Jewelry 101: What is Gold Vermeil?

When searching for new jewelry, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the technical mumbo jumbo. We thought it would be fun to have a little jewelry education sesh to help you out!

 Let’s talk about “gold vermeil”. What is it, and why is it so important?

two rings on marble

Gold Vermeil History & Technique

“Gold vermeil” is a legally regulated term that refers to a specific technique of gold plating in jewelry. This technique originated in France in the 18th century, and is used to create high quality, durable gold jewelry without a hefty price tag.

The process of gold plating is actually pretty simple. The jewelry starts off with a base metal—such as steel, brass, copper, or sterling silver—and is then coated in a layer of gold. The type of base metal and thickness of the gold layer are what determine the quality of the jewelry.

three rings on marble

The Difference Between Gold Plated, Filled, and Vermeil

The quality, longevity, and affordability of the jewelry greatly depends on what materials and techniques are used in the plating process.

Gold plated jewelry has a base of either steel or brass and is lightly dipped in gold. This type of jewelry is the most affordable option and is great for jewelry wearers on a budget.

Gold filled jewelry has a base of either brass or copper and has a thick outer layer of gold. This type of jewelry is less prone to discoloration and great for jewelry wearers with base metal allergies.

ring on finger

Gold vermeil jewelry has very specific conditions. It must use sterling silver as its base material. The outer gold plating must be at least 10k gold and 2.5 microns thick. If the jewelry does not meet all of these conditions, then it cannot be considered “gold vermeil” in the U.S. Like gold filled jewelry, gold vermeil is also less prone to discoloration and a great option for those with allergies.

ring on thumb

Our New Ring Collection

Ok, but why all this talk about “gold vermeil”? I’m so glad you asked!

The gold rings in our newly announced Opal Ring Collection are high quality gold vermeil with 3 microns of 14k gold over a 92.5% sterling silver base, which is above the minimum requirement for vermeil. This means the rings are durable, affordable, long-lasting, and hypoallergenic!

three rings on one finger

Sterling silver rings are also a great durable option. Our silver rings start off with a 92.5% sterling silver base and are coated with rhodium for extra shine and durability. You can see all of our sterling silver rings here.

I hope you learned a thing or two today. If there’s ever a “Gold Vermeil” category on Jeopardy, you’ll be fully prepared!

Be sure to check out our new ring collection to see just how beautiful gold vermeil jewelry can be!

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