Silver, Gold, and More: Mixing Jewelry Metals

David Yurman Sterling Silver & 18K Yellow Gold Buckle RingReader J has a great question about mixing jewelry…

Just wondered about the mixing of gold and silver jewelry or different kinds of jewelry, in general. I really like silver jewelry, however, my
wedding band is gold, which I obviously wear all the time. Are there any “dos” or “don’ts” when it comes to mixing gold and silver, or what goes
with pearls, turquoise, etc.?

I often wonder about this myself. My watch is stainless steel, my wedding ring and engagement ring are platinum… so I find myself steering towards all of my white gold/sterling silver jewelry, and away from my gold and rose gold jewelry. That said, I’m not convinced you can’t wear different metals together; but you do have to do so with a bit more of “intention.” (It’s kind of like wearing black and navy together — you want to make sure that people know you intended to do it.)

Other pieces of advice I’ve heard…

  • Have a “bridge” piece — a piece of jewelry that has both gold and silver in its design. This way, your gold jewelry matches part of it, and your silver jewelry matches part of it.  There are a ton of watches with both gold and silver details, I think, for just this reason! The David Yurman ring (pictured above) also fits the bill. Sterling Silver & 18K Yellow Gold Buckle Ring, available at Saks.com for $595.
  • Layer the jewelry pieces in an intentional way. For example, wear silver AND gold bangles, or wear 2 or 3 necklaces of different lengths (and different metals).
  • Keep a consistent feel to the jewelry. (I think this is great advice no matter what metals they’re made of!) But: you’ll have better luck mixing a gold watch with a silver cocktail ring if they’re both in the same “genre” — art deco, bohemian, sleek, etc.
  • Keep metals to one “region.” I know plenty of people who wear a gold ring, a watch with gold accents, and then a silver necklace and earrings.

Readers, what’s your advice for mixing metals?

Comments

  1. Forestgirl :

    I agree about the concept of a “region,” although I’ve never thought about it in that way before. My wedding and engagement rings are white gold, and I never think twice about wearing a gold-tone necklace.

  2. I do the region thing, even though that’s not what I was thinking. I always just assumed that foundation pieces like wedding rings and watches (pieces that you’re likely to have only one of) could be one metal and it was ok to rotate everything else.

  3. BR Threadjack :

    Apologies:

    I bought a coat from BR a few weeks ago. (This one: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=40924&vid=1&pid=781075&scid=781075002.) I paid about $130 back when it was $250, which seemed like a good deal, although now it is marked down substantially. I basically like it (although it’s more autumnal than wintry, not as lined as I would have hoped). However, I noticed today that the seam connecting the zipper and the actual coat is coming apart, i.e., my zipper will soon be disconnected from the jacket itself. This is annoying.

    I’m sure a tailor could fix it for me, but I am wondering whether I would have any luck contacting Banana and asking for them to fix it or give me some refund. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Is it feasible? Is it worth it?

    • You can try, worst you’ll lose is a bit of time.

    • I would absolutely take it into a store and ask them. To me, coats should last at least a couple of seasons, and it would be unacceptable to me to have a coat that I just bought be falling apart, even if I did buy it at a discount.

      If the salesperson you initially talk to says no, ask to speak to a manager. If the manager on duty also says no, ask to speak to the store manager, and if he/she is not there, ask the manager on duty to have them call you about the issue. Be polite but firm. I would ask for a refund or a repair, but I think you are probably going to have better luck getting a refund (I don’t think Banana does tailoring anymore, although I think they used to, a very long time ago). You could also ask for them to replace the coat, if you want to take a chance on a second coat doing the same thing. I guess another approach would be to ask your tailor how much it would cost to repair and ask them to give you that amount.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      It depends on what you want. Are you just mad that you paid more than it’s currently selling for? Do you want all your money back? Do you want to keep the jacket, but get it fixed? If you want a refund, you should be able to successfully argue it is defective and make them take it back, assuming you have a receipt. You will need to politely push for a manager; a sales associate won’t be able to authorize it.

      Banana does farm out its tailoring work to local tailors, but typically they do simple things like hems and sleeves, not more substantial work. And considering the dive in BR quality the past year or two, even if you get this seam fixed, another one may give a few months later.

      At least based on my experience working at Gap Inc, they will not be able to accommodate anon’s sensible idea of finding how much it would cost to repair and getting them to give you the amount. There is no way that’s going to happen.

      • Hmmm… I guess I was thinking that maybe they could accomodate a request to reimburse the OP for the cost of repairs by doing a price adjustment, since the item has been further discounted. But now I see that the OP paid $130 (I guess it must have been with a coupon?) whereas the item is currently marked down to $160, so that probably wouldn’t work.

