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What is gold vermeil?
Last Updated: 10/17/2018

WHAT IS GOLD VERMEIL?


Let me guess…

You’re in the market for a nice piece of jewelry, but can’t make sense of all the gold buzz words. And it’s probably safe to say this isn’t your first time searching what is gold vermeil jewelry in hopes of clarity.

We’ve all been there and I commend you because whether you realize it or not, the simple action of searching for more information makes you an informed consumer, hooray! (But I digress…)

Here’s what I’m going to cover in this article:

(click to skip ahead)




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WHAT DOES “GOLD VERMEIL” JEWELRY MEAN?


Technically speaking, gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) jewelry is the proper classification for sterling silver (.925) or fine silver (.999) plated with a minimum of 2.5 microns of gold that has a fineness of 10 karats or higher. The minimum amount of gold used to qualify as vermeil is regulated by the FTC, i.e. it’s super legit and one can get in trouble for misleading a customer by pretending something is gold vermeil when it’s really not.

Not technically speaking, gold vermeil is silver coated with gold.


A small collection of gold and silver delicate minimalist rings. Click to shop rings.

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WHAT IS GOLD VERMEIL VERSUS GOLD PLATED?


You know how every Jacuzzi is a hot tub, but not every hot tub is a Jacuzzi? Well the same concept applies to gold vermeil and gold plated jewelry.

All gold vermeil jewelry is gold plated, but not all gold plated jewelry is gold vermeil!

Let’s take a closer look at the two in list form because honestly, it’s just easier.

Gold vermeil

  • BASE METAL: sterling silver or fine silver
  • GOLD THICKNESS: at least 2.5 microns
  • GOLD FINENESS: at least 10 karat, but most commonly 14k or 18k
  • PERCEIVED VALUE: high

Gold plated

  • BASE METAL: can be anything, but most common is brass, copper, nickel
  • GOLD THICKNESS: at least 0.175 microns
  • GOLD FINENESS: at least 10 karat
  • PERCEIVED VALUE: low

Did you know: white gold tends to be plated? Yup! White gold on its own has a dull, muddled grey appearance. Rhodium plating provides the bright white luster.


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DOES GOLD VERMEIL TARNISH?


I’m not a chemist here, but from my understanding the odds are very slim because gold itself does not react with oxygen easily.

With daily wear you can expect your body oils to cling to your gold vermeil jewelry and that will further attract dirt, which will make your jewelry look dull and greasy. A little warm soapy water bath and a soft cotton tee to dry and polish will remove the buildup.


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HOW LONG DOES GOLD VERMEIL LAST?


Assuming the brand you’re buying from has high standards and is super transparent about what they offer (cough Irina Victoria Jewelry cough). Then the quality of gold plating is top notch!

Here’s the catch though, if you’re really bad at taking care of your jewelry (wear it at the beach, when you exercise, get beauty product residue on it, sleep in it, never clean it) then it should be a no-brainer that your jewelry won’t stay gorgeous for long

Sorry, but it’s the truth. No matter how amazing a piece of jewelry is, it’s not indestructible. On the flip side, if you don’t do any of the above and treat your jewelry lovingly gold vermeil can last decades!


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CAN YOU WEAR GOLD VERMEIL IN THE SHOWER?


We get this question every once in a while. My immediate answer to this is “yes, you can”, BUT following that is, “why would you want to though?”

Here are the major concerns for showering with your jewelry on:

  • An earring could snag on your hair and in a split second it could be down the drain
  • A necklace could snag on your loofah, or whatever, and there goes your dainty chain
  • Exfoliating body scrubs can leave scratches
  • Dyes, chemicals, you name it, in your shower products could get stuck in crevasses, dry out and become stuck on residue
  • I could keep going, but I think you get my point?

It’s not the end of the world if you shower in your jewelry a few times. So don’t worry about that. However I can’t stress enough that if you’re spending a decent amount of money on a piece of jewelry and you want it to stick around for a long time, treat it accordingly!

You wouldn’t intentionally shower with your iPhone just because they say it’s water resistant, would you?(omg, I hope you don’t.)


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IS GOLD VERMEIL GOOD QUALITY?


Yeah! It’s especially an awesome option if you like to layer/stack, but are on a budget and don’t want cheap-y costume jewelry. There’s no denying the fact that well made gold vermeil jewelry looks beautiful and can easily pass as solid gold at a fraction of the price.

In my humble opinion gold vermeil is pretty great. I wear my own designs every day and haven’t had an issue yet.










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