I’ve always loved silver jewelry. On it’s own or mixed with gemstones, silver has a natural luster that speaks to me like no other metal. As a kid, whenever I was given a piece of gold jewelry, it would most likely end up in the bottom of my jewelry box. The rule back then was, never mix silver with gold. Gold earrings with a silver necklace? Major fashion faux pas! Gold felt too fussy, too expensive and just didn’t fit my style, so it was an easy decision for me to choose to wear silver.
When my husband proposed, he was well aware of my love of white metals so he chose a lovely platinum engagement ring to go with all of my silver pieces. And when we married, a band to match. So there I was, happily committed to wearing white metals forever.
But, wait! Around 2012, the rules of fashion changed. Mixing metals was suddenly trendy. Well, I’m not sure about you, but I’m pretty slow to adopt trends, if I adopt them at all. But as a mature (ahem) adult, I will admit that I was feeling a little left out of the gold love fest.
So one day I thought, what if I was to try adding a bit of gold to my jewelry designs?
As you know, gold is not inexpensive and that’s one reason many of us have shied away from it. When last I looked, gold sells for over 60 times more than the same amount of silver. Why purchase one expensive solid gold piece when you have the flexibility to mix and match multiple silver pieces at a time?
So, I took a big deep breath before purchasing that first 2x2 square inch of 18 karat gold. My thought was just to incorporate a small amount into a ring - namely, wrapping a bezel around a stone and maybe adding a little decorative element to the side - to see if I was happy with the result.
The first ring I made incorporating gold with silver was this Calm & Chaos aquamarine ring. I measured and measured again when cutting the gold to make a bezel for the stone. Just a little bit off and you’ve made a costly mistake. And what I quickly found out is that gold is a very different material to work with than silver. 18K gold is super-springy unlike silver, so I quickly had to master the art of setting a stone with a hammer without breaking the stone in the process! And trust me, I broke a few.
Geesh. With the expense and all of this nailbiting, is mixing yellow gold with silver worth it?
Well, I say yes! This reformed silver addict now loves it! Although I will never give up my white metals, a little bit of gold creates dimension in a piece of jewelry while adding warmth to the gemstone. And think of the possibilities that are now open to you! If you are thinking of wearing gold but can’t justify the expense, a silver piece with just a bit of gold is kinder on the wallet while adding sophistication to your wardrobe. And having one mixed metal piece allows you to coordinate with a cherished single metal piece of jewelry - such as an heirloom pair of earrings or your wedding band.
So, to all of you diehard silver fans, give gold a try! And to those who only wear gold jewelry, take a chance and walk on the wild side with us silver lovers. With a mixed metal jewelry piece, we can all enjoy the combined beauty of these two precious metals.