Gold Vermeil versus Gold Plating

What is Gold Vermeil?

Gold Vermeil (ver-may) has some key elements that make it distinctive and superior to gold plating. Vermeil is a technique originating in the 19th century. Jewelry must meet two stringent requirements in order to qualify as vermeil:  

  • The base metal must be sterling silver (.925)
  • The gold layer thickness must be above 2.5 microns, creating a finish that is five times thicker than average gold plating, and far more durable.

What is Gold Plating?

The core of gold-plated items can be made of different metals, i.e brass, copper, stainless steel, tungsten, nickel, etc., as well as sterling silver. For a piece of jewelry to be marked as gold plated (G.P.), it must have a minimum thickness of 0.5 microns. This is a very thin layer and the plating will wear off more quickly over time.   

Is Gold Vermeil Real Gold?

Yes, gold vermeil is real gold. We use the highest percentage of gold alloy that can be used to make gold vermeil jewelry, 18 karats. While we also make jewelry in various karats of solid gold, our use of gold vermeil in selected pieces provides an excellent choice for those seeking the luxurious, warm golden appearance of solid gold at a more affordable price.   

Caring for Gold Vermeil Jewelry

The thick gold layer of gold vermeil makes it a durable choice for jewelry. As with any piece of fine jewelry, proper care is essential to ensure your pieces last a long time. Cleaning regularly, avoiding contact with harsh liquids and chemicals, and storing each piece in a separate pouch will help maintain the beautiful finish.