That inexpensive jewelry may do more than just turn your skin green. An article in today's WSJ, entitled "Lead Toxins Take a Global Round Trip," details just how bad cheap jewelry can be. (See the Marketplace section for the article.) It turns out that more and more cheap Chinese-made jewelry is being found to have high levels of lead, copper, and tin. The toxins end up in the jewelry after waste from electronics and appliances is "recycled." The EPA currently doesn't regulate this sort of waste at all.
According to the WSJ, "this year the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued 18 recall notices affecting more than 6.7 million pieces of jewelry" that had dangerously high levels of lead. Cheap contaminated jewelry has been found in several stores including Claire's and K-Mart. California is attempting to pass a law to prevent dangerous metals from being used in jewelry. Until then this sort of thing is cleared up maybe you should skip the five dollar rings made in China. Your health (and style, I might add) is worth it!