That's not the kind of ring I had in mind
February 7, 2012 10:07 AM   Subscribe

What kind of necklace chain won't turn my neck green?

I can't afford real gold at the moment. Ideally, I'd like to find one chain in goldtone and one in silvertone, and not have to pay a fortune.

Hoping for some anecdata from people who have actually found a tried and true solution. Thanks!
posted by Serene Empress Dork to Shopping (16 answers total)
platinum and titanium are both considered to be hypoallergenic metals.
posted by royalsong at 10:16 AM on February 7, 2012

overstock has a nice little guide.
posted by royalsong at 10:16 AM on February 7, 2012

Get something that's gold plated or silver plated. It's pretty inexpensive (often not much more than the 100% fake stuff) and it ensure you have higher quality metals against your skin.
posted by Kololo at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2012

I can't speak to the gold issue, but I've always found sterling silver to be affordable, and it's never left any green on my skin. I'm terribly allergic to most metals, but somehow sterling works for me - I've worn the same pendant on a silver chain for years with no trouble.
posted by routergirl at 10:22 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

On the other hand, I can turn sterling silver green in a matter of minutes. I usually stick with stainless steel, or go for the gold. 10K is generally high enough not to tarnish (on me.)
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:26 AM on February 7, 2012

YMMV, I'm like routergirl, I can do sterling silver and not much else except 18k gold- I only know the latter because I inherited and used an 18k wedding ring. I avoid silverplated, gold plated, hypoallergenic anything.
posted by mareli at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2012

The green comes from copper alloys. No copper, no green neckring.

Sweat etches the copper out of the base metal, which oxidizes to the green salts.

Look for jewelry that isn't brass or bronze based.
posted by bonehead at 10:35 AM on February 7, 2012

platinum and titanium are both considered to be hypoallergenic metals.

Methinks this is of little help to someone who can't afford gold.
posted by kestrel251 at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2012

Titanium is not expensive! You may also consider gold-filled jewellery, which has a much thicker gold layer than gold-plated, and it's less expensive than solid gold.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 11:01 AM on February 7, 2012

Actually - yes, titanium can be pretty inexpensive. One of my other always-worn items of jewelry is a titanium bracelet (well and my wedding ring) and it's light, has not caused any skin reactions at all, and looks very much like silver.
posted by routergirl at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2012

I have the same problem (along with host of other skin sensitivities). The only solution for me has been to buy my jewelry from Simply Whispers.

My mom and I discovered them years ago and have been loyal customers ever since. They also sell plain chains and earring parts, if you don't like their jewelry (they're the only place I can buy earrings that won't make my ears bleed).
posted by magstheaxe at 11:16 AM on February 7, 2012

Sterling silver can still turn you green if the acid on your skin (for example, in sweat) begins to tarnish it.
posted by asciident at 2:05 PM on February 7, 2012

Low carat silver and gold often contain copper as an alloy material and strengthening agent. Most sterling silver alloys contain copper (7-8%).
posted by bonehead at 2:23 PM on February 7, 2012

Thanks for the info. I don't see a definite solution here but at least I've got some info to start out with. I appreciate the help.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:40 PM on February 7, 2012

Stainless steel and gold filled jewellery are probably your cheapest options that almost certainly won't turn green.

Sterling silver may or may not turn green, depending on your body chemistry. Like others have said, your silver-like alternatives are titanium or even platinum ($$!).

I wouldn't bother with gold or silver plated jewellery, unless you intend to wear it a few times then chuck it, although, depending on how much you wear it and how cheap you can buy it, this might be a good option. The 'plate' coating is so thin it will wear off quickly and you'll expose the cheap metal inside to turn green.
posted by eloeth-starr at 1:25 AM on February 8, 2012

Oops, meant to add, if your sweat is causing problems, you can stretch the life of your jewellery (especially the plated stuff) by rinsing it in water with a little dish soap every time you take it off.
posted by eloeth-starr at 1:27 AM on February 8, 2012

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