How To Choose The Right Color Jewelry For Your Skin Tone

We all want to wear jewelry that makes us feel gorgeous, that tells our personal story, and that fits our personality. While there are some rules for picking your jewelry metals, there may also be times you want to break them.

By Greta Waldon3 min read
Pexels/Luca De Massis

Whether you’re just starting to build a fine jewelry collection or you’ve already got quite a few pieces, you may find that you’re typically drawn toward wearing either gold or silver. What’s the science behind which looks better on you, and what happens if you like to adorn yourself with both? The first thing we’ll explore is how metals work with your unique skin tone. 

Complementing Your Skin Tone

Figuring out your skin tone will lead you to the metal that naturally shines best on you. If you have warmer-toned skin, gold will complement those sunny hues. If you have cooler-toned skin, silver will be your route to a timeless, starry-night sky look. Sometimes, your skin tone is immediately obvious, but if you’re having trouble gauging where you land, there are a few tests you can try. 

First, take a look at the veins in your wrist. Do they look more greenish? If so, you have a warm skin tone and gold is your color. Do they look more blue or purple? Then it’s a cool skin tone and silver for you!

You can also explore things like the undertone of your hair (is it more reddish or more of an ash color?), your eye color, and the way your skin reacts to its environment. If you still aren’t sure, you could have a more neutral skin tone, which means – lucky you! – that both silver and gold will look great on you. 

Have fun playing around with this until you feel like you’ve really gotten a sense of what’s working with your coloring. Make sure to try your jewelry in different lighting, with different outfits, and get some second and third opinions from family and friends. Don’t worry, though – if you had your heart set on one and your natural hues are telling you the other, you still have some options. 

When To Bend the Rules

Like anything else in fashion, there can be a variety of practical or personal reasons you might bend the traditional rules. With jewelry, one valid reason is the lower price point of silver compared to gold when it comes to solid fine metals. If you’re building a collection that you want to last and even become heirlooms for your future granddaughters, silver is a more affordable way to start. 

If you yourself have a family heirloom that’s a different metal than your traditional match, you might want to build your collection around that special piece anyway so you can wear it without clashing. 

You may also enjoy wearing different metals in different seasons, going warmer in summer to pair with your sun-kissed skin, or you could opt for gold in winter to warm up your look and silver in summer for a refreshing cool feel. Or, you might simply just prefer one or the other, and that is totally okay, too!

Mixing Metals

As you may have noticed, it’s now totally fair game to mix your metals. If you have a neutral skin tone or if you just want to get a little more playful with your style, you don’t have to commit to just one or the other metal anymore. Your mixed-metal look could be as subtle as wearing stacking rings in both gold and silver, or as bold as wearing a statement necklace in gold and the rest of your jewelry in silver. Some jewelry is specifically designed with both gold and silver elements, as well. Have fun exploring how mixing metals can work for you.

Beyond Gold and Silver 

While you may have fallen in love with gold, silver, or even with both as you explore your skin tone and your dream jewelry collection, you might still be craving more options. Luckily, there are lots of other great metals. Rose gold, for example, is a beautiful, feminine metal that looks great on all skin tones and can be excellent if you love wearing colors like pink or blue. 

If you love the idea of gold but want to cool it down a bit, you could opt for white gold for things like your engagement and wedding rings. There are also more affordable metals like brass, gunmetal, and stainless steel that can be a great way to explore trends or to match that one certain outfit without breaking the bank. And of course, any metal piece can include gem stones, diamonds, and pearls to add the color and personal meaning you might be seeking for your wardrobe. 

Shopping Recommendations 

At the end of the day, the metals you choose to wear are truly up to you. If the piece makes you feel beautiful, then it’s absolutely the right choice. Here are some classic, gorgeous pieces to get your collection started or expand on what you already have. 

Evie's product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.