1. What is vermeil?
Pronounced “ver-may”. Gold vermeil is at least 10K gold, 2.5 microns thick and coated over a silver base. Vermeil jewelry must first meet these three requirements above first before being able to be labeled as such.
Gold plating, on the other hand, is a thin layer of gold over another base metal. There is no requirement for plating thickness and no standard for the base metal.
2. Myths about vermeil
MYTH 1 Tarnish means poor quality.
Since vermeil contains a silver base, which contains a small percentage of copper, your vermeil jewelry pieces may acquire spots of discoloration over time. This is because of the copper content and not an indication of poor quality. This is merely a natural occurrence with every piece containing copper. The hallmark of high-quality vermeil jewelry is that when cleaned, it does not stay discolored. To easily clean your jewelry, we recommend using anti-tarnish cleaning cloths.
If you own any solid gold jewelry, you may notice that even solid gold pieces darken with time, owing to the same cause. 14k or 18k solid gold is also combined with sterling silver and copper since pure 24K gold is too soft for use in jewelry. We recommend treating vermeil and solid gold jewelry in the same manner as illustrated below.
MYTH 2 Vermeil jewelry can't get wet.
It's important to remember that, as with all jewelry, solid gold or vermeil, reacts badly when exposed to chemicals. Most places where you would get your jewelry wet contain chemicals. Pools, for example, may contain chlorine. Likewise, shampoo and conditioners have chemicals in them. Thus, the simplified recommendation is to avoid getting your jewelry wet.
The truth is, genuine vermeil can get wet. Simply dry it off and follow the care instructions that come with your jewelry. We also advise you to clean your vermeil jewelry pieces in soapy water regularly, which you may learn more about below.
MYTH 3 18K gold vermeil is better than 14K gold vermeil
14K and 18K gold vermeil are identical in terms of wear, durability, longevity, and upkeep. The only distinction between the two is the color, thus their difference is a matter of personal preference rather than quality.
3. How to clean vermeil jewelry
Wear your pieces frequently and clean them with a soft, jewelry cloth lined with a solution between wears.
DEEP CLEANING YOUR JEWELRY
Cleaning your jewelry is a simple yet pleasant ritual that keeps your jewelry gleaming. We recommend deep cleaning vermeil jewelry once every three to six months if you're using jewelry cleaning cloths regularly.
What you need:
- All-Natural Dish Soap
- Lukewarm Water
- Soft, Cotton Towel
- Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
- In a bowl, combine 1-2 drops of all-natural dish soap with lukewarm water. Whisk until foamy.
- Soak your jewelry in this bowl of warm, soapy water for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a soft bristle brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas on your pieces such as between settings.
- Rinse your jewelry in a clean bowl of water.
- Pat your jewelry dry with a soft, cotton cloth. Cotton is great because it's soft and absorbent, but any soft fabric cloth will do.