Does Tungsten Turn Your Finger Green?

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As more couples veer toward more economical choices when it comes to wedding rings, alternative rings have risen in popularity. On top of the list of alternative ring choices is the humble but durable tungsten ring.

Tungsten rings make for great jewellery, especially wedding bands, because of their extremely hard and durable nature. Tungsten rings are scratch-resistant and will not rust, tarnish, or fade over time. Owning a tungsten ring also requires very minimal upkeep!

But despite their popularity, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding tungsten rings that need to be corrected.

One of these myths has something to do with tungsten rings turning your finger green.

Do tungsten rings stain skin?

If you are wondering whether wearing tungsten rings will turn your finger green, the answer is both yes and no.

The first thing you need to know is that not every tungsten ring sold on the market is genuine. If you happen to come across really cheap tungsten rings ($50 and below), it is very likely that these rings are not genuine jewellery-grade tungsten carbide rings.

You see, some tungsten rings are made of low quality tungsten carbide that are industrial grade instead of jewellery grade. These cheap tungsten rings use cobalt as binder, and they are not as durable and long-lasting as genuine tungsten rings. They oxidise, which means they will rust and tarnish, and wearing these rings may trigger skin reactions.

Cobalt is also the primary culprit in turning fingers green. Because it oxidises with air and the moisture in your skin, cobalt tends to stain your fingers. This green stain can be removed, but as mentioned above, cobalt may also result in adverse skin reactions, which is why you should avoid cheap tungsten rings at all cost!

Will a genuine tungsten ring turn my finger green?

The only way to avoid stained and irritated fingers is purchasing a genuine, high-quality tungsten carbide ring. Unlike cheap industrial-grade tungsten rings, jewellery-grade tungsten rings are made of tungsten rings and nickel binder. 

Nickel is more expensive, which is why you will definitely see a price difference between low-quality and high-quality tungsten rings. But given the great qualities of genuine tungsten carbide rings, the price difference is readily justifiable. You can rest easy that your genuine tungsten ring will not tarnish, fade, corrode, scratch — or turn your finger green.