Many jewelry lovers believe that the terms vermeil and gold plated are interchangeable. However, these jewelry categories can differ in important ways.
Gold vermeil is a hot topic in the jewelry industry. Although it is becoming more popular, most people don’t know what vermeil is. Vermeil may seem new, but this metal has been around for centuries.
Vermeil might be a good choice if you like jewelry that looks similar to gold (notice that I didn’t say gold jewelry). Vermeil is an affordable option for real gold. However, there are many other options, such as gold-plated and gold-filled.
Perhaps you are wondering:
Is gold vermeil for me? We will help you make a decision by describing everything you need about gold vermeil.
What is Gold Vermeil?
Vermeil, which is French for silver and pronounced ver-may, refers to any variety of gold-coated metal. To be considered vermeil, the metal must meet three important trade criteria:
- The base must be either sterling (92.5%) or fine (99.9%). Vermeil can also be called Silver Gilt, Gilded Silver or Silver Gilt.
- At least 10 Karats must be the minimum required for purity in gold.
- The minimum thickness of the gold coating should be 2.5 microns (0.0025 mm).
These three requirements must be met before the metal can become gold-filled or gold plated. More information on this later. Gold vermeil can also be found in other colors, such as rose gold or Hamilton gold. Your preferences will determine the color you choose.
Gold vermeil is most commonly used for jewelry, but it’s also a versatile metal that can be used in other ways. The Vermeil Room at The White House is a good example. The famous Vermeil Room of the White House contains a wine cooler as well as tableware made entirely from vermeil. Vermeil is used amongst other things in fixtures and furniture. Vermeil is also used in fixtures and furniture, as well as many sports trophies.
The Victorian Era featured gold vermeil, which was used extensively in jewelry, tableware, and other items.
How is Gold Vermeil made?
The item must first be made in sterling or fine silver; then, it is covered with gold via electrolysis. Vermeil used to be made using fire-gilding in the past. However, this method was eventually banned because of the risks involved, including the possibility of blindness from mercury. If done properly, electrolysis can produce a consistent thickness that lasts for many years.
What Does “14k Vermeil” Refer To?
When you see “14k” or “18k”, it simply means that there is gold content. 24k is 99.9%, 18k 75%, 14k 58.3%, and 10k 41.7%.
A higher karatage does not always mean better. Pure gold is flexible and yellowish in color so mixing it with other metals makes it more suitable for jewelry making. The hue of gold can be altered by mixing it with other materials, so the yellow tone is less aggressive.
How Long Does Gold Vermeil Stay Good?
The thickness of the gold plating is a key factor in the durability of your gold vermeil. The thickness of the gold plating is what determines how long the gold vermeil will survive. The rule of thumb is that the longer the piece lasts, the thicker its gold plating.
The purity of the vermeil is another factor to consider. You may be familiar with the fact that the purer the gold vermeil, the softer it will be and the more susceptible to damage and scratches. It is best to buy 14k or 18k gold vermeil if you want gold vermeil that lasts. Any higher would be too soft, and any lower would not be the right color for you.
We often get asked if gold vermeil tarnishes.
Vermeil is made from a silver base, and it is likely that vermeil will tarnish because of this. This does not necessarily have to be an ongoing problem. Regular cleaning and maintenance can remove tarnish and restore vermeil to its original shine.
Gold Plated Jewelry
A gold-plated piece of jewelry is made from brass, copper, or other low-end metals that have been electroplated with a layer (or more) of gold. Gold-plated jewelry is usually less expensive than vermeil. It doesn’t have to be a minimum karat or thickness. A gold-plated piece may be more valuable than vermeil if it has a higher gold karat (20 or 22k) and thick layers of gold. Noting that the karat weight of gold can affect how it looks is important. A 14k piece will have yellower color, while an 18k item will have a darker, more intense yellow.
Gold Filled Jewelry
Gold-filled jewelry is more durable than gold-plated and vermeil jewelry. It has a thicker layer of gold that covers the base metal. Sometimes it can be as thick as 100%. This is a significant difference in jewelry’s long-term resistance to wear and tear. It is common for the base metal to be brass or another low-end metal, but it is difficult to distinguish between a piece of gold-filled jewelry and one made from real gold.
What Is The Difference Between Vermeil And Gold Plated Jewelry?
Vermeil jewelry is made of two precious metals, silver, and gold. It’s often considered to be fine jewelry. A vermeil necklace or ring with a very thin layer of gold will likely start to wear away shortly after it is purchased. A vermeil ring or necklace with a thin plating will require a replating every now and again.
Gold-plated jewelry will generally have a lower quality and thinner layer of gold unless otherwise stated. If the jewelry is listed as gold-plated, you should be careful about its quality. It may have a gold layer, but that doesn’t mean it is durable and high-quality.
What Is The Difference Between Vermeil And Gold-Filled Jewelry?
Although gold-plated jewelry may not be the best choice, gold-filled jewelry can make a great addition to your jewelry collection. The bonding of heat and gold is what creates gold-filled jewelry. The jewelry is protected against tarnishing and discoloration because it has two to three layers of thick gold covering the base metal. Genuine gold-filled jewelry should contain a minimum of 55% gold weight. Make sure that the outer layer of gold is at least this thick.
Vermeil pieces are often made from electroplating, and the minimum amount of gold required is lower. This will help you make a decision between vermeil or gold filled. Compare the gold’s weight in karat, thickness, and quality of the base metal. You can determine if the piece meets your standards by looking at its individual characteristics. Some vermeil pieces may tarnish easily, while others with thick plating might last twice as long.
What Type Of Jewelry Should I Choose?
A vermeil collection featuring thick plating in 18k gold would make the best quality jewelry. Gold-filled jewelry is a good choice if you aren’t able to tolerate a lower base metal. While gifts for loved ones, commemorative jewelry, and bridal jewelry are best made as vermeil or gold filled, fine jewelry, casual wear can be great with just one thin layer of gold plating.
For high-quality pieces that will last a lifetime, platinum or pure 14k/18k gold pieces are the best, but vermeil or gold-filled pieces can be an option for budget-conscious fashionistas.