Gold vs. Silver Jewelry: The Basics

Jun 26, 2014

Last week, my Mother asked me to write a post about basic gold and silver jewelry pieces.  I subtly reminded her that this a pro-gold blog.

Okay, so I may have shouted, “Down with silver! Gold today, gold tomorrow, gold forever!”.

Regardless of my personal leanings, I know that some of you do not share my affection for yellow-toned jewelry.  So here are some basic jewelry pieces for gold loyalists, silver loyalists, and you freaks who can’t pick a side.

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Cuff Bracelets.  Tahari gold-tone multi-circle cuff ($65) and Vince Camuto silver open cuff bracelet ($48).  A cuff bracelet is a stand alone piece that can be added to any outfit for a bit of extra punch.  Both of these bracelets have a open-work that keeps them from being too heavy.

If you prefer something more substantial, try this $15 hammered-silver cuff from Lemnos or this $30 JoJo yellow-tone cuff with a cool, squared-off edge.  As for great places to find inexpensive cuffs, do not discount the power of Chico’s, which produces great bracelets of all types.

Pendant Necklaces.  Sonya Renee Wishbone Pendant ($55) and Dogeared Infinite Love Pendant ($50).  While I prefer a longer style, there is just something about a delicate pendant necklace.  The way it grazes the skin is just soft and subtly sexy.  I love the simplicity of both of these styles.

Like pendants?  Then you need to be shopping at 6pm.com.  The selection turns over regularly, and the prices are fantastic.

Stud Earrings. Gorjana tulip studs ($35) and Trina Turk pyramid stud ($19).  I wear my diamond studs almost every day, but sometimes, I don’t want to chance losing them.  I own both of these pairs of earrings (albeit I own the Trina in rose gold).  They’re small and delicate, but their cool shapes offer a nice punch of style.

Prefer small hoops?  I adore these Rebecca Minkoff triangle hoops in silver (wish they came in gold).  I also like these small rectangular hoops from Kenneth Cole in yellow gold.

Bangle Bracelets. Kate Spade idiom bangle ($32) and Kate Spade knot bangle ($78).  A thin bangle is a great piece for layering or standing alone.  It is the essence of classic, or you can add a little something extra, like this knot.  I can’t believe the price on the yellow gold Kate Spade bangle.  I may just have to buy that one for myself.

Thin Ring. Dogeared arrow ring ($61) and Dogeared Free Spirit Ring ($35).  Layering thin rings is still one of my favorite trends.  I also like wearing a pretty, little ring alone for just a hint of shine.  Dogeared obviously makes lovely ones.

If you want to get started layering thin rings, try buying a set like this one from Sole Society or this one from Nasty Gal, both in yellow gold.  For silver lovers, I didn’t find any stand alones, but I did find this set that mixes silver and rose tones.

Statement Ring. Elizabeth and James windrose ring ($95) and Simon Sebagg Hammered Ring ($140).  One stand alone ring is my favorite way to add shine to an outfit.  A large ring adds pop without adding the weight of a bracelet.  In my opinion, every woman should own one chunky ring that she can wear with anything, to anything.

The best place to find these types of rings?  Nordstrom.  You can find them in any metal and any price.

Drop Earrings. Brooks Brothers gold hammered drops ($44) and Zina sterling silver drops ($60).  Sometimes a pair of studs just won’t do, you need the extra sparkle to add a festive touch to an outfit.  Simple, metal drop earrings give your look just a little something extra.

My favorite style right now are long, thin drop earrings, like these $15 ones from JCPenney (also in silver).  I also love these long chain Vince Camuto ones in silver and gold.

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  1. Jamie says:

    Thanks Belle these are great tips, as always with your blog. Can you comment on how best to get diamond studs? Any tips on setting and where offers the best value? Many thanks!

  2. Ashley says:

    I try to not put myself in fashion situations where yellow gold is necessary. I am a silver loyalist. That being said, thanks for the tips and suggestions.

  3. Lynn says:

    FYI the Kate Spade stuff is silver plated but silver silver. I only wear 100% metal material and didn’t process this minor (major point). I don’t really remove my staple stuff and so my knot ring (like the bangle) got tarnished.

  4. Rachel says:

    I think gold vs. silver depends on your skin tone – gold looks best on those with olive complexions, and silver looks best on those with cooler complexions.

    However, my mother is a jeweler, and she cautions that gold-plated jewelry and gold costume jewelry generally look cheaper and don’t wear as well as silver-plated or silver costume jewelry. That’s why, for costume jewelry, I stick to silver.

  5. Meredith says:

    What’s always been a tough question for me is whether or not it’s okay to mix and match. How do you feel about mixing gold and silver? I typically tend to avoid it but sometimes will pair a silver watch with other gold pieces.

    • Justine says:

      Mixing metals looks better when the overall color ratio is uneven, e.g. 3:1 or 4:1. Simply avoid a 1:1 ratio in mixing metals.

      It helps if you group one metal by body part, e.g. hand/wrist area or around the face.

      Mixing metals also looks more harmonious if you have a linking piece that already has more than one metal in it.

  6. Gabby says:

    Thanks for the tip on 6pm, I’m a huge pendant person and they do have a great selection at awesome prices. I’m also a big fan of shopping on Etsy for pendants…you can find a lot of cute, unique pieces for a steal! And I’m a silver person…I prefer not to mix metals and I have an inherited silver and diamond ring that I wear everywhere except the gym.

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