You may not have given it much thought before but what is gold vermeil? And what is the different between gold vermeil and gold plating. Well, we’re here to give you an easy guide.
It is really not that complicated. Any piece of jewellery marked as gold vermeil must meet these requirements below.
When the jewellery is gold vermeil:
- The base material must be silver
- The gold plated layer must be at least 10k gold but can be anything from 14k to 24k gold
- The plating of gold must be least 2.5 microns thick. (micron = 1/1000th of a millimeter)
When the jewellery is gold plated:
- The gold plating can be done on most metals, such as nickel, brass, stainless steel, silver and copper
- The purity of the gold used in gold plating has the same range as Gold Vermeil, between 10k as the lowest to 24k as the highest
- Gold plating can range in thickness between 0.17 to >2.5 microns. Plating with a thickness of around 0.17 is called gold wash/flashed
Is made of a very thin layer of gold that is at least 0.7 microns. The core can be of brass, copper and other metals.
Is made of a thicker layer of gold that is at least 2.5 microns.
The core must be silver.
So the key difference between gold vermeil and gold plating is the thickness of the gold layer. While gold plating only has a thin layer, gold vermeil has a thicker layer on a silver core, which makes it more durable and longer-lasting but also hypoallergenic as it is made up of only precious metals.
Does gold vermeil tarnish? Gold vermeil is more tarnish resistant than a thin layer of gold plating but as any other gold and silver jewellery it will loose their lustre and shine over time. Fortunately, tarnishing does not mean it’s damaged but it is a natural process that happens when metal alloys react with oxygen. The tarnishing can easily be cleaned with a few supplies or you can get a professional jeweller to deep clean your gold jewellery for you.
With gold vermeil jewellery you know you are getting a high quality piece and is the best quality you can buy that isn’t solid gold. Demi-fine jewellery as it is also called, is a wonderful alternative and more affordable option for gold. Taking good care of your gold vermeil jewellery will ensure it will last.
If your gold vermeil jewellery is in need of some TLC read how to care and clean your pieces her.
Solid gold & Gold filled
When on the hunt for your next gold jewellery; besides from gold vermeil and gold plating you will for sure come across solid gold and gold filled. Let us dig into these two gold options.
Is made of a very thick layer of gold that is at least 1/20th or 5% of the jewellery’s total weight. The core can be of brass, copper and other metals.
Gold filled is like gold vermeil jewellery a more affordable alternative to solid gold jewellery while still providing the same look and feel. Unlike gold vermeil which must have a silver base, gold filled jewellery can also have a base made from brass, copper or other metals. To call it gold filled it must be composed of a solid layer of gold (requires at least 1/20th or 5% of its weight)
Both gold filled and gold vermeil are hypoallergenic and great for daily wear and last for years with good care.
Needless to say, solid gold jewellery is the best quality you can get and made to last forever. It is hypoallergenic and ranges from 8K to 24K. The higher the karat, the purer and softer the gold. 24K gold is very soft and malleable, which makes it more prone to scratches and damage. That is why it is mixed with other metals to strengthen the material.