Gold Vermeil Jewelry: A Detailed Guide for You

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Everyone wants a touch of gold in their jewelry collection, but not everyone can afford pure gold. Fortunately, you don’t need pure gold to look golden – different gold metals can help you achieve that classic gold look. 

One of these gold metals is gold vermeil. 

If you’re curious about what gold vermeil is and how it measures up to pure gold, we’ve got you covered. This gold vermeil guide will show you everything you need to know about gold vermeil and answer most of your questions concerning this metal.

What is gold vermeil?

gold vermeil jewelry - Gold Vermeil Jewelry: A Detailed Guide for You

Gold vermeil is jewelry with sterling silver as the base metal and a layer of gold over it. It is made by electroplating (or coating) gold over sterling silver, giving the metal a fine gold finish. 

What is gold vermeil made of?

Gold vermeil is made of sterling silver and gold. Standard gold vermeil contains at least 41.7% gold laid over sterling silver. The gold is made to be at least 2.5 microns thick.

How do you pronounce vermeil?

Vermeil is pronounced as “veh-mayl.” It is transcribed “vɜːm(e)ɪl”

Does gold vermeil last? 

Gold vermeil is relatively durable and lasts longer than the usual gold-plated jewelry because it has a thicker gold layer. However, gold vermeil is not pure gold, so it tarnishes when exposed to sweat or perfume too often. 

How much is gold vermeil worth? 

You can get gold vermeil jewelry for about $40 per ounce. Its worth can increase or reduce depending on the thickness of the gold layer. Gold vermeil is worth more than gold-plated jewelry but less expensive than solid gold.

Is gold vermeil hypoallergenic?

Hypoallergenic metals are metals that are less likely to irritate your skin. Vermeil’s base metal, sterling silver, is mostly hypoallergenic. Its top layer, gold, is also a safe metal for sensitive skin. So, gold vermeil is hypoallergenic. 

Gold and sterling silver may sometimes contain nickel, a very allergenic metal, as an alloy. So if you have very sensitive skin, check the product label to ensure that your vermeil piece is nickel-free before buying.

Gold Vermeil vs Other Gold Metals

Gold vermeil is not the only alternative to solid gold. There are also gold-plated jewelry and gold-filled jewelry. These terms may sound pretty confusing, so we’ve explained how gold vermeil compares to other gold metals below so that you can get the difference. 

Is vermeil real gold?

Vermeil is made from real gold. It contains at least 41.7% of real gold. But it’s different from pure gold because it has another metal (sterling silver) as its base metal. There are tests to help you know if your jewelry is made of pure gold or not.  

Gold Vermeil vs. Gold Filled Jewelry 

18K Gold Vermeil Snake Ring
Gold Vermeil Jewelry
14k Gold Filled Jewelry
Gold Filled Jewelry

💡 Takeaway: Gold vermeil is sterling silver coated with a layer of gold while gold-filled jewelry has a gold layer bonded to another metal (brass, silver, or copper) using heat or pressure. Basically, gold is melted over another metal to make gold-filled jewelry. 

Gold-filled jewelry is more durable than gold vermeil because a heat-bonded gold layer will not easily scratch off. It also does not tarnish easily. 

How does gold vermeil compare with gold-plated jewelry? 

Gold Vermeil Ring
Gold Vermeil Jewelry

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Gold plated jewelry contains metals like brass, copper, nickel, or stainless steel as the base metal and a thin gold layer over it. The gold layer usually fades away in no time, so gold-plated jewelry does not last long. 

Gold vermeil contains more gold than gold-plated jewelry and lasts longer than gold-plated jewelry. As expected, gold vermeil is also more expensive than gold-plated jewelry. 

Is 10K gold better than gold vermeil?

10k Solid Gold Paperclip Bracelet
10K Gold Jewelry
vermeil ring
Gold Vermeil Jewelry

10K gold is the general term for gold jewelry that contains 41.7% of gold and 58.3% of different metals like copper, zinc, and nickel. Gold vermeil also contains at least 41.7% gold, but the gold is made as a layer over sterling silver specifically. 

10K gold is an alloy (mix) of gold and other metals. It’s just as durable as gold vermeil but may contain more allergenic metals. If you have sensitive skin, gold vermeil is a better option for you. 

How to Care for Gold Vermeil

If you want your gold vermeil jewelry to last long, care for it like any other precious metal. Store your jewelry correctly and avoid using chemical jewelry cleaners on your vermeil jewelry because they can ruin the gold layer. 

Does gold vermeil tarnish? 

Yes, gold vermeil does tarnish. Tarnishing occurs when metals come in contact with air or moisture and begin to darken. Gold vermeil contains sterling silver, a metal that is prone to tarnish. The presence of alloys in gold can also make gold tarnish. But you can prevent it from tarnishing by protecting it from sweat and perfume. 

How do you restore tarnished vermeil?

If you have a tarnished vermeil piece, you can restore it using a polishing cloth made for gold jewelry. Gently rub the polishing cloth on the surface of the jewelry to remove the tarnish. Cleaning your vermeil jewelry with mild soap and water can also restore its sparkle. 

Can you recoat vermeil?

Yes, you can recoat your vermeil jewelry. If polishing cloths or cleaning with mild soap and water does not remove tarnish from your vermeil piece, you can take it to a jeweler who will scrape off the present gold layer and recoat it with new gold. Your vermeil jewelry will look just as good as new. 

Can you shower in gold vermeil?

This is not advisable. Your home water and shower gels may contain chemicals that can cause your vermeil jewelry to tarnish faster. If you want your vermeil jewelry to last long, it’s best to remove it before showering

Can you resize gold vermeil?

Yes. If you need your gold vermeil jewelry to look bigger or smaller, you can take it to a professional jeweler to help you resize it. Your jeweler will replace the piece with gold after resizing it to give it a fine finish. 

What are the best ways to care for gold vermeil?

The best way to care for your gold vermeil is to clean it regularly using a soft cloth.

You should also wash it thoroughly every four to six months using warm water and mild soap. Here’s how:

  1. Lather warm water and soak your vermeil piece in it for about 8 minutes. 
  2. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean it thoroughly. 
  3. Rinse in clean water and dry with a soft, absorbent cloth. 

When you wear your vermeil jewelry, avoid contact with perfume, oils, or sweat. You should also avoid wearing your vermeil to bed, so it doesn’t wear out from rubbing against your bedsheets when you sleep. 

Another Kind of Gold

Gold vermeil may not be the purest gold metal, but it gives you that desired gold look. It also rates higher than gold-plated jewelry when it comes to value and lifespan. So if you ever need gold jewelry that is safe for your skin, costs less, and lasts longer, think gold vermeil. 

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