What is Gold Vermeil? Gold Vermeil Vs. Gold Plated

Gold Vermeil Vs. Gold Plated

What is Gold Vermeil? Gold Vermeil Vs. Gold Plated

Out of gold jewelry types, you may have got a variety of gold-plated jewelry pieces in your collection. Just because most people associate gold-plated jewelry with the vermeil ones quite often, perhaps that’s the reason why you may have followed their lead too and couldn’t find any difference. However, there exist subtle differences between them both. If you wanna know how to spot gold vermeil jewelry, then read on.  

This guide has included everything you need to know about how gold vermeil jewelry is different from standard gold-plating and what gold jewelry type you should go for. When selecting the metal type for your next jewelry piece, it’s necessary to understand the fundamental distinctions between these two. So without further ado, let’s walk through it.

What does a Gold Vermeil jewelry piece mean?

what is Gold Vermeil jewelry

Gold vermeil is generally known as “Silver-Gilt” which means a thin gold-plating covered on high-quality sterling silver. Reading it seems quite similar to gold-plated jewelry. But in actual, vermeil has got some stark differences, enough for making it distinctive.

This Gold Vermeil technique had its roots back in the 19th century. At that time gold was used to coat over pure or sterling silver. Now, vermeil is mostly done by the process of electroplating – a chemical process that is used to bind the two metals (gold and sterling silver) together with the help of electrical current. 

In gold vermeil jewelry pieces, 925 sterling silver is preferred to use as a base metal that gets plated with a thick layer of gold, at least 10 karats or more. Usually, a thick layer of 14k gold is used to coat gold vermeil pieces that we refer to as 14k vermeil. However, it’s totally up to you how much gold you want to get plated over. Other vermeil coating options include 24k which contains 99.9% gold, 18k that is 75% gold, 14k with 58.3% gold, and last but not least 10k  that contains 41.7% gold plated on the sterling silver base.

Vermeil jewelry pieces possess some other qualities too that make them offbeat. Using 925 sterling silver as the base metal with a thick golf layer over (at least 2.5 microns thick and 10 karats), this technique offers us to create luxurious, premium quality gold jewelry without even the use of solid gold. The hypoallergenic combination of precious metals makes it the finest gold jewelry wear, worth your investment today.

Difference between Gold Plated & Gold Vermeil Jewelry

For sure, you’d want to stack a more durable and valuable gold jewelry pick to style for long. But having a gold-plated layer on both jewelry-type pieces makes it easy to get confused while selecting any one of them. So, here we included some basic definitions and qualities of each category. Go over them and then decide which one will work best for you.

1. Gold-Plated jewelry:

what is Gold-Plated jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry pieces are crafted using low-end metals like brass and copper as a base and a thin layer of gold for plating on them. This plating is achieved by the Electroplating process, the same technique that we use to make the vermeil ones. The lower quality metals at their core can be allergic sometimes. But when it comes to pricing, it is the least expensive and the most trendy gold jewelry type to carry for a short time.

If you’re wondering is gold-plated real gold? Then the answer is yes. It is a less than 1% real gold cover that is as thin as 1 or 3 out of 1000 inches on the metal base. With that said, the gold-plated jewelry doesn’t require any minimum range for thickness or karat weight. This is something that makes it a cheaper and less expensive product as compared to the vermeil one to style an adoring bold look with the same luster.      

 A piece of gold-plated jewelry can last up to two years if you deal it with proper care. While the layer is very thin, it can quickly fade too. So, it needs a bit of extra care after every time you decide to wear it on. If you find your gold-plated jewelry losing its shine, it’s a cleaning-required red flag. 

Read our how to clean gold-plated jewelry guide to give your jewelry a-new-purchase look.

2. Gold Vermeil jewelry

what does Gold Vermeil jewelry mean

Gold vermeil jewelry is made up of precious metals including a minimum of 10k real gold and 925 sterling silver metal. It has 5 times thicker gold plating (at least 2.5 microns) as compared to the standard gold-plated jewelry pieces(with a minimum 0.5 microns thickness), making it a more durable, hypoallergenic, and long-lasting fine jewelry piece.  

Vermeil is an affordable luxury that’s a way better investment than purchasing a gold-plated jewel.  However, the affordability depends on the layered thickness and gold karat weight.  

Good take care of gold vermeil pieces can make it last up to more than 20 years. Sure to stand every test of time, it’s the most sustainable and achievable jewelry choice that comes after solid gold jewelry.

A guide on How to clean gold vermeil jewelry?

To keep your jewelry clean and shiny, follow the given instructions.


Your daily worn jewelry wants routine care to maintain its shine and brightness. In that case, a light cleaning method can be perfect for your jewelry.

  • Gently rub your gold vermeil jewelry with a soft cloth.
  • Let it clean and dry.
  • Don’t scrub your jewelry while cleaning its surface.


With easy-to-do household tips, you can deeply clean your vermeil jewelry pieces once a month. 

  • Take a bowl of water.
  • Pour some liquid soap into the water and make a foamy solution.
  • Soak your jewelry in the solution.
  • Leave your gold vermeil jewelry in this solution
  • Gently rub your piece with a soft cloth
  • Rinse your jewelry with lukewarm water
  • Dry it using another piece of a soft cloth.

Conclusion: Gold Plated vs Gold Vermeil Jewelry- Which is better?

Every jewelry has its own unique pros and cons. However, if you are one of those who are searching for some more durable and high-quality gold jewelry at an affordable price then, a gold vermeil jewelry piece with an 18k thick layer of gold will be perfect for you. Due to their equal balance of quality, value, and durability, these jewelry pieces fall under the category of “Fine Jewelry Collection” that can last a lifetime. Otherwise, a thin layered jewelry piece can work well if you just want to style a casual fashion inexpensively.

Laura Halen is a Creative Content Writer. She has more than 10 years of experience in writing for the fashion industry. She is an expert at writing well research and well-crafted content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *