GOLD VERMEIL VS. GOLD PLATED


Here's a list of what we will review in this post:


What is the difference between gold plating and gold vermeil?

A. The thickness of the gold:

B. The karat weight:

C. The base metal underneath:

D: The durability of each metal:

E: The price difference:

F: The replating process:

G: Gold regulations:

Is gold vermeil better than gold plated?


When it comes to gold-plated or gold-vermeil jewelry, there is often a lot of confusion about what the difference is between the two. The main reason why the terms "gold vermeil" and "plating" are often confused is that both involve a plater applying a layer of gold over another metal. However, that's really where the similarities end.


In order to help clear things up, we're delving in to explain the difference between gold vermeil vs. plating.



Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOLD PLATING AND GOLD VERMEIL?


A: There are several differences between gold plated and gold vermeil. Let's compare and contrast the two:



THE THICKNESS OF THE GOLD LAYER:


The main difference between gold plated and gold vermeil is the thickness of the gold coating. The creation of gold vermeil jewelry entails a process where a thick layer of gold (at least 2.5 microns thick) is electroplated over a sterling silver base. In contrast, creating gold-plating jewelry entails a process where a thin layer of gold (an unregulated amount) coats a base metal through electroplating.



THE KARAT WEIGHT:


Another key difference is the karat weight of the gold. According to U.S regulations, the gold coating must be at least 10 karats to be considered gold vermeil; in contrast, no minimum karat weight is required for a piece to be considered gold-plated and can be as low as 2 karats.



THE BASE METAL UNDERNEATH:


The cost also differs. While gold plating can take place on any base metal, from copper to brass, gold vermeil jewelry must always have a sterling silver base. This requirement is necessary to meet vermeil regulations in the US, which state that vermeil must be at least 2.5 microns thick (about 100 times thicker than gold-plated jewelry) applied to a sterling silver base.



THE DURABILITY OF EACH METAL:


Gold plating is usually much thinner than gold vermeil, so it’s generally not as durable. When it comes to wear and tear, gold vermeil jewelry holds up better than gold-plated jewelry. The thicker layer of gold will usually last a lot longer before it starts to fade or tarnish.

 


THE REPLATNG PROCESS:


Also, sterling silver is much easier to replate when it comes time to freshen up your plating than brass or copper. For example, a plating professional can easily replate sterling silver jewelry with a quick flash plating technique, whereas a brass or copper base may need more expensive micro plating.

 


THE PRICE DIFFERENCE:


A base metal like copper or brass will make gold-plated jewelry more affordable, while a sterling silver base makes gold vermeil jewelry more expensive. This price difference is because sterling silver is a rare, precious metal that is more durable, so this quality difference will cost more.

 


GOLD REGULATIONS:


In the United States, to be considered gold vermeil, a jewelry piece must be made with a sterling silver base coated with a layer of at least 10k gold with a thickness of at least 2.5 microns. In contrast, there are no legal regulations in the US regarding what can be called gold-plated jewelry. This lack of regulation means that any jewelry piece can technically be labeled as gold-plated, even if the coating is only a fraction of a micron thick.

 


Q: IS GOLD VERMEIL BETTER THAN GOLD PLATED?



A: The simple answer is yes! Gold vermeil jewelry is better than gold-plated jewelry because it has a thicker layer of gold that is more durable and long-lasting. Gold vermeil jewelry also has a sterling silver base, a higher quality metal than the base metals often used in gold-plating (such as copper or brass).


However, it's important to keep in mind that gold vermeil jewelry is more expensive than gold-plated jewelry because of the higher quality materials used. So, if you're on a budget, gold-plated jewelry may be a better option for you. A thick layer of gold plating with a high karat weight (18k) will last a few years, depending on care. 



WRAPPING UP:


A base metal like copper or brass will make gold-plated jewelry more affordable, while a sterling silver base makes gold vermeil jewelry more expensive. This price difference is because sterling silver is a rare, precious metal that is more durable, so this quality difference will cost more.