Vermeil vs Gold Plated

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The difference between vermeil and gold-plated is one of the most commonly asked questions in the jewelry industry. It seems like no matter where you go if somebody has a "gold" piece of jewelry it comes up in conversation.

Let's take a look at the differences between vermeil and gold-plated.


What is Vermeil Jewelry?


Gold vermeil jewelry is micron plated with a sheet of 10k gold or higher bonded to a sterling silver base. It always features a minimum thickness of 2.5 microns. The Gold vermeil jewelry is then immersed in many layers of lacquer to give it its final sheen, seal the vermeil and protect it from scuffs and scratches.

What sets vermeil gold apart from gold-plated is that it typically contains a much higher percentage of gold than plated items. In addition, vermeil gold also contains a much thicker layer of real gold. You won't see tarnishing as quickly or ever compared to plated pieces.


Pros of Vermeil


- Many people prefer the look of vermeil to plated metal because it doesn't have that bright, shiny, new quality that plated metals tend to have. It looks much more like traditional gold jewelry or sterling silver because it has a unique soft luster to it.

- Vermeil is also much thicker than many other types of metal and because it's so thick it can be worn for much longer periods of time without the color wearing off.

- Vermeil is also a great option for people who have sensitive skin or want to avoid unnecessary exposure to harmful metals such as nickel, which is common in gold-plated jewelry.

- Most people will find that vermeil is much more affordable than solid gold.


What is Gold Plated Jewelry?

Gold-plated jewelry is exactly what it sounds like. It's made of base metal with a very thin layer of 1% real gold applied to the surface through an electric current, giving it the appearance of being gold without spending as much money.

Essentially, gold-plated jewelry is the same thing as vermeil jewelry, only the base metal is usually of a lower quality than silver, such as copper or brass. Also, gold-plated jewelry is less expensive than vermeil, as it doesn't require a minimum karat weight or thickness. However, a gold-plated item might be more valuable than a vermeil one with a high gold karat weight (20 or 22k) and a thick layer of gold.

Gold plated pieces usually have an intense yellowish hue. However, it can wear off over time.


Pros of Gold Plating

- Generally speaking, most people will find that gold plating is less expensive than vermeil.

- Gold plating is a great option for people who are looking to buy gold jewelry but want something more affordable.  

-Gold-plated pieces typically last about two years. Possibly longer with proper care. If you handle your pieces effectively and clean them on a regular basis, you may expect to get more wear out of each piece. It is all about how you care for it.


In Conclusion...

So, what's the difference between vermeil vs gold-plated? It's simple really. Vermeil has a significant amount of actual gold in it and is a great option for people who want gold jewelry but also want something more affordable. Gold-plated is a much less expensive option with a thinner layer of gold on the surface, making it more affordable, but not as durable.


So, What's Better? Vermeil or Gold Plated?

It really comes down to what you are looking for and how you will be using your jewelry (or how often).

If you want something that looks like real gold and don't mind investing a little extra than vermeil is a great option. If you are someone who wants to spend less money but desires durable, long-lasting jewelry then gold-plated is the way to go.










925 Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver, Brass, etc.


2.5 Microns

Thin Layer






Less Expensive