Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Colour Collaborative: February: Metal


Throughout my teens and twenties I only ever wanted to wear silver coloured jewellery. Solid silver, silver plate. white gold - but never gold. My wedding and engagement rings are platinum, and I notice that many women of my vintage also chose platinum or white gold wedding bands; thin and elegant, coordinated to match the engagement ring, and I wonder if their wedding dresses looked like mine too, this being the early 2000's and the era of the ivory strapless column dress. But I remember that I didn't like gold. I found it showy and too shiny looking, almost tacky, and preferred the quieter shine of silver. How tastes change though - now, I think there is nothing more elegant or timeless than a simple gold wedding band.

Wedding rings aside, my other favourite ring is also silver. I have a pot full of costume jewellery rings - called "cocktail rings" I believe - which I rarely wear, and two diamond beauties I inherited from my Grandma (one which I am almost too self conscious to wear, so much does it scream "mug me") but the ring I almost always wear on my right hand is this one.


Bought on holiday in New York many, many years ago, it was a gift from John. It was probably the only ring we could afford in the shop, and I'd take it over diamonds any day. A decade of constant wear means that the outside is now very bashed and battered but I love the shape and weight of it, and slip it on my finger automatically each morning. 

I have, over the last twenty years, bought an awful lot of costume jewellery; stacks of bracelets to be worn jangling together; chunky wooden bangles; fabulous feathery dangling earrings; long necklaces to wrap around my neck two or three times. I buy a lot less now but still, like a magpie, I am drawn to pretty shiny things and I love buying or making something to wear, usually chunky, colourful items in wood or fimo or acrylic. 



But I notice I am wearing less and less jewellery as I get older and I think it's because I can't be bothered with the fuss. Almost anything worn on my wrist irritates me when I type or write, and earrings make my ears sore if worn for more than a couple of hours. Long necklaces are hidden by the lanyard I have to wear at work and get all tangled up together. Unless I am trying to make a particular effort with my outfit, my jewellery is almost always the same few things; wedding ring, watch, maybe a small bracelet and a short necklace. And I've grown to love gold, to appreciate the warmth and lift it brings to a neckline or wrist, the way it glows against my skin. John gave me the most beautiful necklace for my birthday recently, with a tiny gold dragonfly hanging from a chain, which is short and so sits comfortably away from anything else I wear around my neck. It gives the most beautiful, discreet sparkle and warmth and I love wearing it. 


What about you: do you like wearing jewellery, and do you have a preference for gold or silver, or perhaps rose gold, with it's lovely pink tones? Do you wear a wedding band and if so, what kind did you choose and why? Do you have a single piece of jewellery which you cherish above all others, does it have a particular resonance or history for you? These sorts of stories fascinate me and I'd love to hear about them. 

*

Thank you all very much for your birthday wishes, so kind of you. 



*


Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River
Sarah at Mitenska will be returning next month. 

What is The Colour Collaborative? 

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

38 comments:

CJ said...

You have some lovely jewellery Gillian. I'm a fan of silver too, I love things that are a bit different, not just the same as everything else. I have several pieces by Sophie Harley, bought in a shop in Bath that specialised in designers working in silver. I remember my friend encouraging me to buy a bracelet there and telling me I deserved it. A good memory! CJ xx

Clareio said...

that necklace is gorgeous. I am a silver person too although will sometimes throw on a gold necklace if it goes better with my outfit. I make 90% of my own jewellery (buy pendants and add to a chain) but I find being ridiculously pale with pink and blue undertones means gold isn't my colour, silver sits better against my skin and I think always will. My rings are white gold (i wish i'd chosen platinum)

mabelandmaisy said...

Like you I married early 2000s and I have a white gold band and engagement ring, I hate them now!! Not what they stand for, I'm still happily married but I detest the discolouration and the cost of having them re-done to look shiny and like white gold instead of a yellowish band. I have inherited my mum's yellow gold rings and like you admire the colours and how they reflect on my hand.
Luckily my darling husband has agreed I can a platinum ring to celebrate our 15 year anniversary, what a love!!

Ellie Foster said...

