At a motorcycle rally a few years ago a friend bought me a kickass Sterling silver dragon ring which I have worn pretty much every day since. This dragon ring is important to me because I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t own a chopper; it helps complete the faux biker image I have adopted after working at motorcycle rallies annually for the last 12 years. Don’t misunderstand, I know a thing or two about bikes, I just don’t own one. And if you know anything about motorcycles, you also understand the importance of certain staples in biker culture: the stench of a burn out, the assless chaps and silver bling. Thus, the dragon ring has become a fixture to my right pointer finger. It tethers me to my beloved world of rev and road rash, and I have never wanted to take it off, until now.
After taking a hot bath the other night I was surprised to notice my silver dragon ring had turned completely black. Not that I have anything against black dragons (black dragons make great tattoos and are very METAL) but what the hell happened to my ring? It turns out that taking a bath in Iceland will turn your silver jewelry black because, well, there’s something different in the water.
Hot water is different in Iceland because water is different in Iceland. Whereas cold tap water here is the most naturally drinkable water in the world and comes directly from a spring, hot water is extracted from natural hot springs and is high in sulfides. Tarnishing and black discoloration occurs when metal (like silver) and nonmetal (like sulfur) compounds interact. As it happens, sulfur and silver are both very reactionary in nature and make better enemies than friends. In Iceland, your silver jewelry will probably turn black or tarnish if exposed to hot water. So, if you are like me and going for the whole chromed out classic biker look, keep your silver shiny and remove jewelry before getting in the bath (unless, of course, you are in to the whole Harley Davidson Night Rod thing, in which case BLACK OUT EVERYTHING OR DIE).
But really, if you turn on the water faucet and smell sulfur (hard boiled eggs) it is probably best take off your jewelry. The same goes for soaks in the Blue Lagoon or any other hot spring in this country. However, if you do leave it on and find your silver dragon ring has changed color do not worry, it’s nothing a little silver polish can’t fix.