I’ve always loved silver jewelry. On it’s own or combined with a stunning gemstone, silver has a cool, earthy luster that speaks to me like no other metal. As a young adult, whenever I was given a piece of yellow gold jewelry, it would most likely end up in the back of my jewelry box and be quickly forgotten. The rule back then was, never mix silver jewelry with gold. Gold earrings with a silver necklace? Major fashion faux pas! Yellow gold felt too fussy, too expensive and just didn’t fit my style, so it was an easy decision for me to choose to wear silver.
When my husband proposed, he was well aware of my love of white metals so he chose a lovely platinum engagement ring to go with all of my silver pieces. And when we married, a band to match. So there I was, happily committed to wearing white metals. Forever.
Around 2012, the rules of fashion changed. Mixing silver and gold jewelry together was suddenly trendy. Well, I’m not sure about you, but I’m pretty slow to adopt trends, if I adopt them at all. But as a mature (ahem) adult and jewelry designer, I will admit that I was feeling a little left out of the gold love fest.
Also, with maturity the idea of perfection just goes out the window, don't you think? Perfectly matched everything is just boring. It’s much more fun to mix things up by experimenting a bit outside of the box.
So one day I thought, what if I was to incorporate just a little bit of gold into one of my silver jewelry designs? Would I like the look of silver and yellow gold combined into one piece of jewelry?
The Expense of Gold
As you know, gold is not inexpensive – for the customer or the jewelry designer who works with it – and that’s one reason some of us shy away from it. When last I checked, gold sells for over 60 times more than the same amount of silver. Why purchase one expensive gold piece when you have the flexibility to mix and match multiple silver pieces at a time?
Well, I took a big deep breath before purchasing that first 2x2 square inch of 18 karat yellow gold. My thought was just to incorporate a small amount of yellow gold into a ring - namely, wrapping a bezel around a stone and maybe adding a little decorative element to the side - to see if I was happy with the result. And guess what? I loved the look of gold and silver together. The warmth of the gold and the coolness of the silver work together in such surprisingly beautiful ways. And even better, I loved the look when wearing it for myself!
A Unifying Piece of Mixed Metal Jewelry
The first ring I made incorporating gold with silver was this Aquamarine Entwined ring and is a style I still wear to this day. By having this piece on the opposite hand from my wedding rings, I find that I have added so much more flexibility to my jewelry wardrobe.
A mixed metal piece of jewelry is what is called in jewelry fashion circles, a “bridge” piece. If I want to wear those heirloom gold earrings or necklaces gifted to me from childhood, my mixed metal ring of silver and gold acts as a bridge between the two.
Now I’m not a matchy-matchy kind of girl, but I do find that by wearing one unifying piece of mixed metal jewelry, it makes my jewelry selection seem intentional instead of mismatched.
Stacked jewelry really lends itself to mixing metals whether it’s rings, bracelets or necklaces. With necklaces, try mixing multiple length chains when mixing silver and gold. And for bracelets, add a mix of many different metals colors as you stack those delicate little bangles up your wrists.
For rings, I offer many stacking styles of mixed metals including this Tourmaline Oblique Stacking Rings set. What I love about this ring style is that the silver band has been cut on the diagonal and each half finished to complement the other. One half has been hammer distressed and given a dark patina while the other has gold dust fused to the surface with a brighter finish, which really adds contrast and texture. The star of the show though, is the gorgeous green rose cut tourmaline perched atop the band - but you can see how nicely the gold and silver play together. This ring style is also available as just a band and can be found here.
So can you wear gold and silver jewelry together?
This reformed silver addict says yes! Although I will never give up my white metals, a little bit of yellow gold creates dimension in a piece of jewelry while adding warmth and sophistication to your look. Also, a mixed metal piece can be much kinder on the wallet.
If you want to try this out by sticking your toe in the water, try to find an understated mixed metal piece to get a feel for it. Maybe a necklace like the Taper Gold and Silver Dangle necklace shown here. Or maybe some stacking rings or a pair of earrings.
From there, you may find yourself enjoying the freedom of playing with new, bold jewelry combinations. Just make sure regardless of the metals used, that you like the look of the pieces when they are put together. If the colors aren’t going to match, be sure the combination of styles work together. A chunky modern gold necklace probably won’t look right with a delicate pair of antique silver earrings.
It really comes down to your personal style though and by experimenting with mixing silver and gold jewelry, so many more possibilities are now open to you.
So, to all of you diehard silver fans, give gold a try! And to those who only wear gold jewelry, take a chance and walk on the wild side with us silver lovers. By wearing mixed metal jewelry, we can all enjoy the combined beauty of these two precious metals.