  4. That buckle ring is kinda cool. With respect to mixing white and yellow metals, I think quality of the jewelry is also important – not all silver and gold pieces are equal, whether it’s the purity of the metal or craftmanship. There’s a marked difference in a silver ring from Chinatown vs. one from a jewelry shop, for example.

    I think the advice about being consistent with the “feel” or “genre” of the jewelry is right on. I’ve been trying to wear my desi 22k gold rings with my american 14k/18k gold rings on one hand and it looks a little off. When I “ethnically divide” my jewelry, I think it looks better but I’m sure other people think it looks fine. Shrug.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally agree … I’ve stopped mixing my American and Indian/desi jewelry for the same reason!

  5. You’re spot on Kat. However, I think the highest level advice, do it with intention, while correct, could use an additional tweak for work. Do it with a dignified aesthetic. Slavish wearing of period pieces can be dreary, regions can look dated. Any time you step outside of the most conservative stylebook you are always taking a risk. Of course, you are also having more fun:).

  6. I used to be miss anti mixing silver and gold. For the most part, I still only do one. I have a cool brownish Guess watch that I wear with gold and wear my silver watch with silver and coordinate my necklace/earrings with whatever metal I’m wearing. i did however buy a pandora ring that incorporates both gold and silver in it that I wear everyday regardless, so now I guess I have been following the “blending piece” rule :)

    • Ooh, what’s a pandora ring?

      • are you familiar with the pandora bracelets? I have one (it’s a charm kinda thing). They sell tons of other jewelry, and I wanted something unique and for “me” after a break up. It wasn’t a crazy expensive ring (i went for the $150 one after really wanting the $230 one haha). but I love it!
        www.pandora.net – check it out!

  7. Threadjack –

    My friends, it is getting dark here at 4:15 p.m. So grim! Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to combat the darkest-winter feeling in the office? I have a nice desk lamp that helps a lot, and I’ve been hitting the tea pretty hard, but I’d love more suggestions. Any ideas? New artwork on my walls, music, more lamps?

    • Plants!
      It helps with the air by literally releasing fresh oxygen back into your office, and the greenery just makes you feel less dreary.
      I would recommend a nice geranium — anything that blooms always makes me feel sunny inside, regardless of weather.

      • Does anybody have recs for plants that don’t need the sun? I don’t get to sit next to the window…..

        • gizmodo and lifehacker have posted lists of good plants. i have had a spider plant for a few years and it will not die. WILL NOT. i don’t even water it anymore. so that one would work.

    • NE Attorney :

      Oh I hear you. We have entered that part of the year where it is very likely dark when you arrive to the office and most certainly dark when you leave.

      I second the plant suggestion, and occassionally flowers can be great too (just be prepared with an answer about the flowers – nosy colleagues always ask about the occasion). Also, although it can be tough to pull off, I try and get outside for at least a few minutes in the afternoon. Just getting that few minutes of sunlight (or cloud cover this week), helps you remember that its not always dark outside.

    • I have 2 desk lamps, which makes a world of difference. And, finally just paid $30 for the annual membership to pandora. So worth it – I have a personalized pick-me-up channel and a chill, non-distracting channel. The background music is a life-saver.

      Plants are a great idea. I may have to do that, too!

    • Short of buying a light therapy lamp for the office, I go tanning for just 5 minutes or so twice a week when I get zero sunlight at work. It is not enough to seriously increase my risk of skin cancer but enough to get me the UV’s and Vitamen D my body needs.

  8. female banker :

    rose gold watch, silver israeli ring — looks good and sticking to it

  9. I wear two David Yurman pieces daily (a ring and bracelet) which mix gold and silver. I believe this gives me free reign to do whatever I want with my other jewelry (i.e., gold or silver earrings or necklaces). My wedding ring is platinum and I like that the DY pieces let me go either way with the rest of my jewelry.

  10. There is a 30% off coupon at the link below, good at Gap, BR and Old Navy (in-store only). 5% of any purchases go to Big Brothers Big Sisters (I’m not affiliated with them, but I used to be a Big Sister).
    http://gap.p.delivery.net/m/p/gap/gcan/gpjump.asp?p=bp/bbbs.html

  11. Threadjack ~

    I just have to share:
    My 50-something secretary is listening to “You Can Do It” by Ice Cube on her headphones so loudly I can hear it in my office. I can also tell it’s the unedited version. Every day, around four p.m. this happens. I would be annoyed, but it’s too funny. And perplexing.

    • That IS funny! I guess it just goes to show you that everyone has something that gets their groove on!

    • HeyNonnyNonny :

      Hilarious. Giggling from afar.
      She does this every day? Perplexing indeed.

    • Perhaps this would help Fiona (above) with her “it’s getting dark too early” blues!

    • Maybe it’s that song that gets her motivated for the last hour of work. It is a great song. Maybe I’ll add it to my workout mix now. Thanks!

