Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (2024)

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (1)

Silver and gold are coveted, precious metals, and each has an enormous and long-standing fan base. Some jewelry wearers are team gold, some prefer silver, and others can’t get enough of both metals. Depending on the quality of each metal and a range of personal preferences, each has its upsides and downsides. If you can’t decide between silver vs. gold jewelry, consider the qualities of each metal, the pros and cons, and what best complements your skin tone before making your next jewelry purchase.

About Gold

Gold is a noble metal that is resistant to oxidation and corrosion from moisture. It’s considered a precious metal for its rarity and high value, and the lustrous metal has long been appreciated for its beauty and glamor. One of gold’s first known uses in jewelry dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who associated the colors yellow and gold with the sun and used them in ornaments and crowns for the pharaoh.

Gold has not only been a prized metal for its link to wealth and status, but it’s also the most malleable of all precious metals and is resistant to rust, corrosion, and tarnish, unlike silver and other metals. It’s this durable and workable nature that has made it a preferred metal for jewelry makers over the centuries. Gold can also be melted down and reformed into new gold pieces, making it reusable. The price of gold depends on a few key factors, including the karatage or purity of the gold used, gold’s current market value, and the craftsmanship and design. With karat count, 24 karat is considered 100% pure gold. Other gold karats include:

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (2)

  • 22 Karat—91.7% gold
  • 18 Karat—75% gold and considered to be luxury fine jewelry
  • 14 Karat—58.3% gold and ideal for fine jewelry
  • 12 Karat—50% gold
  • 10 Karat—41.7% gold

Of each karat choice, 14K gold is the most popular for its balance of affordability and durability.

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (3)

Gold Jewelry Pro: More Durable

Gold is the most malleable precious metal, but it also will not oxidize or corrode. There are also very few acids that can damage it. Silver, on the other hand, is softer and, therefore, easier to scratch. With enough wear and tear, it’s also possible for it to bend or change shape over time.

The more durable nature of gold, combined with its high value, is why many opt for gold pieces over silver for everyday wear.

Gold Jewelry Pro: Complements Warmer Skin Tones

Traditionally, gold has been widely accepted as an excellent color choice for warmer skin tones. Warm skin tones are typically identified by greenish colored veins, may have yellow or golden-apricot undertones, and can tan easily. If you have brown, green, or hazel eyes and red, brown, or black hair, you may have a warm skin tone.

Gold or other light metals complement these skin tones, as well as warmer colors you choose to wear. Of course, if you have a neutral skin tone, you can easily pull off both gold and silver. Yellow gold, especially, is widely accepted as attractive on warm skin tones. When paired with earthy clothing or stones and gems that have green, brown, turquoise, and orange colors, this can be the perfect color combination. If you fit any of these characteristics, you will likely be able to pull off a gold watch for men fantastically.

Gold Jewelry Pro: Comes in Several Colors

While silver is known and loved for its shiny, bright luster, gold is appreciated for its variety of colors. While pure gold is typically yellow, the metal it’s sometimes alloyed with can change that color to suit a variety of skin tones and tastes. Most fine gold jewelry comes in three colors: yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (4)

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a combination of pure gold, copper, and silver. This color of gold emits a warm glow that’s often paired with colored diamonds with yellow tints. Yellow 18K gold typically has a richer color than 14K yellow gold, but it is softer and more prone to scratches.

White Gold

White gold is pure gold alloyed with a combination of silver and palladium, nickel, or other alloys that achieve a white-silvery color. The process then involves plating the jewelry piece or covering it with a layer of rhodium for extra long wear. After a few years, the piece may require replating if the whiteness fades.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a combination of pure gold and copper alloy. This mixture created a pinkish hue that, with more copper alloy, becomes even rosier. Rose gold contains the same amount of pure gold as white or yellow gold. This gold color has both a vintage and modern aesthetic that makes it a go-to for engagement rings.

Gold Jewelry Pro: Real Gold Is Easier to Identify

In the U.S., gold is required to be stamped or marked based on its purity. The hallmark should tell you what percentage of gold an item consists of. This can often be found on the inner band of rings or on jewelry clasps.

Look for a rectangular, oval, or house shape on the piece. A rectangular shape with shaved corners shows that it’s a gold piece, an oval represents silver, and a house indicates platinum. Next, look for the number inside the shape. While different countries follow different hallmarking standards, common hallmarks for gold include:

  • 999/990—24K gold
  • 916—22K gold
  • 750—18K gold
  • 585—14K gold

Unlike gold, silver is not required in all countries to be hallmarked or stamped. For instance, sterling silver will bear the hallmark “925” and fine silver will be marked as “999.” The stamps SS or FS may also indicate it’s real silver. For this reason, it can be harder to identify if your silver is real when you’re not buying from a trusted or reputable jeweler.

