You may have noticed that there are a lot of different ways to get gold into your jewelry these days. Not just solid gold anymore, now we have gold vermeil and gold-filled pieces too! It can be confusing trying to decide which is the best option for you and your budget. Let's take a closer look at two of the most popular choices and see if we can make the decision a little easier.



First, what is gold-filled? Gold-filled jewelry is created by bonding a layer of solid gold to a base metal (usually brass) through intense heat and pressure. The percentage of solid gold to the base metal used in gold-filled jewelry must be at least 5% of the total weight. This heat & pressure process creates a much more durable piece of jewelry that won't wear away as quickly as gold-plated jewelry. It is also safer for those with metal allergies since there is very little chance of the pure gold layer wearing away completely to reveal the base metal underneath. Gold-filled jewelry is also an affordable alternative to solid gold since the value is in the craftsmanship rather than the metal itself.


Next, what is vermeil? Vermeil (pronounced vehr-may; it's French!) is a phrase subject to legislative regulation that identifies a particular category of high-quality jewelry. A jewelry item must conform to ALL of the following requirements in order to be able to use the term "vermeil" in the US:

1. Vermeil jewelry must have a sterling silver base. Sterling silver is an alloy that consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals.

2. The plating on Vermeil jewelry must be at least 10k (10 karats). That means the gold is at least 41.7% gold content.

3. Vermeil jewelry must have a thick gold layer measuring at least 2.5 microns thick; a micron is 1/1000th of a millimeter.


There's no denying that both gold-filled and vermeil jewelry have a certain je ne sais quoi. They're both beautiful, luxurious, and perfect for special occasions. But which one is better?

Well, it depends on what you're looking for. If you want something that's going to last longer, then gold-filled is the way to go. Gold-filled jewelry is made through an intense heat & pressure manufacturing process that makes it more durable overall.

However, if you're looking for something with a bit more of a luxury feel, then vermeil is the better choice, as it sits on a sterling silver base. The gold plating on vermeil jewelry (2.5 microns) is usually thicker than on gold-filled jewelry, so it is also quite durable.

So, which is better? There is no definite answer, it really depends on your personal preference!