make the fingers look green or black.

How Skin Oils Affect a Ring

Turns are caused by a natural reaction between your body’s acidity and the brassy elements in your ring. If there is no direct contact between the engagement ring in rose gold and your body’s acid, the pathway for chemical reactions between them is also blocked, and as a result, you do not get any discoloration on your skin. As a result, your acidic sweat will react with your Rose Gold Engagement Rings copper elements, and you will therefore see the black or green fingerprints of your diamond ring on your fingers.

In reality, the discoloration is a chemical reaction on your fingers from nonprecious metals like nickel or copper used in the alloy mix for your ring. While these chemicals are generally harmless for us, they can have an adverse reaction to metals used to alloy with the gold beneath, which results in a beautiful discoloration of green or black from the ring left behind on your finger.

Of course, I am wondering what the actual material is in that ring, because if I were allergic to gold, ALL my jewelry would be producing that kind of reaction. I did not have the reaction while wearing my engagement ring, but did have it while wearing a diamond wedding band.

You may even want to think about taking your wedding band to the jeweler and having them plating with a different type of metal. If your white gold wedding ring looks as though it is changing color, then bring it into a local jeweler to get a re-polishing and plating in rhodium. Each person’s experience will differ as to how long the rhodium plating takes to wear off and needs re-working, but every time you wish your ring to return to its brilliant white, you will have to bring the ring back to the jewelers, who will polish it again and plate it.

Platinum Is Less Likely to Induce Rashes

Platinum is a super-stable metal, so your platinum wedding ring will keep its color from the day it is slipped on your finger for the first time, and years after. Platinum is non-allergenic, and unlike white gold and conventional yellow gold, platinum is a solid, long-lasting metal, meaning platinum does not have to be mixed with other alloys in order to reinforce it.

Gold is a very popular metal for wedding rings, however, 24kt gold is extremely soft and malleable. I am not saying this is a certainty, but it is possible that your ring is 10/24ths nickel, and that all your other white gold jewelry is 10/24ths palladium.

I would had no problems with my ring, until I found the skin underneath was red, puffy, and flakes off one day. I am able to at least wear my white 14k gold ring all day, remove it at night to allow it to heal up a bit, and wear it through to the next day. It is white gold, my mom got it for me, I have never had an issue with it before, but I had a red, itchy band around my ring finger a couple weeks ago, took off my ring for a couple weeks, and that went away.

If you’ve not developed a Nickel allergy but are concerned it might, you can always do the steps mentioned above (use clear nail polish, or have the ring coated in a hypoallergenic metal such as Rhodium) to limit your exposure to Nickel and lower the chances you’ll become allergic.

Gene Botkin

Hello, I'm Gene. My family belonged to the aristocracy of Old Russia, and I created this site to re-establish a familial connection with them. My aims are to generate interest in aristocratic virtues, such as beauty, honor, and loyalty, and to spread Russian culture.

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