Monday, May 27, 2024

What Is Gold Vermeil Vs Gold Plated

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What Should I Look For In Purchasing

Gold Filled vs Gold Vermeil vs Gold Plate vs Solid Gold

When buying anything, price matters – but quality should matter just as much.

Take the time to find a reputable manufacturer and consider quality when comparing prices. A good rule of thumb is, if the vermeil jewelry piece is priced similarly to a sterling silver piece or unplated gold piece of jewelry, then it’s likely not really vermeil.

This is often an issue of “getting what you pay for.”

This type of jewelry is often more expensive than gold filled or gold plated jewelry, but obviously less expensive than solid gold jewelry, and:

  • there is no risk of an allergic reaction to an unknown core metal ,
  • there is usually a higher grade of gold used,
  • is more durable since it’s required to have a minimum of 2.5 microns, where a lot of gold plating is simply a thin layer that often wears off, and
  • it is malleable for artists to create unique designs.

In order to tell that you are purchasing the real thing and not gold plated pieces is to look at the coloration and the weight.

This kind of gold jewelry is usually sold with 14 karats , 18 karats, or 24 karat yellow gold, or in a rose gold.

Less expensive gold plated pieces are usually 10 karats.

While gold plated jewelry has a known marking system , vermeil does not.

What you can look for is a stamp with a standard silver purity value. This will tell you that the core metal is silver. If you see 925 it would denote 92.5% silver…letting you know that the core metal is a 92.5% silver alloy.

Gold Vermeil Vs Gold Filled

Our customers often ask what the differences between different types of gold jewellery. We covered the differences between gold filled and gold plated in this blog post already, but thought it would also be interesting to drill down on another type of gold jewellery that has surfaced more recently – gold vermeil.

Is Vermeil Gold Better Than Solid Gold

Again, gold vermeil has a lot more precious yellow metal than the gold-plated ones, but remember that it still is not 100%. And gold vermeil has a thicker layer of gold that you should not expect from a plated one. Also, the base metal is sterling silver.

It is known as silver-gilt or gilded silver or known by the French term vermeil. Vermeil jewelry is sterling silver gilded with precious yellow metal.

On the other hand, solid gold is 24k gold. Remember that 24K is not ideal for jewelry because the higher the purity, the softer it is.

Gold that is acceptable for jewelry/accessories is at least 10k. It will definitely last the longest, does not wear and tear for years, and those between 14-18l gold are most suitable for jewelry because of the balance of value and sturdiness.

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Other Types Of Gold Jewelry

Solid Gold In jewelry production, solid gold is jewelry made entirely of pure gold both inside and out. For this reason, it is considered to be the most expensive gold jewelry and is more durable compared to the other categories. Solid gold is then labelled through their percentages of actual gold it can be either 10K, 14K, 18K, or 24K .

Gold Vermeil Gold Vermeil is more popularly known as silver gilt. This refers to a premium quality of silver that is then plated with gold layers. Many of the Gold vermeil available in the market today are created through the electroplating process this time, electroplating the silver with gold. It shouldnt be confused with gold plated jewelry. When a jewelry piece is said to be vermeil, it can only have sterling silver or any high-grade silver base.

Rolled Gold Rolled gold is a base metal with a layer of gold rolled over it. It is also known as gold filled. The gold layers thickness can vary. In general, however, it measures at least 5% of the total metal weight. The modern rolled gold jewelry found in the market today should have a stamp. The stamp will indicate how much gold is present in that jewelry piece and its level of purity. For instance, RG means the metal used is rolled gold. We also have RPG, meaning the item is rolled gold plated.

First: Lets Talk About The History

Gold Filled vs Gold Plated vs Vermeil

Both gold vermeil and gold plated jewelry are crafted based on the same principle: a base metal is gilded over with a thin layer of pure gold.

However, there are actually several factors that set these two items apart: namely, the thickness of the layer of gold used to cover the base and the composition of the base metal itself.

Gold plating is a relatively simple concept to consider. The term refers to a process wherein a thin sheet of gold is chemically bonded onto a base metal, coating it all over. The process began in Italy back in 1805 when the chemist Luigi Brugnatelli hit upon the notion of bonding a thin coating of gold onto a piece of silver using electrolysis – hence the term electroplating.

While Brugnatelli developed the process as a way of creating stronger industrial alloys, goldsmiths in his hometown of Pavia saw it as a way of making more affordable – yet still aesthetically pleasing – jewelry.

Gold vermeil, on the other hand, has been around for centuries. Also referred to as silver gilt, gold vermeil was used by many ancient civilizations as both an accessory for personal adornment, a way of embellishing vessels used for religious rites and rituals, as well as a decorative accent for public structures and the homes of the ruling class.

