To match your metals (and to never mix them) has long been an unwritten rule for jewellery, but we think it’s past time to start making an exception. According to trend reports, while gold has reigned supreme for multiple seasons, silver is making a strong comeback – and who are we to take sides? Here are some ways to mix and match your metals for a fresh take on your jewellery collection.
Two- (and triple-) toned trinkets
Mixed metal jewellery is nothing new. In fact, one of luxury French jeweller Cartier’s most iconic designs is the Trinity ring, a custom piece designed for Jean Cocteau in 1924 – now a label signature – that has three interlocking rings, each in a different tone of gold.
For a modern take on a triple-tone ring, try London-based Kiwi designer Jessica McCormack’s Tricolour Fairtrade Gold Band from Simon James. The ring is handcrafted, with 18-carat yellow and rose gold halves cinched with white gold bands. It’s an investment piece for sure, but makes for the perfect stacking band to tie gold and silver rings together.
Another Kiwi export with a penchant for two-toned metals is Ella Drake, designer of B Corp-certified brand Monarc Jewellery, based between New Zealand and London. Monarc’s two-tone Hermione hoop earrings and 2-in-1 Fan Huggie hoops blend 100 per cent recycled sterling silver and gold vermeil. For an everyday mixed metal piece, Otiumberg’s Paperclip necklace from Superette is a lightweight silver chain necklace with a toggle closure. It features one statement gold vermeil link, an unexpected element on an otherwise understated piece.
Stack ’em up
An easy approach to pairing silver and gold is to simply stack them side by side. But it’s not as simple as just throwing on your favourite pieces – you want to create a sense of harmony and balance while doing so. When layering necklaces, opt for varying weights, lengths and textures. Zoe and Morgan has an array of mix-and-match chains, like its 40-centimetre and 70-centimetre Poppy chains, available in both gold and silver and designed to be layered together. Add depth and interest with the addition of subtle statement pendants, such as the label’s delicate Eos necklace, and its larger talismans, like the celestial-inspired Selene pendant.
The bold earring might be back (Auckland designer Jasmin Sparrow recently released some impressive new clip-on shapes), but “earscaping” is also on the rise. Layering various hoops, studs and ear cuffs to create an earscape is a playful way to mix silver and gold – and it’s not limited to the number of piercings in your ear. Ear cuffs are having a moment, and Meadowlark has just released a new collection that includes the silver or gold Cosmo cuffs, large and small. These would make a delightful stack when paired with your favourite earrings.
A good jewellery stack doesn’t stop at the ear – you can adopt the same technique with rings and bracelets. Emerging Tāmaki Makaurau-based studio Per Ardua designs with stacks in mind, presenting a range of minimalist, sculptural gold and silver rings that are best worn together, like the hand-carved, undulating Everyday band.
Incorporating precious and semi-precious gemstones is an effortless way to tie silver and gold together. Karen Walker’s Expressionist ring (available in both silver and gold) displays a rainbow spectrum of cubic zirconia. The coloured stones lend themselves well to both metals – the cool blues pair well with silver, and the warm citrine is a match for gold. Similarly, Flash Jewellery’s Fiasco hoops, paved with vivid tangerine and crystal clear stones, work well with both metals. Play up the contrast and create an earscape with the addition of simple silver or gold hoops. When it comes to precious stones, consider how the jewel is set. Often stones are set in a contrasting metal plate – like Olivia Bond’s baby emerald Scallop necklace, which features a yellow gold chain and black rhodium-plated setting. Take note of the metals’ cool and warm tones, and layer and match your other pieces accordingly.