Does gold or silver jewellery suit me best? How to pick the metal that most flatters your skin tone

Above: Anita wearing the large gold teardrop earrings

Does silver suit some people better whilst others find gold more flattering?

I wanted to look into this after a discussion on one of my recent Instagram posts about whether people preferred gold or silver. The general consensus seemed to be that people liked silver when they were younger, but started to find gold more flattering as they got older.

It got me thinking – are their changes in your skin as you age that could explain this or is gold just having a ‘moment’ right now and so people are sub consciously choosing it as its more popular and on trend?

I just want to preface this blog post by saying that I don’t for one minute think that anyone should feel they can only wear what’s deemed to ‘suit’ them. I’m am a big advocate of just wearing what the heck you want…if you like it, then go for it! However, I did find it interesting to learn more about why some metals can look more flattering than others on certain skin tones and so am sharing that below...

What’s your skin undertone?

So, first things first….how on earth do you work out what your skin’s undertone is? Regardless of skin colour everyone falls into the category of warm, cool or neutral when it comes to their undertone. Most people will find that the tone or colour of their skin changes a shade or two depending on the time of year, but their undertone will stay the same.

Not sure whether you’re a warm, cool or neutral undertone? Here are some fail safe tips for establishing which group you fall into…

  • If you burn easily when you’re out in the sun without protection then you probably have a cool undertone, whereas if you tan you have a warm. If you burn first and then tan you have a neutral undertone.

  • Check the veins on the inside of your wrist – if they look blueish in natural daylight then you’re probably cool toned, more green then you most likely have a warm undertone

  • Put on a white top or hold a sheet of white paper up to your face. Does your face look pink or more yellow by comparison? If it’s got a pinkish, rosy feel then the chances are that you’re cool toned. If it’s more of a yellow colour then you’re probably a warm undertone. If you suit bright white as much as creamier off white colours then you might have a neutral undertone

Does your skin’s undertone change as you get older?

Although the colour of your skin might change as you age (often becoming a few shades darker), the understone should remain the same.

Will gold or silver jewellery suit me best?

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. However, you might want to avoid it if your skin has a pinkish tint to it as it will accentuate it.

I actually think the tone of your skin makes a difference too. I'm my opinion, darker skins can totally rock gold AND silver, but those with pale skin and a warm understone can look a little washed out in gold. I guess the rules are, there are no rules!

Above: Mixing gold and silver jewellery always looks good

What you're wearing and your make up can have an impact too. For example, if you're going for some cool pastel shades - a baby blue, lilac or minty green - then silver is going to look great. For richer more autumnal tones - browns and deep berry reds - then gold is a winner. If you're wearing black then either works brilliantly or go wild and wear both. I'm a BIG fan of mixed metals for a really modern look.

I'd love to know what you think about this you stick to just one metal? Or does it depend on your mood, the occassion or what you're wearing?

Elin Horgan is a British jewellery designer & maker of beautifully simple handmade pieces crafted from sustainable materials in her Bristol studio. You can read more about her work and the ethos behind her understated jewellery brand HERE. If you’d like to enquire about a specific product or discuss a bespoke commission please e-mail