Gold Jewelry Pro: Less Maintenance

On the whole, gold pieces require less maintenance and care than silver to maintain their beauty. If you own any sterling silver jewelry, you’ve likely seen that it can become tarnished or brown or black as time goes on. While a quality polish and some elbow grease can help you restore your silver piece to its original state, you can prevent this by regularly cleaning and polishing your sterling silver jewelry pieces and storing them in a cool and moistureless place.

Gold, and, specifically, white gold, will not tarnish over time and requires less routine care. Because gold is resistant to scratches and can withstand heat and water better, it holds up longer than its silver counterpart. Of course, white gold may become more dull over time, but it can be cleaned at home or taken to a professional jeweler to help bring back its shine.

Gold Jewelry Pro: Can Wear with Fresh Gear

Many gold pieces have been inspired by urban culture, making it a premium choice for street-style jewelry. From gold chains to watches, bracelets, earrings, and more, there are many custom-made styles that complement the hip-hop lifestyle.

In the early years of hip-hop, many prominent artists would sport gold chains and other pieces of jewelry to symbolize their success and mark major achievements in their careers. Celebrities such as LL Cool J sported gold rope chains and, later, watches, rings, and pendants. Today, you’ll see many celebrities wearing similar pieces and can find a range of types of gold chains that won’t break the bank.

About Silver

Like gold, silver is a precious metal, and it is also malleable. Though not as hard as gold, it can be alloyed with other metals to increase its hardness. Silver that is 99.9% pure silver is considered fine silver, but it is typically too soft to be used in jewelry making. That’s why fine silver is alloyed with copper to make sterling silver, or 925 silver, which makes up the bulk of silver jewelry bought today.

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (5)

By adding copper to silver, it hardens it and makes it more durable without affecting the silver’s color. However, the addition of copper also makes it prone to tarnishing over time, particularly in humid conditions. Other silver alloys include Mexican, coin, Britannia, and more that are used around the world to make silver more durable and, in some cases, more valuable. Silver has long been sought after for its bright, shiny luster, but it can also be oxidized to give it a dark gray patinated appearance.

Silver Jewelry Pro: Complements Cooler Skin Tones

For those with cooler skin tones, silver is an excellent choice. While it’s also a matter of preference, silver is thought to complement cooler skin tones, or those with bluish colored veins or undertones of pink or rosy-red. If you don’t tan easily or your skin burns easily, or you have green or blue eyes and blonde, brown, or black hair, you may also have a cool skin tone. Whether you opt for silver or white gold, both these light metals complement cooler skin tones and pair well with more vibrant colors such as deep reds, blues, pinks, and purples.

Silver Jewelry Pro: Less Expensive

A major perk of silver versus gold jewelry is its price point. Despite being a precious metal, it’s considerably less costly than gold. This is because there is currently a much larger supply of silver than gold worldwide. Because silver is also not as strong as gold and may cause allergic reactions, these factors also play into its less expensive price. With this in mind, it may be more affordable to amass a collection of silver jewelry, or to buy both silver and gold pieces to add to your collection.

Silver Jewelry Cons: Prone to Damage

As it has a softer texture than gold, silver is more prone to physical damage. It is easily scratched, bent, or broken, especially if you wear your pieces every day. Silver’s softness also limits your styling options, so you shouldn’t layer or stack silver jewelry pieces. This means avoiding placing silver bracelets next to your watch, but it’s good to wear silver rings on alternate fingers and only wear one silver chain at a time.

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (6)

Silver and Gold Jewelry Con: May Cause Metal Allergies

Nickel, a metal used in white gold and silver, is one of the most common causes of metal allergies. While sterling silver is 92.5% silver alloyed with copper, nickel may be present in the remaining metals. And, for white gold, nickel is typically used as the alloy. Once the rhodium plating wears off, the nickel may be exposed to the wearer’s skin and cause irritation if they are allergic.

A nickel allergy can cause an itchy rash within hours or days to nickel exposure and last up to four weeks. Symptoms may include a rash or bumps on the skin, redness or changes in skin color, itching, dry patches, and more. While the cause of nickel allergy is not known, once your body has developed a reaction to nickel, it will remain sensitive to it, and you will need to avoid contact with the metal. If you find you have a nickel allergy, gold may be a smart jewelry choice for sensitive skin. Opting for a yellow gold chain for men, for instance, can spare you from an unwanted and uncomfortable rash.

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Which Is for You: Silver or Gold?

