The age-old debate: gold versus silver jewelry. Maybe you’ve heard of the “rules” for choosing a metal color, but have you had success following them? Matching your jewelry to your eyes, skin tone, and hair color has its benefits, but you don’t have to limit your jewelry style to what the rules say look good on you.
Figuring Out Your Skin Tone
Traditionally, metal color is chosen based on your skin tone. Gold is better suited for a warmer skin coloring, whereas silver is better suited for a cooler skin coloring. There are a few different ways to tell if you have a warm skin tone or a cool skin tone. Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Green veins indicate a warm skin tone, whereas blue veins indicate a cool skin tone. So if your veins are green, gold jewelry suits you. If your veins are blue, silver jewelry suits you.
Chart via Colore Science
There are several other tests you can use to figure out your skin tone. If you’re still unsure, you likely have a neutral skin tone and would look nice in both gold and silver jewelry. Personally, I have a neutral skin tone that airs on the side of cool, which is one of the reasons why I frequently wear silver jewelry, but will also wear gold jewelry from time to time.
Now that you’ve figured out your skin tone, test it out! Try wearing a set of gold jewelry and a set of silver jewelry on different occasions. Try each with different outfits and in different lighting. Ask your friends for an opinion. If the skin tone test worked, great! But if you’re still skeptical, your answer to gold or silver jewelry might not be so black and white.
Why You Might Choose Differently Than Your Skin Tone
There are several reasons why you might defy the results of the skin tone test. For one, gold jewelry is more expensive than silver jewelry. There are less expensive options for gold jewelry such as gold filled or gold vermeil. However, they won’t stand the test of time like solid gold. You risk your jewelry wearing and looking cheap over time. If you want a polished look without breaking the bank, you might choose to go with silver jewelry regardless of your skin tone.
If you have a family heirloom of a certain metal color, it might be in your best interest to match the rest of your jewelry collection to this piece. If you’re attached to your great-grandmother's gold necklace, but you have a cooler skin tone, you might choose to wear gold anyways because of the sentimentality behind the necklace.
If you have a family heirloom of a certain metal, you might want to match the rest of your jewelry collection.
You might also change up your jewelry depending on the season. I have pale skin, but in the warmer weather, my skin tans and my hair becomes a warmer-toned brown. I stick to silver in the winter, but I enjoy wearing gold jewelry in the summer. There’s something about gold jewelry with a little sparkle that just says “beachy glow.”
Mixing metals is no longer a big no-no. When done correctly, mixing gold and silver can look chic while simultaneously solving your conundrum of choosing one over the other. You can try this out in a subtle way: wear a statement gold piece with a daintier silver piece. Or, if you wear a platinum engagement and/or wedding ring on your left hand, a gold ring on your right hand would be a beautiful way to mix metals.
Gold and Silver Aren’t Your Only Options
There are more options than just gold and silver. Rose gold is a beautiful alternative that's feminine with a modern twist. It looks great on everyone. There’s also white gold. If you’re looking for a pop of color, gemstones are a popular option. Diamonds can be part of any piece regardless of the metal color and will completely transform your look. And of course, the most classic of all – pearls – will always be in style.
Closing Thoughts: Personal Preference
You have the final say on which metal you choose. Personal preference comes first, even if it “breaks the rules.” You’re the one who is wearing it, so when you’re choosing a metal, choose the one that best suits you and your personality. When you choose classic pieces, you can’t go wrong either way.
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