If you're shopping for gold-tone jewelry, you may have seen jewelry labelled "gold vermeil", "vermeil", "14k vermeil", "18k vermeil", etc. Here's a breakdown of what this means in the world of jewelry!
WHAT IS GOLD VERMEIL?
You might have seen the term vermeil before and not known what it meant. Vermeil jewelry must meet these three requirements:
1. Have sterling silver as its base material. Sterling silver is an alloy that typically comprises 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other materials, which is a standard material in high quality jewelry versus lower quality materials such as copper or brass.
2. Gold plated in at least 10k (10 karats). That means the gold content is at least 41.7%
3. Gold vermeil is gold plating with at least 2.5 microns of thickness. A micron is 1/1000th of one millimeter.
WHAT DOES "14k VERMEIL" MEAN??
If you see "14k", "18k" or another karatage before the word "vermeil", this simply refers to how much gold content there is: 24k is 99.9% gold content, 18k is 75% gold content, 14k is 58.3% and 10k is 41.7%.
Quality should never be based on the karatage alone; for example, pure gold is very flexible and yellow in color so mixing it with other materials strengthens it. Combining this metal with other materials helps tone down the hue, preventing it from being too overbearing in color.
SHOULD I BUY VERMEIL?
Yes, if you want a great piece of jewelry that will stand the test of time. Vermeil is an excellent choice for people looking for high quality, long-lasting pieces for daily use.