While looking at skin tone can be a great way to understand broadly what will suit you, you don't always need to be swayed if you have a favourite metal in mind. However, it helps to know how different metals will react to frequent wear if you want to buy an item that will last.
Silver is very light and strong, but it's prone to tarnishing and scratching. This makes it better suited to jewellery items that won’t frequently come into contact with other objects, such as necklaces and earrings. Pure gold (which is measured in carats) has similar qualities to silver, as it's also a soft and malleable metal that is rich in colour but delicate. This again means it's ideal for jewellery that won't be bumped into or brushed against easily.
Gold is often reinforced and its natural colour altered when mixed with other, stronger metals. When gold is added to nickel (or a nickel-free alloy) you get a pale, white gold. When it's combined with hardy, rich-toned copper, you get rose gold. Both white gold and rose gold, with their enhanced strength that safeguards against nicks and dents, make a good choice for rings and bracelets.
Platinum is the strongest and most valuable precious metal. Its distinctive silvery-white colouring and superior hardiness make it ideal for use in jewellery that's visible, exposed to the elements and touched frequently, such as wedding rings.