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08 Jan 2003

high acidity
My daughter, aged 17 is unable to wear silver or gold jewellery without it turning copper or black. The only jewerllery that doesn't have this effect is white gold/18 carat gold. Could you please indicate what could be causing this and what we could do about it.
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Expert
CyberDoc
CyberDoc

01 Jan 0001

SOBES, it is usually caused by the sodium chloride (NaCl or salt) in the sweat, but there are a whole lot of other factors that can play a role – sulphur in the air for instance. I’ll try to give you a basic explanation:
NaCl mixes with copper and causes copper chloride (green)
NaCl mixes with silver and causes silver chloride (whitish), but this is an unstable compound and soon changes into silver nil (black) – more or less like when you develop a film. If the person lives in an area with a relative high sulphur content in the air, the sulphur oxide may react with the silver and cause silver oxide (black).
9 ct gold is impure and the NaCl reacts with amongst others, the copper in the gold. This is why there is no reaction with the more pure forms (18ct and higher).
Much more complex reactions than the above can take place, but they all come down to new compounds being formed that are responsible for the colour changes. It may sometimes be a sign of an underlying disease, but most often it’s not. The best would be to just not buy cheap jewellery. Good luck.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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