The glamour of gold has captivated us since ancient times. Its symbol on the periodic table is Au, from the Latin ‘aurum’ which translates to 'shining dawn.' Civilizations have been mining it for centuries – the ancient Egyptians were using gold as part of their jewellery making from around 5000 BC. These days, when it comes to adorning our necks, fingers, earlobes and handbags there’s nothing quite as divisive as yellow gold, and yet in recent times, the kudos of wearing this glittering metal has been (for want of a better expression) slightly tarnished. For some, it conjures up images of The A Team’s Mr T, the track-suited Vicky Pollard or even the sovereign ring-laden hands of 1980s darts players.
On the flipside however, there have always been those loyal to the gild – true style icons who know the true sartorial value of gold. Think Lauren Bacall, the eternally chic Hollywood star who wore a cacophony of gold bangles, rings and necklaces well into her 89th year. Or the brilliant French Fashion Editor Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele – who famously paired haute couture with blue jeans for Anna Wintour’s first Vogue cover. Dudzeele is often seen sporting a uniform of basic black (polo necks, tailored trousers, sharp blazers) brought to fabulous life with the help of heaps of gold jewellery.
In the 1990s the yellow gold index started to fall – mostly because of its association with mobsters, gangsters and ‘chavs’. Yellow gold fell out of fashion, whilst platinum, white and rose gained serious popularity. Carrie Bradshaw may have kept her gold ‘Carrie’ necklace for the entire six seasons of Sex and The City, but when it came to the engagement ring that fiancé Aiden proposed with – the reaction at brunch to her new gold band was a unanimous “eek!” This snobbery now feels old fashioned. Celebrities including the Vogue model Adwoa Aboah and Madonna have been seen layering up yellow gold necklaces laden with charms and pendants (known on Instagram as a #neckmess.) The Gucci gang rack their fingers with rings and the baroque opulence of early nineties Versace has taken over the high street. The boldness of gold is back with a vengeance.
Another old-fashion notion, is that you have to be monogamous with your metals. The Marquis de Sade might not have been talking jewellery when he said, “variety and multiplicity are the two most powerful vehicles of lust,” but in our wardrobes his sentiment really rings true. Throw caution to the wind! Don’t think you have to go all-silver or all-gold. If you have a jewellery box full of platinum or rose gold, then don’t be afraid to throw in a strand of golden sunshine. Handbags are also an excellent way to enhance your current look, and with Christmas on the horizon, perhaps the timing is right to warm things up. The Sarah Haran Dahlia, Jessica, Iris and Ivy are all available with beautiful gold hardware, so when the time comes to re-invest, perhaps now is the perfect opportunity to switch to something different. Sophisticated, eye-catching and beautifully timeless, you’ll never regret the urge to go for gold!