Which should you choose: gold or silver jewellery?

How do you choose whether to wear gold or silver jewellery to suit your skin colour and style?

Have you wondered about which colour of metal you should wear based on your skin or eye colouring (or to give as a gift to someone)? Have you heard about 'rules' to follow when choosing jewellery colours but you're not sure how to use them? What do you think about wearing different coloured metals together?

Gold vs silver coloured jewellery has been a long-debated topic and there's plenty of confusion around which metal to choose. So we're here to help you figure out which metal colours will work for you or your gift recipient with the quick tips below.

Also check out: 12 jewellery mistakes we wish you'd stop making and how to mix and match your jewellery.

Gold or silver jewellery?

  • Which colour of metal to wear was traditionally determined by people's skin colouring: warmer colours meant gold metal, cooler colours meant silver metal.
  • These days that's not considered to be so important and you can break such 'style rules' as you please, but you might like to use them as a guide to get started.
  • People with blue veins on their wrists and who burn easily are usually considered to have cool skin colouring. People with green veins, olive or darker skin tones or who tan well are considered to have warm colouring.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that solid gold jewellery is much more expensive than sterling silver because gold is a more valuable precious metal. However, there are less expensive options for gold such as gold filled or gold vermeil. See below to learn more about types of gold.
  • Rose gold or copper colours tend to look good on most people and can add some beautiful and unexpected colouring to your jewellery collection.
  • If you're choosing jewellery as a gift and you're not sure about which colour to pick, it's a great idea to keep an eye on what colours your gift recipient tends to wear. Check out our guide to gift giving for the style challenged for some great tips.

Mixing metals

  • Another old style rule was that gold and silver should never be worn together. That's definitely no longer the case: you can mix your metals with enthusiasm!
  • We recommend taking the time to do some experimenting and work out what looks good when mixing metals: check out our 15 jewellery style tips for some good ideas.
  • As a starting point, pick a dominant colour and add highlights with another. You can try combining different colours of stacking and cocktail rings, layered necklaces and bangle stacks to see how they look.

Ultimately which colour of metal/s you choose to wear should be entirely up to personal preference, your sense of aesthetics and budget. We're all about people being themselves rather than being like everyone else, so our top tip is: go with what makes you feel good!

Once you've got it worked out, you can go shopping for silver jewellery, gold jewellery or rose gold jewellery.

Learn more about precious metals

Once you've got an idea of the colourings you like, you can find out more about the qualities, pros and cons of different types of precious metals to help you choose more carefully:

Simone Walsh is an Australian jewellery designer and maker who has been creating handmade jewellery in sterling silver, gold and gemstones for over 25 years. She lives and works on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula outside Adelaide in South Australia, where she's lucky enough to walk on the beach and visit vineyards in her free time. Simone is the Founder & Creative Director of Simone Walsh Jewellery.