Vermeil jewellery is one of the hottest trends right now as it strikes the perfect balance between quality and value. Many tend to confuse vermeil with gold plating, and even though they do share a few aspects, there is a big difference in quality, durability, and desirability.
When shopping for jewellery, it helps to differentiate between these two options.
Ideally, there are several factors, including composition, thickness, and base metal, that contributes in determining if a piece of jewellery is vermeil.
So, what is vermeil?
Let's learn more about this premium gold finish.
Vermeil (Pronounced: Vermay) Memorial Jewellery - Gold Vermeil is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Most of our vermeil is plated with 14 carat to 18 Carat gold. This is a good combination for those with allergy to normal, plated jewellery items. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled, is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver.
WHAT IS VERMEIL?
Typically, vermeil is a type of gold finished material that is composed of a thick layer of gold over solid sterling silver. Industry standards dictate that the gold portion must be 10 karats or above for a piece to be considered vermeil, but most high-quality pieces are 14, 18 or 24 carats depending on the thickness of the jewellery.
The thickness of the gold portion is what really sets vermeil jewellery apart from simple gold plated pieces. The thickness of the gold portion must be a luxurious 2.5 microns.
If you want to build a collection of fantastic high-quality jewellery without the gold price tag, gold vermeil is a fantastic option. Vermeil usually looks like gold to the naked eye, and it also enables you to find more unusual & avant-garde pieces that won’t break the bank.
You can also shine it up to give it a beautiful gloss sheen or leave it to tarnish for a more vintage look.
Unlike other gold jewellery, vermeil is usually thinner, and the gold layer is achieved by using gold leaf or powder instead of a sheet of gold enabling a finer finish with more details.
Another key factor here is that a vermeil piece must have a sterling silver base (instead of brass or cheaper metals).
SO, WHAT IS GOLD PLATING THEN?
In gold plating, any metal can be used as the base, and the gold layer can be of varying levels of purity. This will result in a variety of thicknesses for the gold coating.
Gold plated pieces are cheaper than vermeil jewellery as they use any base metal to create the core for the plating.
This can be steel or brass, which is dipped in gold to form a thin layer of gold plating. However, the coating can wear out eventually, leaving your jewellery with the base only & a patchy finish.
VERMEIL IS NOT GOLD.
Even though vermeil has a lot of gold than gold-plated pieces, it is important to understand that it is not gold.
So, it's simply sterling silver with a layer of gold. You need to careful when purchasing vermeil pieces as they almost look like gold. Some unscrupulous dealers can try to sell you Gold Vermeil jewellery as solid gold pieces. Vermeil jewellery will be hallmarked or stamped (depending on weight) with the 925 assay mark.
Yellow gold is the most popular colour for these pieces, but you will also find vermeil available in rose gold and other tones. .
Vermeil jewellery pieces are made through electroplating, which can be done in two ways:
• Micron plating: This method involves measuring the thickness of the gold layer. This is necessary when plating jewellery pieces and watches. Micron plating is used in making vermeil jewellery.
• Flash plating: Here, gold is dipped into the electroplating solution for a short time, and then the gold ends up coating the piece. This is common in gold-plating.
So, when shopping for gold products, keep these details in mind to ensure that you get something worth your bucks.
HOW TO CARE FOR VERMEIL
This is an important aspect of considering gold Vermeil jewellery
Now that you have some clarity on the question "what is vermeil?" it helps to understand how to care for your vermeil pieces.
Dust, pollution, perfumes, and cosmetics can affect the surface of your pieces. This might affect the gloss, something that you certainly don't want to happen.
First, you should always apply perfume before wearing your pieces. Also, remember to remove them before taking a shower.
Try as much as possible to avoid exposing your jewellery to cleaners, hot water, and harsh chemicals. Ideally, you want to remove them before handling such solutions.
Substances, such as chlorine, can permanently damage the surface of your piece. Bear this in mind when using chlorine bleach or before diving in the pool.
When not using your vermeil pieces, remember to store them in an airtight container to prevent oxidation & tarnishing.
To clean your jewellery, use a clean cotton or microfibre cloth to buff it gently. Don't be tempted to use chemical cleaners as they can easily strip the gold finish.
Over time, the gold layer is likely to tarnish. This is a common and natural property that adds a unique sense of character to the piece. Don't fret when that happens.
HOW TO BUY VERMEIL
Buying vermeil jewellery can be a reasonably good investment if you know what you want. If care for well, a good vermeil piece will last for decades.
As you already know, there are different gold products in the market when it comes to jewellery. The biggest problem is that gold jewellery pieces are easy to replicate.
Unreliable sellers can take this advantage to sell you products that are not vermeil or even gold at all.
When shopping online, you want to look at the vendor feedback to establish their honesty. The seller must provide some form of guarantee when making a purchase.
Pricing is another important factor to consider. Basically, if the price of a piece is as low as that of sterling silver or gold-plated pieces, then that's a red flag. You should run as fast as you can.
It also should not be as costly as solid gold pieces. Let the seller provide you all the details of the piece, including size and thickness of the gold layer.
As I said before, modern vermeil pieces tend to look like real gold. You might need to test the metal to be sure about what you are buying.
Some jewel pieces will have a standard silver purity value on the gold surface. That denotes that the base of the piece is silver.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Vermeil jewellery can be a great and durable alternative to solid gold pieces. It is also an excellent pick if you have allergies to metals because sterling silver is usually a pure metal.
Ensure to take the time to find a trusted seller when looking to purchase a vermeil piece.
You will certainly love the look and feel of a vermeil jewellery if you invest time in finding the right option.
It's one of those pieces you should never overlook when upgrading your jewellery box.
Shop Our Gold Vermeil Collections Here