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Thread: Sterling silver leaving a mark on skin

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    65

    Default Sterling silver leaving a mark on skin

    Hi, I have been making sterling silver cuff bracelets. I have had them tested and hallmarked so they are definitely sterling silver.

    Once I stamp quotes on them I use platinol oxidising solution to define the letters then polish off the excess with a polishing pad.

    I polish the bracelets by using sanding pads of various grits then polishing with a polishing pad.

    One of my customers recieved their bracelet yesterday and wore it over night. It has letters on the inside.

    This morning she says it has marked her wrist but I am confused as to why? Any ideas?

    See pic attached. Thanks Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    65

    Default

    Meant to add, after I oxidise, I rinse the bracelet with water and dry it before polishing the excess off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    England
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    Some people, like my sister, cannot wear silver jewellery. My sister's body produces acids that create dark skin marks when silver jewellery is worn against it, so she only wears gold jewellery now.


    James

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    2,068

    Default

    Yes there are people whose skin reacts to sterling silver and it leaves a mark.
    Ive only had it happen twice with rings and they are both fine if they coat the inside with clear nail varnish.
    It does wear off and need redoing occasionally but they have both been ok with that.
    People can get upset if they think its not silver so do point out to them about the hallmark being 100% proof of that.
    Sometimes they will have worn silver before and not had a problem because it was in less contact or they didn't wear it for as long.

    Its possible also that it could be the oxidisation coming off though? I wouldn't use it inside an item.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    491

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    My skin reacts terribly to silver. I get the same black marks, followed by inflammation, blisters and bleeding
    Everyone's skin is different, so she may only ever get the black marks - Although in this case, as has been suggested above, it does sound like it's the oxidation coming off.

    If it's a silver allergy, some people get around it by rhodium plating, but it would have to periodically re-plated as it does wear off.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    1,006

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    You could consider fine silver for this person...I've had success with fine silver rings with people who couldn't wear sterling.
    But it might be some residual oxide from inside the lettering
    Irritation is usually red not black though
    The only thing to do is to ask for it to be returned and examine it
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cornwall
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    I get this a lot. Thank God most of my silver rings are hallmarked. Even so, people can get quite nasty about it. If that happens, I politely suggest that they google it. I did once have someone ask me to make the same ring in gold, so that one had a happy ending.

    Having said all that, I'd be a bit nervous about oxidising the inside of a ring.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
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    I have no issues with oxidising things on the inside, provided they've been properly neutralised afterwards. I tend to use bicarb rather than just water.

    However, there will always be people who get marks from wearing silver, especially if they've used any cosmetics or lotion (suntan lotion seems to be the worst). I get them sometimes, and apparently it's to do with changes in skin chemistry, which can be pretty random.

    Fine silver could be an option, but is IMO too soft for a plain bangle. It can work with a synclastic or anticlastic version though.

    I think the best choice for this customer would be to remake in Argentium. It's not much more expensive, and I've yet to come across anyone who has the same blackening problem with it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
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    Make one from Argentium most likely will not be a problem

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    2,068

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    Thats good to know.
    Is it as easy to work and solder as sterling?
    And would you still have an issue at the solder join if using sterling solder?

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