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What Is Solid Gold

Solid gold jewelry is just as the name suggests. There are many different karats of gold, which determines the amount of gold vs alloy. Pure gold is too soft and malleable to wear in jewelry, so the gold must be alloyed with other metals to give it strength and durability. 14k solid gold means 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloys , while 18k solid gold means 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloys . The lower the karat, the less expensive it is because it is using less gold.

Solid gold is the best quality of gold there is – its great to wear everyday, wont tarnish or fade, and is hypoallergenic. However, since the whole piece of jewelry is made of gold, it is very expensive and unaffordable to many. We do offer solid gold jewelry and do our best to bring them to you at the lowest price possible. A Few of our favorite pieces are our Stevie Ring, Starburst Ring and our Gypsy Queen Ring

A Difference In Thickness And Technique

The process for making gold plated items is a fairly simple one. Once a piece has been wrought out of a base metal, it is dipped in gold, then subjected to an electrical charge which enables the precious metal to bond to the base. The process is repeated until the desired thickness is achieved. In the case of gold plated jewelry, the layer of gold is only around 0.17 to 2.5 microns thick.

Also, there is a reason why the price of gold plated jewelry is significantly lower than that of either solid gold or gold vermeil pieces. The base metals used for the production of such jewelry range from silver and copper to nickel and palladium, all of which are relatively inexpensive.

Gold vermeil, on the other hand, only uses solid sterling silver as its base metal. In fact, jewelers who specialize in the making of vermeil insist on using only 925 sterling or 999 pure silver as their base. As both gold and silver are inert metals, the resulting alloy is hypoallergenic. Any jewelry made with it can safely be worn even by those who have sensitive skin and allergies to metals like copper and nickel.

So, rule of thumb: if the plating on your brooch, necklace, pendant, or ring is less than 2.5 microns thick and has less than 10k of pure gold, then you own a gold-plated piece of jewelry as opposed to something made with gold vermeil.

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Dont Panic We Can Help You Sort Through This Minefield Of Terms So You Know Exactly What Youre Purchasing

At Antonia Guise I design jewellery made in Gold Vermeil , so as the Founder and Designer I know a lot about the key differences and what they really mean. So, if youve ever wondered why the costs of these different types of Gold jewellery vary so wildly then this is the article for you.

First things first what is 9 carat, 18 carat and 24 carat Gold jewellery? OK! So, this is obviously what it sounds like, all these pieces will be made with solid gold, and will be the most expensive jewellery youll find on the market. The second most common type of gold jewellery is gold plated. This means that the piece has been cast in a different metal and then plated with a small layer of gold on top to get the gold look. The main aim here is to create gold looking jewellery without the price tag of solid gold.

Back to solid Gold. The difference between 9,18 and 24 carat is purity, with 9 carat being the least pure. A carat is the purity measure there are 24 possible carats meaning that 24 carat is 100% pure gold and has no other metal mixed with it. 18 carat means it scores 18/24 on the purity scale, so contains some other metals. And 9 carat scores 9/24, so is mostly other metals mixed with gold. Gold is expensive, so as we go up the purity scale the more expensive the item will be.

How To Keep Gold Vermeil From Tarnishing

YOUR BASIC GUIDE TO GOLD JEWELRY | Gold Plated vs Gold Vermeil vs Gold Filled vs Solid Gold

In dealing with gold vermeil tarnish, you have to exercise patience because some areas would darken. However, the good news is that you can restore its original shine by removing the tarnished area. Through proper care and maintenance, you can easily prevent further tarnishing of the jewelry piece and keep them for many years to come. Below are some of the best tips in maintaining your gold vermeil


The first consideration you have to take note of is the storage area of your jewelry. The area must be dry and free from moisture. Frequent exposure to moisture may progressively depreciate the items. You can also put them in a Ziploc bag to reinforce their protection from wear and tear.

Gentle cleaning

Clean the jewelry items carefully and never press the cloth too hard while polishing them or put cleaning agents excessively because the chemicals may react negatively to the gold coating.

In addition, avoid using detergents and brushes. Instead, use mild soaps and lukewarm water.

Keep the items dry

As much as possible, never wear them in humid environments. As mentioned earlier, the items could tarnish faster if exposed to frequent moisture.

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Benefits And Drawbacks Of Gold Vermeil

#1 Vermeil Advantage

The reason vermeil is trendy jewelry is easy to see. Firstly, it is quite difficult to separate it from a real gold pendant for the untrained eye.

#2 Gold Vermeil Quality

Secondly, gold vermeil is, in comparison, generally a higher valued piece than its counterpart gold-plated jewelry.

This perceived value derives furthermore from the fact that to label vermeil for what it is, the vermeil promise ring or bracelet needs to possess a thick solid gold layer of a minimum of 2.5 microns.

Micron is a unit of length also known as micrometer and is the jewelry industry norm used to define metal thickness, whereby a micron equals a millimeter. Any micron above 1 can be labeled as high or of good quality and anything below is inferior.

