Best buys: designer gold & silver jewellery

Missoma gold radial ring gold jewellery

I know that diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend, but I much prefer silver and gold jewellery! I have a few favourite pieces I return to time and time again. But I also enjoy updating my collection when funds and opportunity allow! The problem is – always – where to begin? Nowadays there is so much choice available, within both fine and fashion jewellery, that it can feel impossible to choose. So, the trick is to be realistic about your budget, and honest about your personal style preferences. Here’s my selection of best buys, to help you narrow down your options and find what suits your individual needs.

Sterling silver

Silver jewellery tends to be my favourite. In fact, I wear some form or other every single day. In fact, sterling silver is the standard for high-quality silver jewellery. This material is more than 90% pure silver, but it combines with certain alloys to make it stronger and more durable. (Did you know pure silver is very soft, and therefore easily damaged?) In theory, any metal can be combined with pure silver to make sterling, but copper is the most common. Similarly, gold is a soft metal which you can damage easily, so it’s mixed with other alloys. Also, you measure the purity of gold in carats, on a scale of 0 to 24. So, the higher the carat number, the purer the gold.

Skai necklace silver jewellery

If you’re looking for an everyday piece, I think the sterling silver Skai necklace by Ana Dyla is perfect. I love the coin-style design, and it’s such a versatile size – big enough to be noticed, but never overpowering. It’s priced at £69.95, highlighting the affordability of silver jewellery, while still delivering a luxury look.

If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, allow me to recommend the Jo & Cass Friendship Necklaces by Maya Magal. These layering friendship necklaces are a collaboration between editor Jo Elvin and Sony Music UK President Cassandra Grace. Jo’s piece (£134) is a hammered circle on a long silver chain. Because it’s handmade, it has a wonderful organic look and feel. Best of all, you can detach the pendant from the chain and wear it as a bangle. So you can enjoy two pieces of silver jewellery for the price of one! Cass’s necklace (£125) is a chunky, asymmetrical silver disc pendant on a chunky sterling silver chain. You can even engrave it. Wear these necklaces separately or together – I think they’d make a perfect gift for someone special. If you buy both, you even receive a 15% discount.

Sophie Buhai tiny heart 18kt gold-plated necklace gold jewellery

I like silver jewellery because it’s subtle, fresh, youthful and, I feel, looks right at any time of year. But sometimes it is good to ring the changes, and everyone should have a go-to gold necklace. Wearing gold jewellery can be a great confidence boost, as even today it symbolises wealth and power. And if you choose wisely and opt for a versatile design, the cost per wear will justify the outlay. This Tiny Heart 18kt gold-plated necklace by Sophie Buhai is delicate enough for daywear. It’s crafted by hand at the label’s LA atelier, and costs £437.

Lucy Quartermaine interchangable art deco earrings with white topaz silver jewellery

The earrings

Good silver and gold jewellery isn’t cheap, which is why I keep talking about versatility. Pieces you wear more often offer more value for money. I’m not a fan of keeping much silver or gold jewellery ‘for best’ as I find I hardly ever wear it. Jewellery that multitasks is my absolute favourite. These Interchangeable Art Deco Earrings with White Topaz from Lucy Quartermaine (priced at £90) are genius. The back drop is separate to the Art Deco front stud. So you can wear the studs alone, or add the drops to make a statement. They are the ideal day-to-evening combination.

Cult Gaia Drea gold effect earrings

For a really special event, sometimes a ‘wow’ earring is the way forward, especially if you wear your hair short or up. I do like curves and sculptured shapes. This eye-catching Drea earring design from cult gaia is a fabulous way to drape your lobes in gold. They are made of brass and silver, so you enjoy the gold jewellery luxe look without the hefty price tag. Expect to pay around £105.

Suffolk Parade silver bracelet

The bracelets

You won’t always find me wearing a necklace – or even earrings – but  I do adore a bracelet. First and foremost they are practical. A bangle is just so easy to slip on and is an instant way to elevate almost any outfit. I often stack several together for added impact. But if you’re looking for a modern alternative to the classic bangle, try this Classic Noir & Silver Friendship Bracelet (£62). Created by Suffolk Parade, it’s a ‘wear with anything’ piece that works equally well with a cocktail frock or Converse. It’s made of hallmarked sterling silver, and the practical sliding clasp ensures a perfect fit. Different coloured cords are available, to help you switch up the vibe. In addition to silver, this bracelet is also available in on-trend rose gold.

Dinny Hall Sunbeam Marie Wristlet

The big advantage of bracelets is that they can be big and bling, or dainty and delicate. If you’re a fan of the latter, you’re likely to appreciate the work of Dinny Hall. Hall shot to fame when luxury department store Liberty bought her entire Central Saint Martin’s graduation collection. She’s produces experimental pieces which she makes using natural materials. I’m a big admirer of her Sunbeam ‘Marie’ Wristlet, inspired by Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Rendered in 22K yellow gold vermeil, this piece features an adjustable chain and is priced at £160.

Auguste wrap ring silver jewellery by Maria Black

The rings

Cocktail rings have been a hot trend for some time. Usually much larger than normal rings, they often feature oversized gemstones in striking colours and cuts. If they’re a little too bling for your tastes, there are plenty of gold and silver jewellery alternatives.

This Auguste Wrap Ring from Maria Black features eye-catching coils. You can stack it with similar styles, or combined with an heirloom ring. I love the simplicity of the design. It’s stylish without being dull, which is not always easy to achieve. Featuring sterling silver and white rhodium, one costs £98.

Missoma gold radial ring gold jewellery

If you’d like your gold jewellery ring collection to include a stacking option, I would recommend this Radial Ring from Missoma. This jewellery is 18ct gold vermeil on sterling silver and you can expect to pay £75. Inspired by classic rope designs, this style is simple yet striking, and ideal for stacking or layering. It works especially well when teamed with the bold, chunkier Lucy Williams Waffle Ring.

Whatever colour, style and jewellery material you choose, look after it carefully. With silver jewellery, remove tarnish regularly to prevent build-up, using specialist cleaning products and cloths. You should soak gold jewellery in warm water and buff it dry with a soft cloth. Wear with care: always put your jewellery on last, so it doesn’t catch on clothes or get sprayed with fragrance/hairspray. Lastly, store your jewellery in soft-lined compartments, away from direct sunlight, damp and any extremes of temperature.

If you need a little reminder on fashion trends this year, why not pay a visit to my blog which gives you everything you need to know right here?