Both silver and gold have long been used to create traditional and modern jewelry pieces. The classic question of silver vs. gold ultimately boils down to personal preference. Even if you have a skin tone that one of these metals complements more than the other, it’s about which one you prefer. And wearing one of these precious metals doesn’t bar you from wearing the other—you can wear both!

Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (7)

If price is of significant consideration, silver is more budget friendly. You can find plenty of bold and beautiful sterling silver pieces at affordable costs. While gold is more expensive, the higher value of gold pieces can also make them a great long-term investment. If you intend to wear a piece of jewelry more regularly, gold is a solid choice for long-term wear. It requires less routine maintenance than silver and stands up against the test of time. No matter which you choose, make sure you’re working with a reputable jeweler to ensure the purity of your gold or silver piece.


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Silver vs. Gold Jewelry: Pros & Cons of Each (2024)

FAQs

Is it better to wear silver or gold jewelry? ›

For anyone who has cooler skin tones, silver jewellery is the most natural choice. For those with warmer skin tones, gold jewellery should be the way you go. Not sure about your skin tone? Hold out your arm straight with your palm facing upward.

What are the disadvantages of wearing gold and silver together? ›

However, there are two potential issues that you should be mindful of when wearing the two metals together and that is the transfer of tarnishing and also scratching. While gold and silver cannot cause tarnishing on one another, they can transfer it.

How do you tell if you should wear silver or gold? ›

That depends on the undertone of your skin. If you have a cold undertone, you will look your best in silver and white gold. If you have a warm undertone, your best choice will be yellow gold. If your skin undertone is olive or neutral, you are lucky, you can equally look great in yellow gold, and white gold or silver.

Is silver or gold jewelry more popular 2023? ›

Mixed Metals

While the demand for silver may be on the rise, gold will always have a place in any jewelry box. The best news for jewelry enthusiasts in 2023 is that mixed metal pieces are more popular than ever! Mix gold and silver necklaces together and create a contemporary look that works with all skin tones.

Why do I prefer silver over gold? ›

Silver Jewelry is More Affordable

The gold to silver ratio in the 21st century is 60:1. This implies that gold is way more expensive than silver because it is scarce. Silver is durable, gorgeous, and affordable. If you are looking to have a collection of precious metal jewelry, silver is a good choice.

What is a disadvantage of silver? ›

One disadvantage of silver is that it tarnishes easily when exposed to air or moisture. This means that if you're using silver in any form—jewelry or otherwise—it needs to be carefully stored away from these elements to maintain its appearance over time.

Who should not wear silver? ›

Who Should Not Wear Silver. According to astrology, the people of these three zodiac signs Aries, Sagittarius, and Leo should not wear silver things. All these three zodiac signs belong to the element of fire and the Moon, the ruling planet of silver, is related to the element of water.

What are the disadvantages of wearing gold? ›

Gold jewellery can become scratched, especially when worn on a daily basis. Because nickel may be present in the gold alloy, gold may not be suitable for metal allergy sufferers.

Can you shower with gold and silver? ›

Wearing solid gold jewelry, white gold or yellow gold, in the shower will not harm the metal itself, however it can reduce the shine therefore it is not recommended. Showering with gold plated jewelry can eventually cause the gold layer to wear off completely, therefore you should definitely refrain from doing so.

Who should wear silver? ›

In astrology, it is believed that silver jewelry is very auspicious for Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

Who should wear gold and who should wear silver? ›

If you have a darker complexion with yellow undertones you were to choose gold, if you have a lighter complexion with rose undertones you were to choose silver. While skin tone may play a slight role in deciding your jewelry metal, it really should depend on what you are wearing - colors, style, etc.

Do brunettes look better in gold or silver? ›

Tip 1: Hair and eye color

Silver looks best with blue/green eyes and light hair. Gold works better with brown eyes and dark hair colors.

What is the most popular jewelry right now? ›

Meanwhile, as gold continues to be the top-grossing jewelry material — dominating nearly half the market in 2021 — a significant number of designers are rebelliously incorporating more silver finishes, both mixed with contrasting metals and singularly.

Is silver or gold jewelry more classy? ›

Traditionally, gold is seen as more classy than silver. Wealthy people have always tended towards gold as a show of prosperity, but these values are more outdated now.

What metal is trending 2023? ›

The next trending metal of 2023 is platinum, a rare and extremely durable metal.

Why is silver not worth more than gold? ›

The key answer to the question 'why is silver cheaper than gold? ' is scarcity. Gold is much rarer than silver, and this imbalance in supply and demand between the two metals makes up the majority of the difference in their prices. However, both precious metals have significant value.

