Body chemistry changing? Why is my silver jewellery tarnishing overnight?
July 12, 2007 8:24 PM   Subscribe

I've tried Google and cant get a good explaination yet. In the last 6 months or so, my silver jewellery gets badly tarnished (read black) overnight. I can clean it, put it on before bed, and wake up with my necklace and rings tarnished badly. I havent changed my vegetarian diet (that I'm aware of), my environment is the same, and I dont wear creams/cosmetics before bed. I've tried changing to different soaps in the shower to no avail I feel its something in my body chemistry that has changed - has anyone got any ideas??? Could it be stress? Thanks!
posted by slaknitter to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I searched Yahoo! Answers and came across this:

...Some of these reactions can be accelerated by the environment such as pollution, salt and other chemicals. Eggs, onions and other foods high in sulfur can also cause silver to tarnish. Sterling silver tarnishes simply by being in contact with the air. Pure silver is, like gold, impervious to tarnish, or oxidation on the surface. It is the alloy metal with attracts the tarnish.
posted by hammerthyme at 8:29 PM on July 12, 2007

Hmmm yeah but it still doesnt explain why its only just started recently - I havent changed my diet at all. And why is it happening at night (i'm in bed) when i'm not out and about in the pollution?
posted by slaknitter at 8:35 PM on July 12, 2007

Sterling silver jewelry is often coated with rhodium so it looks and stays shiny. However, that coating will wear off over time and expose the sterling silver that is more prone to tarnishing. Perhaps your situation is a combination of the original coating wearing off and a change in body chemistry.
posted by girlhacker at 8:37 PM on July 12, 2007

A few environmental factors that you may or may not have considered yet:

Did you change laundry detergents? Depending on what kind of jewelry you're wearing, maybe it gets more fabric-contact while you're sleeping than it would from your clothes during the day, leading to night-time tarnishing.

Skin oil is also an accelerator of the tarnishing process - did you switch to morning showers instead of evening ones? Or is your skin just more oily lately?

Medications could obviously change your body chemistry, too. Anything new there? New multivitamins?
posted by vytae at 8:52 PM on July 12, 2007

It could be multivitamins! ;). I've always taken them, but normally twice a week or so. Now i'm trying to take them every day....
I havent noticed my skin being more oily, and am still having nightly showers hehe...
I'll blame the Muliti-Vs then thanks!
posted by slaknitter at 9:30 PM on July 12, 2007

A change in acidity of your sweat related to acclimating to heat or a new underlying medical condition? Mention it next time you are at the doctor's office.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:11 PM on July 12, 2007

perhaps, as hinted above, it is not a pure in silver as you think
posted by caddis at 10:14 PM on July 12, 2007

Some skin cleansers have sulfur in them, especially prescription ones. Also some shampoos. You might check the ingredient lists of products you use regularly, and see if any of them contain some kind of sulfur.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:17 PM on July 12, 2007

i'm pretty confident its good silver - i have nasty reactions to nickel and copper so I have to be careful.... ;)

BrotherCaine - thats what I wondered too, but my doctor couldnt help. Just wondered if anyone else had the same experience...
posted by slaknitter at 10:47 PM on July 12, 2007

I can't tell from your profile if this is pertinent, but I had to stop wearing silver jewelry when I became pregnant because it all tarnished just as you report. It had never done this before, and I can't tell you if it stopped after I gave birth because I decided I preferred gold jewelry and haven't worn silver since then.
posted by Joleta at 1:21 PM on July 13, 2007

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