Dear Gillian
I'm a fan of silver and love wearing jewellery (usually, it's pieces I've constructed), especially earrings. I just don't feel dressed without my earrings. I have a gold wedding band, but I do wish I had had silver, or platinum, because gold jewellery just doesn't suit me at all (due to pale skin and dark hair). I have just treated myself to a plain, slightly hammered sterling silver open cuff bracelet which I love and which doesn't annoy me when I'm typing.
A really interesting post.
Best wishes
Ellie

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

I got married in the 90's, just before Platinum really took off. Like Ellie, I never thought gold suited me due to pale skin, but actually, now, in my 40s, I do love it.

I'm with you on jewellery too. I have so much I have collected over the years, but at the moment less is more with me. I'm sure it'll change again when I want to be adorned with bangles that clunk about and necklaces which weigh my head down! For the moment, a pair of earrings are all about as much as I can muster. Even rings are annoying me (but that's maybe because of my big old fat clown fingers at the moment!). Have a super rest of a week, Vanessa xxx

Jan Doling said...

I got married in 1980 and my wedding band is yellow gold. I did wish later that I had gone for white gold though. I now love Pandora jewellery and sold my old gold charm bracelet to enable me to purchase a Pandora silver bracelet and some beads for it. I have since added to my collection and have a couple of necklaces, one fine with a butterfly pendant and one more chunky shorter one thst you can wear with any of the beads. I was also given a beautiful Pandora ring by my work colleagues for my 60th birthday but unfortunately that now sits at the bottom of a lake, it flew off my finger when I was throwing in some bread for the ducks and swans - the downside of losing weight!!!

love those cupcakes said...

Great post. I love jewellery, always have (old photos show me wearing a signet ring, bracelets and necklaces as a little girl!) but, like you, find that these days I wear very little of my personal collection (which is a mix of inherited and bought for me pieces). My preference is for yellow or rose gold though my wedding ring is made up of three colours - rose, white and yellow. I still like it very much, even after all these years.

VeggieMummy said...

Your rings are beautiful, Gillian. Sadly, I have a nickel allergy, so can't wear jewellery for very long. Mostly, I just wear my watch on a daily basis; even my wedding and engagement rings can irritate me (maybe it's a sign?!). I wonder if platinum would have the same effect?! xx

Emm.A said...

I always said that I prefer silver jewellery as well. Yet when my husband and I shopped our wedding rings, I tried on a silver one and it just didn't look right. We now have simple, golden wedding rings and I'm totally in love with it! I wear it everytime, I don't take it off for sports or sleeping or swimming. I treasure it very much! On the inside we engraved the name of each other and our wedding date. We were able to sign our name on a piece of paper and then it got transferred in the ring in our handwriting. I love that so much, it's such a personal touch!
Otherwise I don't wear much jewellery. I have an amethyst bracelet and necklace that my then-boyfriend, now-husband gave me when we travelled the world together. That one I treasure of course. Otherwise I'm just wearing a very simple watch.
Thanks for sharing your jewellery story with us! I love your wedding and your engagement ring!

Jennifer said...

Hi Gillian, it was fun to see your jewelry. I only wear yellow gold myself, including my wedding rings, because I have reactions to other metals that I've tried. I need a fairly high quality of yellow gold at that, so my jewelry collection is a bit spare. I think I was ahead of my time with my engagement ring, or maybe well behind my time, it's hard to say. It has a center oval sapphire with a diamond on either side, in bezel settings. It's pretty unusual for an engagement ring but I like colored gemstones even more than I like diamonds. I'd actually wanted a garnet at first but nice ones were harder to find. I liked seeing your more casual jewelry too, you have some really interesting, funky pieces. Thanks for sharing.

Mac n' Janet said...

I started out preferring silver to gold too. My wedding and engagement ring are silver. I still wear earrings and one other ring a sapphire and diamond that my husband gave me for an anniversary. That's it.

alexandra s.m. said...

Hi Gillian,
I am a new reader and I love discovering your neck of the woods.
This "Colour project" is very inspiring and I've enjoyed your post tremendously.
Thank you!
Greetings from a French girl in Chicago~

Anonymous said...

