It’s warm, bold and definitely gold. And many brides are opting for yellow gold when it comes to selecting the hue of their wedding bands.
There has long been a preference for white metal wedding bands - either white gold or platinum - as it is often considered a neutral colour that will hold its style. The status quo, however, is shifting.
“What I’m seeing from hallmarking figures is that yellow is the colour, and white is declining,” says Stella Layton, who broke a 240-year tradition in 2014 by becoming the first female assay master to lead the Birmingham Assay Office in the UK. Every piece of jewellery sold in the UK has to be hallmarked at one of the UK’s four assay offices - although Sheffield, London and Edinburgh also run assay offices - and each one is catalogued.
While Layton is referring to precious jewellery trends in general, as the official hallmarking figures record the technicalities of a piece of jewellery rather than its purpose, she believes that “more yellow is apparent” in the huge number of wedding rings that flow through the Assay Office every day. Layton’s office is in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, where a number of jewellery makers have reported that yellow gold jewellery is increasingly in vogue.
One of the largest manufacturers of British-made wedding rings in the Jewellery Quarter is Domino, and there, too, demand for yellow gold is on the rise. “After years of white on white there is definitely a bit more colour creeping in,” says Patrick Fuller, who founded Domino more than 30 years ago and believes that brides are becoming much more adventurous in their bridal jewellery choices. “The market is more open to yellow gold than it once was, and there is no doubt that there is much more demand for it.”
One of the main reasons that has kept white metal as the number one choice for brides is that it is so complementary to diamonds, which can suck up the colour of their settings - although the effects are minimal when viewed with the naked eye. However, for a diamond with a lower colour grade, a yellow gold setting could make it appear a shade or two less bright. To navigate around this, while embracing yellow gold, Fuller says he believes there will be a trend this year for yellow gold wedding bands with platinum settings.
But for many, the contrast between ice-white diamonds and rich yellow gold is a draw, making diamond-set yellow gold jewellery a popular choice.
In the Ice Cube range of Chopard jewellery, a small diamond has been set in a yellow gold wedding band, while the De Beers Infinity wedding band crosses a swathe of plain, polished yellow gold with another studded with round diamonds, which shows that bold, yellow gold can be elegant too.
Read more about the Infinity bands from De Beers