Silver and Gold: The Truth About Mixing Metal Jewelry
Written by Anna Currell
September 27, 2022
Some style purists suggest that mixing metals is a fashion faux pas, but that isn't necessarily true. When you don't want to pick between silver and gold, you can always mix and match metals as much as you want. The blended trend isn't new either; major fashion brands like Chanel have been mixing metals on their clothes, jewelry, and accessories for decades. Here's what you need to know about mixing silver and gold in the same look.
Silver vs. Gold
Silver and gold are both very common in jewelry, but gold is often more expensive as pure gold is a rarer substance. To determine how much gold is in a metal, find out the karat amount. A karat is the measurement of how much pure gold is in an alloy, and the scale goes up to 24. So anything that’s 24K gold is 100% pure gold.
Gold can take on many different hues, and silver can, too. You can use different finishes to create specific effects with your mixed metals. Sometimes, gold and silver can even play tricks on the eye! White gold can sometimes be mistaken for brushed silver, for example, and rose gold has a pink hue that's totally different from traditional yellow gold. Even with one type of metal, you’ve got lots of options.
Picking Which Metals to Wear
There’s often talk in the fashion world about finding the right metals for your skin tone. Warm metals like yellow gold tend to look best with warm undertones, and cool metals like silver look best with cool undertones. One way to determine your undertone is to see how your veins appear; take a glance at your forearm or wrist. If the veins appear green, you have a warmer undertone, and if they appear blue, you have a cooler undertone.
This is only one way to decide the types of metals to wear. Many people also pay attention to eye color or hair color to determine if warmer or cooler metals work best, but ultimately it comes down to preference. Not sure what will work for you? That's okay! Try out different metals and finishes to see what you like best, and then mix and match your growing collection to create combinations that are all your own.
How to Style Mixed Metals
Just like there isn’t one metal that you have to commit to, there’s not one combination or style you have to stick to. There are plenty of ways to make mixed metals work for you. Here are some tips to help you style them:
Layered bracelets, rings, and necklaces make it easy to pair metals in a way that appears thoughtful. Creating a hearty combination will lead to a more unified look rather than having just one piece that's out of place (like one silver ring in a sea of gold, for example).
Match The Vibe (If Not The Metal)
If you’re mixing materials, then aiming for one type of mood will help you achieve a cohesive look. For instance, if you gravitate toward tiny, sparkly jewelry, you might opt for a delicate, gold, diamond pendant necklace paired with a glitzy silver chain. Or if you like the chunky chain vibe, try two different lengths of thick silver and gold chains.
Placing silver and gold directly next to each other on the body makes the decision look deliberate rather than random. For example, wearing a gold hoop in your first ear piercing and a silver stud in your second will create the mixed metal vibe, whereas wearing all gold necklace, bracelets and earrings while opting for silver rings might come across as accidental.
Try Blended Metal Jewelry
Many brands have jumped on the trend of mixed metal and have taken it a step further to create blended metal pieces. Finding a single piece made of both silver and gold is a great way to center your mixed metal aesthetic. For instance, choosing a watch made of both silver and gold will tie together other accessories of either metal.
Mixing Silver and Gold Isn’t For You? That’s Okay, Too!
If you’re not on board with the mixed metal trend, that’s totally cool. You’ve got options — if you have some pieces made from different metals and you’re dying to wear them together, consider getting them gold plated or rhodium plated. These are simple services that add a layer of metal onto an existing base that will give your jewelry a new finish and a whole new look. If you always choose silver jewelry but have a gold ring and you can’t stand the thought of wearing them together, get a rhodium plating for the ring. Or vice versa: gold plate your necklace to match the golden collection you have. There’s no need to buy all new pieces to achieve the monochromatic aesthetic.
There’s no such thing as an off-limits style and that includes mixing metals. Choose the pieces you love and find a way to make them work for you. Check out our gold plating and rhodium plating services at Quick Jewelry Repairs to customize your metals to suit you.