Your Tiffany ring is gorgeous. What a lovely piece with a lovely story. I rarely wear jewellery, apart from my wedding ring and engagement ring (both platinum). I sometimes wear the eternity ring David gave me after my daughter was born but it's too showy for every day. I'd like to say he bought it for me as a romantic gesture but it's because he was fed up of me dropping hints. I'll sometimes wear a necklace (I have a favourite black ribbon with sparkly flower pendant) when we go out. I'm very unadorned! Sam x

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I am very unadorned these days. Lil you, I can't be doing with the faff. Although I suspect the arrival of babies were initially responsible for me putting aww my jewelry. My wedding band is an old rose gold ring. I think it's Victorian. It has a mellow colour that I like. I was never without my silver hoops as a teen and through my twenties. All sizes. I can't seem to get on with earrings now. Your dragonfly necklace is beautiful.
Leanne xx

Thrifted Treasure said...

Your rings are lovely! I'm the same, all my rings are platinum or white gold, and I definitely believe less is more as I get older when it comes to jewellery. I have a lovely silver key necklace from Tiffanys and 2 bracelets which I wear when I go out for dinner or feel like being a bit dressier :-)

Penny said...

I always enjoy seeing other peoples' jewellery and hearing the stories behind them. I love jewellery, especially rings. I wear a thinnish plain gold wedding band, and a vintage saphire and diamond ring with it (that sounds rather grand, in reality it is extremely modest, and un-shiney!) . I wear a silver and tourmeline ring on my right hand, a gift for my 40 th from my husband. X

Sarah said...

Really interesting post Gillian. I enjoyed reading about your jewellery. I find it fascinating how wedding rings date the length of marriage. My own from 1992 is a gold and platinum twisted band. As I was never engaged or in possession of an engagement ring (far too liberated and independent!) I'm pleased I chose a wedding ring with just a little bit of design. But I do have a very pretty antique rose gold ring set with Rose Quartz which I wear on my right hand on special occasions. Like you I love necklaces and my favourite is a silver sycamore seed on a chain which my daughter commissioned from a silversmith for my last birthday.

Barbara said...

Like Ellie, I feel undressed without earrings, I wear them all the time preferring vintage 'dangles' with hooks or leaverbacks. Around my neck I have always worn a gold crucifix and religious medal. I love rings but only ever wear my plain gold band wedding ring. My engagement ring, a square sapphire with diamonds, hasn't been worn for 30+ years, my eternity ring, a gold band with nine diamonds, is worn on special occasions but taken off as soon as I get home as I find I can't do everyday thing with it on. I inherited my mam's beautiful gold, platinum and diamond engagement ring but gave it to my son to propose to his girlfriend - she said 'Yes', so I'm very happy it's now being loved and worn in the next generation.

Beverley said...

I am a darker skin tone that tans well, so yellow/rose gold suits me more. Also I go black skin wearing silver. My daughters prefer silver, white gold. Bev

Gracie Saylor said...

Like you, I found wearing long necklaces at work to be counterproductive and generally just wore my watch and my wedding ring which is gold. I like the warm look of gold although my class ring was white gold and I have other silver jewelry. I did not want a diamond engagement ring and chose an aquamarine oval shaped stone that was deemed a cocktail ring and broke several times in my 38 years of marriage. About four years before my husband's death we took my rings to a jeweler who stretched the engagement ring over my wedding band and melded the two together which has taken care of the weakness of the engagement ring and allowed me the pleasure of wearing the rings to this day, nearly seven years after my husband's death. I have been too much of a wimp to get pierced ears, so rarely wore clip earrings because they were uncomfortable :)

Librarian said...

Long necklaces have a tendency to get in the way, don't they, which is why I never wear them. I do have a gold chain with a small round gold disc hanging from it, a gift from my uncle when I was 2 years old. It has my name and date of birth engraved in beautiful writing, and I wear it often. My sister gave me a thin gold bracelet for Christmas two years ago, and I have gold earrings in the shape of tiny crowns and another pair in the shape of tiny horses. I inherited a beautiful gold ring with an aquamarine (my favourite stone). That's all the real gold I have, and I always wear it together (not all four earrings, of course!).
My and my late husband's wedding bands are in a small box. I stopped wearing mine when I was widowed.
There's plenty of costume jewellery in my box, too, most of it gifts from the family in England, and some from my Mum. It is very rare that I buy any jewellery for myself.
A favourite piece is my strand of real pearls with matching pearl studs. My grandma bought that for me when I was in my early 20s. The pearls have a lovely pink sheen, and I wear them not only with my favourite dress (to weddings or dances) but also with a simple blouse and skirt to the office sometimes.