Why don't we use silver? ›

Though silver is a very good conductor of electricity but still that is not used in electric wiring primarily due to its cost. It's very expensive compared to the widely used wiring material copper. Another reason for not using silver is that , it oxidizes easily and tarnishes when it comes in contact with air.

Why is silver rarely used? ›

Despite its ability to conduct electricity well, silver is not typically utilized in electrical wiring for the following reasons: The best conductor of electricity is silver, which is the most expensive in its pure form. Making silver wires is not economically possible because it would be expensive.

Is silver losing its value? ›

As mentioned, silver has had ups and downs over the past year. Its peak for the last 12 months came in early March 2022 at just below US$26.50, but the white metal then gradually moved downward, dropping as low as US$18 at the beginning of September 2022.

Who should not wear gold? ›

Adorning gold is believed to be auspicious for Aries, Cancer, Leo and Sagittarius zodiacs. While it gives moderate results for Scorpio and Pisces zodiacs. On the other hand, gold may not be good for Taurus, Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius zodiacs. Besides this, Libra and Capricorn women should try to wear minimum gold.

Is it OK to wear silver everyday? ›

Sterling silver jewelry can absolutely be worn every day! In fact, many people enjoy the look of sterling silver because it's understated and timeless. Plus, it's easy to care for and can be worn with just about anything.

Does wearing silver have side effects? ›

The adverse effects of chronic exposure to silver are a permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin (argyria) or eyes (argyrosis). Most studies discuss cases of argyria and argyrosis that have resulted primarily from exposure to the soluble forms of silver.

Why should you always wear gold? ›

Offers Healing Qualities

Gold's healing properties are interwoven to various organ systems, so you'll feel the effects on your entire body . Ancient people believed the metal had special healing powers, and it is still thought to promote blood circulation and relieve sore and stiff muscles.

What does gold do to your body? ›

Gold is thought to have a relaxing effect on blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely. This boost in circulation regulates oxygen within the body, aiding in healing. Gold is said to aid in body temperature regulation. A stable temperature improves a person's immune system.

What are the negatives of gold metal? ›

While Gold is a beautiful metal, it is also dangerous to handle. Gold is a heavy metal; exposure to it can lead to health problems such as kidney damage. In addition, gold dust can be explosive, and workers in gold mines are at risk of being killed or injured by explosions.

What jewelry can you wear all the time? ›

When it comes to figuring out what kind of jewelry is sweat- and water-resistant (whether it's rings, necklaces, earrings, or even a medical bracelet), check that it's solid gold, gold filled, or sterling silver. These metals are also hypoallergenic, which means it won't make your skin break out, itch, or turn green.

Is it OK to wear a gold chain all the time? ›

"You can potentially damage your jewelry by constantly wearing it, but there are no major health risks to wearing jewelry every day, which includes sleeping and showering," she says (unless you're wearing costume jewelry, but we'll get to that later).

What is the best jewelry to wear in the shower? ›

It's ultimately best to keep all of your jewelry dry if possible. However, if necessary, solid gold is the best type for wearing in the shower or bath. This is because it is the only type that doesn't have an outer layer that is made from a different metal to its base.

Are there benefits to wearing silver? ›

Many people believe that silver, as an essential metal, can help manage stress and anxiety. It's said that wearing silver can help calm the mind and keep stress, anxiety, and anger away. So, wearing necklaces, bangles, and other silver accessories can help bring positivity and promote overall mental wellness.

Which finger is the best to wear a silver ring on? ›

Wearing silver is believed to calm anger and calm the mind. You will be surprised to know the amazing benefits of wearing a silver ring on your little finger. It is better to wear a silver ring. Especially wearing a silver ring on the little finger reduces stress and creates clear thoughts.

What skin looks better with silver? ›

As a general rule, gold jewellery tends to flatter warm undertones more whereas white metals such as silver, platinum and white gold look better on paler skin with a cool undertone. Rose gold straddles the line somewhere between the two and so looks equally as good on those with warm or cool undertones.

Is it OK to wear gold and silver necklaces together? ›

Short answer: yes. You can definitely mix and match gold jewelry with silver pieces! This is true regardless of what type of gold you prefer. Silver is a neutral-look metal and won't clash with rose or yellow gold (despite looking the most similar to white gold).

Is it OK to wear gold and silver rings on the same hand? ›

Gold and silver jewelry can be mixed and matched on the same finger, but it's important to use the same type of gold (yellow, rose, or white) or silver (fine, sterling, or platinum) in order to achieve balance.

Can you wear gold on one hand and silver on the other? ›

Until recently, there was a clear rule forbidding the combination of gold and silver jewelry, but modern trends have changed this rigid rule and more and more women in the fashion industry are seen successfully combining these two metals.

