Gold or Silver: Which Type of Jewelry is For You?

gold or silver jewelry

Gold jewelry and silver jewelry are both great choices, but they do have different properties and aesthetics.

You want to fill your jewelry box with treasure made of gleaming metals and sparkling gemstones – but which metals will give you the look you want? Which jewelry is right for your budget?

Gold jewelry and silver jewelry are both great choices, but they do have different properties and aesthetics. The type of jewelry you can wear is not just determined by your wallet – but also by the way your body reacts to and tolerates exposure to metals. Gold and silver are known to be non-reactive metals, but that does not mean that everyone can wear any type of gold or silver jewelry without any problem.

You can collect both gold and silver jewelry when you know a bit about both metal types. The right knowledge can help you buy jewelry with smart value and attractive style.

Use our tips to select gold jewelry and sterling silver jewelry for your collection.

Look at your skin tone

The best place to start is to consider which color you prefer. There are many different reasons that jewelry looks different on different people, but one of the biggest factors is skin tone.

Silver and white gold share a similar cool lustrous hue, while rose and yellow gold offer warm, rich tones. Think about how that color will look against your skin tone, with diamonds or with your favorite colors of gemstones.

To determine your skin tone, it's best to look at your skin in natural light. If your veins appear blue or purple in color, you have a cool skin tone. If your veins appear green in color, you have a warm skin tone. If your veins appear blue in some areas and green in others, you have a neutral skin tone.

It's important to remember that skin tone is not the same as skin color. It's possible to have darker skin and a cool skin tone, and you can also have light skin and a warm skin tone. Skin tone is closely related to your ethnic background whereas skin color has more to do with the environment.

Once you've determined whether you have warm or cool undertones, it's easy to find a metal color that will flatter your skin tone. People with cool skin tones look good in light or white metals such as white gold, platinum, and silver.

People with warm skin tones look good in yellow and rose gold, copper and brass jewelry. If you have a neutral skin tone, you'll look good in both white metals and yellow metals.

The effect on your skin

If you decide for sterling silver, you should know that it tarnishes, especially in hot, humid weather. It contains 7.5% copper by weight, which reacts with common air pollutants, darkening the surface of the metal. This can prompt skin irritation if your skin is sensitive to (usually) nickel or (sometimes) copper.

Modern silver alloys don't contain nickel, the usual irritant in jewelry metals. Lower percentage silver alloys, like vintage "European" silver, can irritate your skin more easily than sterling silver jewelry if you have copper sensitive skin, because old European silver is .800 fine, or 80% silver / 20% copper.

Pure 24K gold is hypoallergenic. It doesn't cause irritation to the body. But pure gold is very soft. To make it harder, it is mixed with other metals, creating an alloy. However, the metals mixed with gold to make it harder or enhance the color of gold can cause adverse skin reactions.

Gold alloys are available in many colors. For instance, rose gold contains more copper; until recently white gold was traditionally made with nickel.

Nickel allergies are the most common. Many people have problems wearing white gold – the problem isn't the gold. It's actually nickel – the alloy – that causes skin reactions! The new palladium white gold alloys are a bit more expensive but are hypoallergenic.

Higher karat gold alloys tend to be better tolerated than lower karat qualities because there is less of the reactive metal in the alloy. These metals tend to react to the pollutants and other impurities in the air faster than higher karat gold alloys. Many people wear 18K or 22K gold jewelry for this reason.

You can find out what type of metal and how much is used in your precious metal jewelry by looking up specific charts.

The practical points

Gold jewelry is generally more expensive than sterling silver jewelry. This is mainly due to the rarity and durability of gold. Sterling silver can tarnish over time. This factor makes gold jewelry more expensive than sterling silver jewelry in many cases.

Gold is more durable than sterling silver. It is more scratch-resistant and it doesn’t tarnish. Both gold and silver are durable, however, because they are both precious metals. In sterling silver, it is a metal alloy that makes the silver durable enough for daily wear.

Finally, a good foolproof way to wear silver or gold jewelry well is to choose the jewelry that will match your outfit the best. A warm dress with earthy tones, for example, might look best paired with a gold statement piece, such as one of our earrings or necklaces.

A cool jewel-toned dress with icy tones might look best paired with silver accessories such as a silver cocktail ring or silver pendant earrings.

But don't forget the most important... If all else fails, stay true to what you love! Style is about selecting what you desire! Start your style journey today and explore our range of jewelry to find the piece to make you shine.