Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/gold with silver

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Question
Hello. I wear a gold wedding ring and I like to wear a silver ring along with it (on the same finger), however, I was told that this combination might cause a reaction ruining my wedding ring. I would like to know if this is actually true??

Answer
In general, gold and silver are non-reactive metals, which means that they really do NOT interact with each other. There are actually jewelry pieces that combine individual gold and silver ornation without any problem.
However, silver does react over time and will tarnish, usually caused by sulfur in your skin or certain hand lotions. You will get a coating of black silver sulfide on the silver ring surface. This layer of silver sulfide might now react with the copper alloy in your gold ring. The result depends on the quality of the gold ring and how much copper it contains. (Most gold rings contain another metal alloy to make them more durable. Copper is a very common component). It will not ruin your gold ring, but may make your gold look somewhat dull, especially where it touches the tarnished silver ring. This is enhanced in wet / humid conditions. The reaction is not permanent and only limited to the surface of your jewelry. Periodic cleaning / polishing should take care of this problem.
If you live in a humid climate or sweat a lot and if you have a genetic tendency to excrete sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine or methionine), you will see your silver jewelry tarnish much quicker. Just gently polish / buff it occasionally.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)

Expertise

I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, and anything that has to do with geology. However, I am NOT a jeweler. Questions about values, settings, gem stone cuts and appraisals are best directed to other experts on this site. I can however aide in the identification of unknown mineral materials. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides FREE mineral identification for individuals. Please contact me for details or go to http://college.earthscienceeducation.net/MIN/MINID.pdf for details..

Experience

I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals and their occurrence.

Organizations
Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

Publications
Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual [CD-ROM], Kackstaetter, Earth Science Education LLC Colorado Front Range Self-guided Geology Field Trips, Kackstaetter, http://www.scribd.com/doc/27175290/Colorado-Front-Range-Self-Guided-Geology-Field-Trips

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy and a variety of field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration.

Past/Present Clients
Numerous!

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