A two-tone silver effect is accomplished by combining silver with any other type of metal, typically of a different color and luster. Silver is commonly paired with yellow gold, which ranges in purity between 10 and 24 karats, and provides a high degree of contrast against the lighter metal. This effect may be used in any type of metal work, and is often featured in jewelry and dinner flatware. Men can find these types of multi-colored jewelry creations in the forms of watches, cuff links, and tie pins.
Sterling silver is the type of metal which forms the base for two-tone silver pieces and projects. This metal is almost 93% pure silver, and is mixed with other metals to increase its stability and casting properties. Copper is often the first metal chosen to pair with silver to increase its functionality, and other choices include zinc, germanium, and platinum. These metals may be used to reduce tarnishing effects, as well as eliminate firescale.
A wide variety of designs may be completed using two-tone silver. The silver component may be the background of the overall piece, featuring small detail work that is accented in yellow gold. Animal shapes, school and club crests, plants, and insignias are common choices for gold accents affixed to silver jewelry. Diamonds may also be added to these types of jewelry pieces, and the two-toned work may form the base for a gem stone or pearl setting.
Watches, charm bracelets, and cuff links often use two-tone silver to accentuate different aspects of the individual pieces. Classic watch bands may surround a yellow gold band with two bands of silver, and may include a woven pattern. Charm bracelets are designed to hold multiple small pieces that use yellow gold to detail silver figurines. Sterling silver cuff links can be embossed with a yellow gold monogram, crest, or insignia. This type of intricate design work may also be featured on matching tie pins.
Formal dinnerware is often created from two-tone silver. Forks, knives, and spoons typically feature a sterling silver base, where the utensil is held, and may be cast with a family crest or last name initial. The flat portion of the piece is then plated with gold over a silver or platinum base. This type of flatware is versatile and may be used with silver or gold chargers which form the base of a formal dinner place setting.