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Metal Choices

I’m often asked by my clients what the trends for jewellery are and what kind of metals they should choose. Hence, I decided to share my thoughts on this here.

Like fashion, metal trends and the popularity of each type of metal used in jewellery tend to be cyclical and dependent on many different factors.

Take the shift from yellow gold to white gold, for example. For centuries, yellow gold was the metal of choice in jewellery. Most wedding trousseau comprised and still comprise glittering yellow gold and many heirlooms we see today are also crafted in the same. But, there was a noticeable shift in metal colour preference in the mid-1990s towards white metals (like silver, white gold and platinum) and more contemporary designs, as younger generations veered towards jewellery with a different look from those that their parents wore. Yellow gold was associated with traditional and mature styles and white gold and other white metals brought a breath of fresh air and started to fill jewellery stores. Even today, it is not uncommon to see jewellery displays filled with silver, white gold or platinum rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. But this phenomenon that caused the rise in interest in white gold and other white coloured metals is the reason the tide is now slowly changing the jewellery scene again.

With the white metals like white gold, silver and platinum becoming ubiquitous, the appetite for something unique has been whetted once again. Surrounded by standard, mass produced designs in white gold, the trend for unique pieces which tell a story has resulted in the once abandoned yellow gold to gain popularity again, together with its cousin, rose gold.

When clients ask me about the metal they should choose for their jewellery pieces, I usually advise them that it boils down to a few factors - firstly, their budget, secondly, the design of the jewellery piece and thirdly their skin tone.

A more statement and chunky piece of jewellery will, of course require more material and increase the price of the final creation quite substantially. In such a case, silver or 9 karat gold could be an alternative choice, if budget is a consideration. Additionally, certain designs lend themselves better to certain metal colours. And finally, some colours are more complimentary to particular skin tones.

So my advice usually is – don’t limit yourself to what the trend is. Jewellery should be enjoyed for years, and what is not a current trend at the moment may be the trend tomorrow and vice versa. With my clients, I address this by openly establishing parameters like budget, design and other aesthetic elements in order to create a piece of jewellery that will be visually pleasing to them and which they will enjoy for years to come.

Joanne L Toast Rings in silver with white, yellow and rose gold and rhodium plating
Joanne L Toast Rings in a myriad of metal colours

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