Ali Whale said...

I have a gold wedding ring which is quite chunky and rounded. We had ordered a ring that was supposed to sit against my engagement ring but when it came it didn't fit and as this was the last minute I had to choose something else so I just chose a simple band. It weighs quite a lot but I love it.
Since my 17th birthday I have been wearing three christening bracelets on my wrist. It's got so one cannot come off and so through operations and childbirth these bangles have been there. I set off all the alarms at the airport and in truth they are sometimes a pain but after being there for over 30 years they feel as much a part of me as my nails.

Susan Smith said...

I don't wear much these days, but always have my wedding and eternity ring on when I go out. I always have my sleeper earings in and change them if going somewhere special. I'm not a big fan of bracelets, but I always wore a watch when I worked and still have the first ones I was given by my parents when I was 9. It was actually my mothers and she got it when she was 12, so it is now 75 years old. I usually wear a little Whitby Jet cross around my neck, though I do change it for other things when I want something that looks right with whatever I'm wearing, but that's about it. I do have some pretty earings and a gorgeous necklace from my great grandmother that I wear on special occasions, though not very often these days. I'm not fussy about either silver or gold, as both are lovely. Thanks for letting us hear about your preferences and take care.

Jane said...

I used to wear jewellery all the time but these days I hardly wear any in addition to my wedding ring, maybe some stud earrings from time to time but I've lost one of my favourite pair of those. My wedding ring is a simple gold 22-carat band which was my mother's. She died when I was only about 18 months old and my father gave my sister and I her jewellery some years later so when I married choosing a ring was a no-brainer, I only wanted to wear the one I already had. Have a great weekend xx

On The Green said...

Love this post. Like you I have loads of costume jewellery as I prefer to wear fairly plain tops and dress them up with beads. I was actually married in 1974 but have a white gold wedding ring which I love as much as ever. Ruth.

Ruby Shoes said...

Hi Gillian
I have followed your blog for quite some time and I always look forward to your posts. I love your blog and always enjoy reading, although I think this comment is a first. Your jewellery collection is gorgeous! I am lucky enough to have a fabulous diamond engagement ring and eternity band. I am a jewellery (and diamond!) lover. However, my favourite ring is my wedding ring, which is a very delicate gold band with a completely round profile. It is like a tiny curtain ring! I also wear a beautiful gold bangle every day which is just a bigger version of the wedding ring. Although pale, I have a warm skin tone so most of my jewellery is gold as it looks much better on me. In a previous life and a previous marriage, I had a very '90s style flat profile wedding ring set with diamonds and made to fit against a solitaire engagement ring. A beautiful ring, which my daughter now wears but which, I feel, is no match for my curtain ring style beauty!
Best wishes, Stephanie

Amanda Graham said...

Hi Gillian. Loved this post as I have recently been sorting out my jewellery and looking at it all in a total different light. I have always preferred silver to gold. I also wear a lot of costume jewellery and was always known for wearing statement beads with my outfits. I too have the exact same Tiffany ring as yourself, again bought in New York a few years ago. I love my Tiffany rings and a necklace, and wear them everyday, without them I feel naked. :) x

Marion Ogden said...

I have inherited some jewellery from my grandmother and my mother and bought gold ones when I lived in the Middle East but I haven't worn most of them in years ever since I had my kids. It's just not practical or safe wearing family earrings and bracelets when you have a baby pulling at everything. The girls are a bit older now but I still prefer to just wear a watch, simple earrings, my engagement ring and wedding band and maybe a necklace or bracelet every now and again. Lovely necklace, by the way. John chose really well.

mrsrobinson said...

Hello... Finally, after only just finding time to read all the blogs I love, I somehow this eve find myself with time to comment on a few more. So, hello! I do love the emotions that go with lots of jewellery - old bits inherited or bought, and where we were when they were purchased. My engagement rings are simple and silver coloured, and together with a dreamy skinny sparkly band - which I love! - I think that is all my short fingers can take! But like you, my taste has changed and I now like gold jewellery. Mr R recently gave me a vintage danish bracelet which is a dull gold and I love it. Even though it snags everything I wear...

