IS GOLD VERMEIL HYPOALLERGENIC?
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to jewelry? If so, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from allergies to the metals commonly used in jewelry, like nickel and copper. But what about gold vermeil jewelry? Does it cause allergic reactions too? The short answer is it depends—let’s dive into why.
WHAT MAKES JEWELRY HYPOALLERGIC?
Hypoallergenic jewelry doesn’t contain any metals or other materials that are likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Or, if it does, it only contains trace amounts of the metals (too minute to cause an allergic reaction). A few common culprits are nickel and copper, both of which are common in costume jewelry and other items made with cheaper materials. Hypoallergenic jewelry usually contains base metals such as sterling silver and precious metals like gold and platinum.
Gold vermeil is essentially a thicker layer of gold plating over sterling silver, usually at least 2.5 microns thick. This makes it more durable than traditional plated pieces and also helps protect the silver from tarnishing. It also looks very close to solid gold because of its thickness and can often fool even experienced jewelers. The “vermeil” part of the name comes from the French word for “gold-plated” or “golden” (vermeille).
The good news is that gold vermeil is somewhat hypoallergenic! The sterling silver used as the base metal in this type of jewelry contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloy metals, such as copper, which increase its strength and durability. Copper can be an allergen for some people. Still, because the layer of gold plating is so thick, it completely covers the copper-containing alloy layer, creating a barrier between your skin and the underlying metal. Even those with sensitive skin can wear gold vermeil without fearing irritation or allergic reaction.
In conclusion, most people find that they can safely wear gold vermeil jewelry without experiencing any adverse reactions due to the lack of nickel or other base metals present in its plating process. However, as with any new type of jewelry, it's important to take extra precautions, such as performing a patch test beforehand so that you don't have an unexpected reaction later on down the line!