Can I mix metals?

11 June, 2019

Can I mix metals?

Arlette: “I often get asked about whether it’s OK to mix metals – to wear more than one colour jewellery. Many people still plan their jewellery around one hue. It’s often the case that they’re heavily biased towards one metal; a choice often dictated by a single piece of jewellery – a wedding band or family heirloom – that they wear all the time.

My answer is always the same. Of course you can change things up! Stray away! There is no absolutely no need to pick one metal and stick with it, in fact, why limit yourself? Metals are meant to be mixed.

It’s not a recent fad; historically a traditional Russian wedding ring consists of three different metals entwined together, while Cartier created their classic classic Trinity ring in 1924. This design features three interlocking bands of white, yellow, and rose gold and symbolises enduring friendship, loyalty or fidelity of marriage and true love.

As well as being an easy-to-wear trend, mixing metals also adds visual interest, texture and depth. Curating your own, eclectic mix of pieces gives soul and tells a story; your story. The aim is for a collection that looks as if it’s been carefully collected and treasured over the years. The way you mix and match your look is unique.

Don’t be intimidated. Perhaps you might like to start with two metals and build your way up to three, or to choose a dominant metal and add a single piece in another colour. Alternatively, you could “balance” the colour, size and shapes of your collection across your entire look. Delicate pieces are probably easiest to mix if you’re reluctant to leap straight in, or perhaps choose the same piece in different metals.

Alternatively, a mixed-metal statement piece makes a simple entry point. Look at Emma Aitchison’s Cyclone ring and Hail necklace, High Society Collection’s Puzzle ring, Lima Lima’s Palm necklace, Just Trade’s Anchor necklace, our Hippstory Rectangle Nano earrings or Sarah Cavender’s dramatic, Ombre Snake Chain earrings (hitting the site soon).

Or perhaps you should just leap in boldly. Experiment with different colour temperatures, mix warm metals – gold, brass and copper – with cool tones of silver and steel. Sport different finishes – polished and matt – sizes and shapes.

Personally speaking, I can only wear gold in my ears so tend to mix up the size and finishes in multiple piercings. However, elsewhere I choose silver necklaces or a layered mix. I wear a statement mix of stacked bracelets in different metals, some chunky some delicate, and find a variety of rings stacked up works for me too.

It’s not a hard – some design rules are meant to be broken – mix naturally, don’t follow a pattern, and make each piece a thoughtful addition. Be unique, be you, be unapologetic.