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If you have darker skin, you don’t have to worry about whether you can pull off gold or silver jewelry. Let’s be clear — either metal will look striking, so you can feel comfortable picking the piece that aligns with your personal taste. But maybe you’ve found the same winning option in both gold and silver and you need to decide between them. Or perhaps you are surprising someone else with a gift. Let’s get your cards out on the table and admit that it’s the kind of gift that most likely comes with a marriage proposal. While you’ve done your research on size and style, you completely neglected to consider how the color of the metal would look against your partner’s skin, which happens to be a different shade than your own. 

So does gold or silver look better on dark skin? Whether you are choosing for yourself or someone else, we’ve outlined some factors to consider as you make the final call.

Browse All Affordable Engagement Rings That Compliment Any Skin Tone

Understanding Undertones

The first step is to determine the skin undertone. You might not have realized that your skin even had undertones that are distinct from the surface color. To be fair, these two categories are especially confusing because people often use “skin tone” to refer to both the undertone and the surface color because they each contribute to your skin’s overall hue. 

While the surface color of your skin can change with exposure to the sun or through aging, the undertone remains the same. Surface colors are often described in terms of shade (fair to dark), while undertones use a thermal scale (cool, warm and neutral). Generally speaking, cooler undertones accompany fairer skin — but remember, the undertone isn’t necessarily tethered to the surface pigmentation. Many people are surprised to learn that dark skin can have cool undertones and fair skin can have warm undertones. Alek Wek, Lupita Nyong'o and Mindy Kaling all share cool undertones, while Blake Lively and Claire Danes keep their base tones warm.

woman wearing a gold ring giving someone a hug

So how do you identify a skin’s undertone? The easiest test is to hold up the inside of the wrist to the light. If the veins are green, then you likely are dealing with a warm undertone. If they appear more blue or purple, then you have a cool undertone. 

An alternative test is the gold and silver method, which is where our original question comes back into play. Generally speaking, gold jewelry basks in warm undertones, while silver jewelry finds a cooler environment more refreshing. But what if you are hesitating between gold and silver and people you trust assure you that each is equally flattering? Congratulations — you might have discovered a neutral skin undertone!

If you have olive skin, you actually have a combination of all skin undertones (warm, cool and neutral). So good news- you can pull off all different types of metal styles!

What About Rose Gold and Other Colors?

You might be wondering how rose gold engagement rings fit into the equation. While rose gold leans towards the warmer side of the spectrum, it is an amiable companion for all skin undertones, though folks with fairer skin might be wary of pairing it with a sunburn. 

Shop Rose Gold Engagement Rings

It’s important to realize that there is an entire sea of variables at work when you are making a decision like this, from hair color to wardrobe aesthetic. The ring itself might be bringing some additional colors to the party, so if you are looking for gemstone engagement rings, know that crisp dazzlers like rubies, emeralds and sapphires suit cool undertones while molten luminaries like topaz and fire opal are eager to share the warmth.

dark skinned woman wearing gold and silver rings

Find a Ring as Beautiful as The Skin You’re In

The point is that while it’s good to know the ideal metal to match to your skin’s undertone for tiebreaker purposes, you shouldn’t feel like those undertones are boxing you in either. If the person wearing the ring thinks it looks good on their finger, there is no need to flip over the wrist to inspect the veins. You can instead focus on making sure that the sourcing and craftsmanship are above board. No matter what undertones are in play, you don’t want the kind of ring that rusts or turns your finger green. That’s why Modern Gents places so much emphasis on trustworthy materials, from 925 Sterling Silver to tungsten carbide. We also make returns and exchanges easy so that you can ensure that you don’t just end up with a flattering option, but feel confident you made the best choice.

Learn More About Our Hassle-Free Returns Here