#3 Gold Vermeil Value

In that sense, gold vermeil is intrinsical, not just perceived, of high gold value compared. Moreover, the gold karat of ten or above makes it, according to US American law, officially vermeil.

Any jeweler trying to sell you a collar necklace or similar and calls it vermeil, but it doesnt possess the above necessary properties as formulated by US law can be, in that regard, liable for misuse of the word.

Durability and material quality are what the law is especially interested in when looking into vermeil standardization, and this is a good thing for jewelry consumers.

Despite the great esthetical, material, and legal benefits, vermeil is not perfect.

#4 Vermeil Gold Disadvantage

#5 Gold Vermeil Judgement

Gold Plating And Allergies

If you happen to have allergies to lower base metals like brass, copper or nickel, its best to either choose vermeil jewelry or gold filled jewelry. The gold layer on plated jewelry is usually too thin to cover the lower metal, and if any gold begins to wear down, you might get an allergic reaction.

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What Does Gold Filled Mean

Despite its name, gold filled jewelry is not actually filled with gold. Rather it consistsof a cheaper base metal, such as brass or copper, that is coveredin sheets of gold. These gold sheets are bonded to the base metalusing a mechanical process involving heat. Once this process hastaken place you are left with jewelry covered in a thick layer ofgold that usually constitutes 5% of its weight. When comparing goldfilled vs gold plated, gold plated normally consists of less than0.05% of its weight in gold.

Creating gold jewelry from this metal as the thick gold layermakes it hard wearing and resistant to tranishing. Compared tosolid gold, it is also a far more affordable option.

Is Vermeil Waterproof Can Vermeil Get Wet Can I Shower With Vermeil

What Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry?  VEATGE

In short, no. No metal is truly waterproof as the minerals and deposits in regular tap water can dull or damage your jewelry over time. While showering with vermeil is typically okay to do it can hasten the degradation of your jewelry. Its best to refrain from showering with your vermeil jewelry daily because the soaps, shampoos, and conditioners you use can react with the metals.

However, occasionally showering with your piece wont ruin it forever. Just dont wear your jewelry in the pool, hot tub, or ocean because it can permanently alter and damage your precious pieces.

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Vermeil Vs Gold Plated Vs Gold Filled

Theres a big difference between these three.

Some jewelry lovers assume the terms vermeil, gold plated and gold filled are interchangeable, but these jewelry categories actually vary in very important ways. Of course, each type has a gold layer on the surface, so its easy to confuse them. While the presence of gold definitely makes each type more valuable and durable than costume jewelry, youll want to carefully consider the qualities of each before choosing which to add to your wardrobe.

First, lets go over the basic definitions of each, and then well compare them and explore how you can decide which is the best for you.

Does Gold Tarnish Does Gold Vermeil Tarnish Does Gold Vermeil Turn Green

Yes, over time all gold pieces will begin to tarnish. Fortunately, tarnishing does not mean it’s damaged or ruined! Tarnishing is a natural process that happens when metal alloys in gold pieces react with oxygen. The tarnishing can easily be polished off or shined away with a polishing cloth. A professional jeweler can also deep clean your gold jewelry safely.

Gold vermeil does not turn your finger green. The green hue that cheap jewelry can leave on your finger is usually from an abundance of copper in a metal alloy. This means that many metals which are mixed with copper can create this hue. Gold vermeil jewelry does not typically create this reaction because solid gold does not cause a green hue.

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Metals Gold Plated Vermeil Gold Fill And Gold

We get many people asking about the differences between gold plating, vermeil, gold fill and solid gold.

Below is a bit of information about the various options and their properties.


As with all gold plating, vermeil, and gold fill, will over time rub and wear off however they are different durability wise. This is because they are gold which is plated or layers over a base metal.

We recommend gold plated jewellery is only worn as occasion rather than every day to retain the colour. It is often electroplated to a base metal and therefore the gold content is a thin coating The base metal for gold plating can either be nickel, brass, stainless steel, sterling silver or copper.

Vermeil is more durable than gold plating but again it is advised items of this nature are only worn on occasion. It is often plated over sterling silver and there when tarnished or rubbed off will show a silver metal below.

Gold Fill is a much heavier coated metal type and therefore is the most durable of the three. With gold fill, the gold layer makes up 5% of the metal weight and therefore a much heavier layer over the base metal . With good care it can last a lifetime or longer as it is bonded differently to the base metal than vermeil and gold plate and therefore does not tarnish or chip off.



All our silver products are 925 sterling silver.

Where You Can Find Durable 18k Gold Jewelry

What is Vermeil? And Other Questions about Gold-Plated Jewelry

Now that weve reviewed gold-plated, gold-filled, and solid gold jewelry, you might have realized that as long as you are buying quality 18K plated jewelry, youre getting all of the benefits for a reasonable price. If youre looking for jewelry thats the highest quality for the best price, you might want to consider our CRAFTD durable 18 Karat gold-plated jewelry.

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