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Skin Discolouration from Gold Jewellery

Why does it happen?

Many of us have seen what our skin looks like after we’ve worn a copper bracelet for an extended period of time – it goes green and, honestly, looks like an infectious disease.

But have you ever seen it happen with gold jewellery? It’s not as common, but it can occur.
There are a couple reasons why your skin may discolour while wearing gold jewellery, such as having an allergic reaction to it, or due to the jewellery containing metals other than gold.
If you’d like to know a bit more about these causes, then read on!

Allergic Reaction

This is known as contact dermatitis, and it usually presents as a rash, sometimes with skin discolouration. It is certainly unfortunate not to be able to wear gold pieces, but studies have shown that it is not as uncommon as you may think.

In addition, you may get an allergic reaction from not rinsing soaps from your body properly – cleansers can build-up around the jewellery, leaving your skin sensitive and reactive.

Gold alloys


As mentioned, copper turning our skin green isn’t big news, so it also happens frequently when gold alloys contain copper. What happens is, the acidity in your skin and sweat create a chemical reaction with the copper, which results in oxidation that creates a green colour in the copper. This then turns your skin green. But don’t worry – it’s harmless!


Nickel reacts to skin much like copper does, except it turns skin black. As with copper, the results are not harmful, but they don’t look particularly attractive. You’ll usually find nickel in gold jewellery that is low quality.

Other Factors

There are indications that, while on antibiotics, skin can discolour wherever it comes into contact with jewellery.

Whether it’s from an allergic reaction or you’re simply in need of some cash, if you want to get rid of your pieces, you can sell your used gold jewellery to us. We offer our clients a safe and private consultation and always provide fair, market-related valuations for their valuables. Get in touch with us today!

Main image credit: http://charlesjewelry.com/blog/2015/1/3/why-jewelry-turns-your-skin-green-and-how-to-avoid-it.html