What hair color makes brunettes look younger? ›

Auburn. A rich, red auburn will enhance brunettes and redheads alike and give the appearance of younger and more radiant skin by reflecting light around the face with its warm tint. The best thing about this deep red-brown is that it still has a kick of fiery vibrancy, no matter if you go subtle or ultra-bright.

Does lighter or darker hair make you look younger? ›

Lighter hair color makes you look younger – but the tone you go for is paramount. If your skin has warm undertones, stay away from cool, ashy tones, and add some warmth to your look with golden highlights. Go for shades like honey to give your complexion a healthy, youthful glow!

What does gold or silver say about you? ›

gold jewelry skin tone, cool undertones often fare better with silver jewelry, whereas gold pieces look gorgeous with warm undertones. Gold jewelry may make someone with a cool undertone appear extremely pale and a little unhealthy, whereas silver jewelry on warm undertones can look a bit jarring.

What is the trend in jewelry in 2023? ›

Punk Details. Emerging labels like Chopova Lowena and Collina Strada championed chunky chains on the runways for spring 2023. Try layering mixed metals (a trend Zwart sees picking up next year) for an updated touch.

Is silver coming back in style 2023? ›

Silver jewelry has hailed as one of 2023's biggest jewelry trends, both on the runway and off. While many of us—myself included—never really left silver behind entirely, both the Spring/Summer 2023 and Fall/Winter 2023 runways proved that silver is the metal to wear for the months ahead.

What is timeless jewelry? ›

When you have a piece of jewelry that does it all, meaning you can wear it with any outfit or on any day, it's a timeless piece. Keep in mind that classic jewelry isn't always necessarily what's currently in-trend — it's a nice staple piece that has stood the test of time.

Is yellow gold in style 2023? ›

Its official, yellow gold, which has been the hottest trend of 2022 is here to stay for 2023. From classic everyday jewellery to showstopping statement pieces, and everything in between, let us run through some of the key trends for wearing yellow gold in the new year.

Who should wear gold? ›

As per Vedic astrology, people who were born in Aries, Cancer, Leo, and Sagittarius ascendant or sign wearing gold is considered auspicious for these people. On the other hand, wearing gold has various effects on different parts of the body.

What color trends will take over in 2023? ›

Digital Lavender, Luscious Red, Sundial, Tranquil Blue and Verdigris are the color names for 2023. Who chooses the names of the new colors? Names are selected by the WGSN and Coloro color team, before being verified by our in-house Equality Vision Team to ensure a proper translation on a global scale.

What is the color for 2023? ›

The Pantone Color Institute named Viva Magenta as its official color of the year for 2023 for its joyous yet powerful nature. A red with subtle notes of purple, magenta flawlessly complements many different color palettes from those on the richer, jewel-tone side of the spectrum to even a lighter, earthy palette.

What color trend will happen in 2023 2024? ›

Overall, the chromatic trend for Autumn-Winter 2023/2024 presents great comebacks and confirmations, with a palette that ranges from red to gray, yellow to brown, and pink. Even the most delicate and subtle shades will have their space, inviting experimentation and rediscovery of classic nuances in an original key.

Is gold or silver jewlery more classy? ›

Traditionally, gold is seen as more classy than silver.

Do darker skin tones look better in gold or silver? ›

Dark Skin. Similar to olive or Mediterranean skin, those with darker skin can count themselves pretty lucky because any jewellery will look quite striking against it. However, finer silver jewellery pieces can get a little lost so look towards gold and rose gold if you're going for minimal jewellery.

Is silver jewlery out of style? ›

Silver jewelry has hailed as one of 2023's biggest jewelry trends, both on the runway and off. While many of us—myself included—never really left silver behind entirely, both the Spring/Summer 2023 and Fall/Winter 2023 runways proved that silver is the metal to wear for the months ahead.

Do tan people look better in silver or gold? ›

Gold is better suited for a warmer skin coloring, whereas silver is better suited for a cooler skin coloring. There are a few different ways to tell if you have a warm skin tone or a cool skin tone.

Does gold or silver look better on grey? ›

Regardless of if you have silver-colored hair or white hair, or primarily grey hair, you should not accompany your outfit with gold jewelry. Instead, you can wear silver jewelry pieces of pewter jewelry. Opting for such jewelry shades and materials, you will automatically look great with your grey hair.

Can you mix silver and gold jewelry? ›

Mixing silver and gold jewellery has always been a timeless accessories option. Accessories are made to be paired together, and that includes precious metals like gold and silver. You can make the most of your collection by choosing gold jewellery pieces and combining them with your beloved sterling silver items.

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