Learn About Gold Vermeil Jewellery
Date Posted:4 July 2020
What is gold vermeil?
Gold vermeil refers to items made of silver that are plated with a layer of gold. Gold vermeil is a high quality form of gold plating in which a thick layer of gold (this must be more than 2.5 microns and is usually between 14k – 22k gold plate) is coated upon sterling silver. Gold vermeil is a technique of gold plating that was originally developed in France in the 18th century. Vermeil is a French word, pronounced ver-may. It is a legally regulated term that refers to this type of jewellery.
To be legally called "vermeil" internationally, the jewellery piece must meet ALL of these conditions:
- Have sterling silver as its base material. Sterling silver is an alloy made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other materials, and is a standard material used in high quality jewellery (versus, e.g., brass or copper).
- Be plated in gold that is at least 10k (10 karats). That means the gold is at least 41.7% gold content.
- Have gold plating that is at least 2.5 microns thick. A micron is 1/1000th of a millimetre. Vermeil pieces are made with precious materials with heavy plating to ensure long-lasting wear.
At Culturesse, our gold vermeil jewellery uses quality solid sterling silver as the metal base with a thickness of gold between 2.5 to 3 microns, ensuring a rich, smooth and luxurious gold shine for the finished result.
What is the difference between gold vermeil and gold filled?
While gold vermeil jewellery is generally of higher quality than gold plated jewellery, gold filled jewellery can be a high-quality addition to your collection. Gold filled jewellery isn’t created through electroplating, but rather through bonding with heat. Also referred to as ‘rolled gold’ by the industry. Since two or three thick layers of gold cover the base metal inside, the jewellery is protected from tarnishing and discolouration. Authentic gold filled jewellery should have a minimum of 5% gold weight.
Taking good care of your gold vermeil jewellery will ensure it preserves the longevity of the piece. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. We recommend that you remove your gold vermeil jewellery when bathing or applying perfume or any other chemicals to your skin as this can cause the shine to diminish. In rare cases this can cause the gold plating to wear off more quickly. When cared for properly, our gold plated, gold vermeil and gold filled jewellery holds its original shine for a lifetime.