Katie said...

what a lovely post Gillian, and some gorgeous pieces of jewellery. I have always preferred silver/white gold/platinum rather than yellow gold, and can't think that I own very much yellow gold jewellery at all. Like you, my engagement and wedding ring are platinum, and then I have a diamond ring of my Gran's that I wear all the time on my right hand, and that is it! I rarely wear jewellery other than a pair of small earrings, and have always admired your (and others) colourful collections! Having just turned 30, your post has got me wondering whether my taste will change in years to come! Love the new necklace - so delicate. xx

Jacqueline said...

I too seem to wear less and less jewellery as I've got older and what I do wear, I tend to put the same pieces on over and over again. My favourite piece is a tiffany charm bracelet, bought in New York for my 50th birthday and like you probably the only one we could afford in the shop. It so far has 2 charms, a dragon fly to remind me of my holiday in Malaysia, it was the closest thing I could get to a mosquito. Then to remind me of my time in Boston & New England last year I bought an anchor. We did tour quite a lot of boat museums while we were there.
I have some very special yellow gold jewellery that I've inherited that I very rarely wear but would never part with.
I really do like your ring though and i think it's so nice when it's linked to something special.

driftwood said...

my wedding ring is rose gold, it was my great grandmother's wedding ring. I have a yellow gold band too, which J bought me after we'd been married 5 years, as I never had an engagement ring. On my right hand I have a simple and very cheap silver plate ring that we bought at a craft fair when we had just met, 25 years later I still wear it every day and never take it off. Often for me it's the meaning behind the jewellery that makes me wear it.

galant said...

While I love silver, I was married more than 50 years ago and then the fashion was for ornamental wedding rings, that had patterns on them. I wasn't keen on those at all, and chose instead quite a heavy, wide gold band. I still love it and it looks perfect with my engagement ring, a sapphire with tiny diamond chips surrounding it. The deep blue and the gold lovely lovely together, but it's the only gold jewellery I wear. I heard there wasn't such a metal as white gold, it's either gold or it isn't. But a jeweller could put me right on that, I'm sure.
Margaret P

galant said...

PS I've just Googled "white gold" and I was right, there isn't such a metal. White gold is an alloy, so it's gold mixed with something else to make it look pale or silvery. If you Google "white gold" you will, I am sure, be able to find out more about it.
Margaret P

Christina said...

This post could have been written by me :-) Silver only in up to my late twenties, then gradually a shift to gold. Lots of costume jewellery, necklaces always. Chunky, colourful, different. Plenty of chunky rings but these got in the way of wearing gloves at work. Not so much now, I can often not be bothered to wear any jewellery. I always wear my gold wedding ring (no ivory strapless wedding dress, I wasn't engaged long enough to organise a dress) but not my engagement ring, which is of the mug-me variety. It belonged to Richard's mum and is full of opals and diamonds. I love it but I am too worried to loose it. xx

Christina said...

I forgot to mention a particular gold ring, made by me and my aunt using her dental laboratory equipment. We melted down whatever gold we could find, including my aunt's wedding ring from her first marriage and used cable ties to make a mould. It has cable tie structure and is beautifully chunky. Must dig it out.

Annie Cholewa said...

I'm another silver in youth, gold later gal. Although my engagement ring, acquired when I was 20, is gold, and tiny, so I also have a very narrow gold wedding ring, and a similarly small eternity ring set round with diamond chips. I'm reasonably tall and until a few years back was always skinny, so as I have quite fine boned hands bigger rings looked all wrong. Now, though, I've gained a lot of weight due to steroid treatment for my RA (and probably too much chocolate) and often have slightly swollen fingers so I can no longer get my rings off.

I pop a pair of earrings in most days, although I didn't actually get my ears pierced until I was in my 30s, but where I used to wear a watch all the time now I no longer do. And these days I'm much more likely to have a scarf around my neck than a necklace, in fact I can't remember when I last wore anything metal around my neck.

Great post :)

Heldasland said...

Now, you have mentioned it I too am wearing much less jewellery as I have gotten older. I'm finding it all a bit too muchlike hard work. I am always rushing that I rarely have time to make that extra effort However, when I go on holiday I do, but I think I ought to make more of an effort in the everyday. I often go out and admire ladies who are wearing bits I have. I do find myself saying 'I must wear mine' but I never do . Life just gets in the way. Your writing this piece has really given me food for thought. I'm off to wear some jewellery.
Have a lovely day