    • That is hysterical. Oh my gosh. Also, way better than the 4:45 pm ritual of the secretary just outside of my old office – she would spritz on cheap perfume, so I always could tell when it was quittin’ time. Happily, she stopped when I politely asked (also, using the speakerphone on full blast all day).

    • Anonymous :

      Around 4pm, an hour or two before quitting time, she listens to You Can Do It? I’d say someone’s a little frustrated by the end of the day :).

    • divaliscious11 :

      That may be here way of de-stressing from the office politics….. I’d let her know the volume was high enough for lyric leakage, and then leave it at that, unless you have a no headphones policy….

    • There’s not a headphones policy, but I think I might let her know about the “lyric leakage”. Good term. The noise doesn’t bother me at all, really. It just cracks me up :)

  12. I used to be an absolute PURIST – white gold or silver all the way my entire life. I only started wearing gold last year! Now I happily mix my metals but with caution. I will not mix the metals on my watch and wedding ring as somehow that looks off to my eye. I will also not mix metals which are in close proximity. But I have no problem sporting gold hardware on my shoes and handbags when the rest of me is in silver.

    I think mixing metals is a personal thing. Whatever floats your boat :)

  13. Parisienne :

    I think you can mix silver and gold jewelry, but one should clearly predominate. Isometimes replace blazer buttons with new silver or gold buttons and then I try to stay with that metal for necklace or whatever when wearing a jacket.

  14. Threadjack– is it considered too risque to wear a camisole to work with woolen slacks?

    My boss wants me to wear a dress, but now that it’s getting cold, I don’t want to.

    • Anonymous :

      Without an overshirt? Yes, that is too risque for any office I’ve ever worked in.

      What concerns me more is why your boss has any input on what you wear. Unless you’re dressing inappropriately or not formally enough for the office, I cannot imagine many scenarios where it’s appropriate to suggest specific attire for your employees. Can you clarify?

    • Camisole under a sweater? Fine. On its own? No.

      But, yes, please clarify about this boss wanting you to wear a dress thing.

  15. I am a one-metal (or at least one-color) purist, more so because I just dislike the look of gold, though! So it’s all silver or white gold for me, no matter what. I don’t have a single belt or bag with gold-toned fittings or any article of clothing with a gold-colored zipper.

    And yes, it has been politely pointed out to me that this is insane, or at the least, somewhat limiting. But I carry on . . . .

    • I’m with you, Amy. I don’t own a single gold or gold-toned item. Hardware and jewelry in silver tones only is my preference. I can’t imagine anyone commenting on it though, politely or not! Do carry on.

  16. The only place/region I come close to mixing metals is my left hand (watch + ring). So I got a 2 tone metallic band (omega) and my platinum ring looks ok now.

    But I think it’s ok to mix metals as long as they are ‘separate’ which to me, means that I cannot see them all at the same time. So pearl strand + yellow gold bracelet on right hand + watch/ring on left hand.

    I separate my Indian & Western gold pieces for the same reason as Ru stated above. 22k does NOT go with 18K! And the styles are different too.

    I also vary white/yellow gold depending on what colours I wear. To my eye, (most) cool colours seem to go better with white metals and vice versa. There are always exceptions though- all part of new discoveries:)

  17. I only wear silver/white gold, so never mix. :)

  18. My engagement and wedding ring are white gold, but I’ve totally transitioned my ‘fashion’ jewelry to yellow gold, which I’m loving these days. I’ve looked into resetting my diamond in yellow gold and have found it to be surprisingly inexpensive (the cost is in the large stone, not in the gold). My challenge is to do it in a stylish, intentional way. I’m looking at doing the band yellow gold with inset diamonds and then platimum right around the stone (for strength and to give that bit of ‘mixed gold/silver’ look). Don’t see much of this look yet, but I think it is ‘trending in’.

  19. My wedding rings are platinum and diamond but what mostly shows is diamond, so I feel like it’s not really a silver-toned ring, it’s a diamond-toned ring. Therefore I’ve convinced myself it goes with anything. :) For the rest of my jewelry (bracelets, necklace, earrings) I generally stick to either an overall silver or gold theme.

    I find adding non-metal items, like pearls or jade, can also help one mix metals successfully. I just don’t do it often.

    • oh, and one pet peeve. “Jewelry” is pronounced ju-wel-ree, not jull-a-ree. Sorry, I hear the latter all the time and it’s right up there with “nucullur” for me.

  20. I have a dress like this one, http://pinterest.com/pin/74731675038684843/ , except the dress is white and has more pearls; will it be ok to wear it with these shoes (http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1216881/rock-republic-studded-platform-high-heels-women.jsp) and what kind of jewelry should i wear with it?

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