Vermeil jewelry is one of the hottest trends right now as it strikes the perfect balance between quality and value. Many people 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 jewelry, it helps to differentiate between these two options.

Ideally, there are several factors, including composition, thickness, and base metal, that contributes to determining if a piece of jewelry is vermeil.

So, what is vermeil?

Let's learn more about this premium gold finish.


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 in the U.S., but most high-quality pieces are 14, 18 or 24 karats depending on the thickness of the jewelry.

The thickness of the gold portion is what really sets vermeil jewelry apart from simple gold plated pieces. The thickness of the gold portion must be a hefty 2.5 microns.

If you want to build a collection of high-quality jewelry without the pure gold price tag,  gold vermeil is a fantastic option. 

Vermeil usually looks like gold to the naked eye, making it a great alternative for those who can't afford pure gold jewelry. You can also shine it up to give it a beautiful gloss, or leave it to tarnish for a vintage look.

Unlike other gold jewelry, vermeil is usually thinner, and the gold layer is achieved by using gold leaf or powder instead of a sheet of gold.

Another key factor here is that a vermeil piece must have a sterling silver base (instead of brass or cheaper metals).

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