Gold Jewellery - Part 3; Gold Vermeil

Gold Jewellery - Part 3; Gold Vermeil

Our third gold blog post is all about gold vermeil. Gold vermeil (pronounced ver'me) is a high quality version of plated gold. Plating jewellery became a very popular alternative to solid gold in the past when gold prices were sky high and people wanted to mimic the rich look of real gold. Plating can be done in many ways and some even from home in a relatively small space (away from pets and children). 

In plating, gold is overplayed on a base metal in varying thicknesses, depending on the item. The gold effectively sits on the top of the base metal (perhaps a chain or loop or earring) and eventually wears away over time. Think of it a little like varnish on a piece of furniture, it weathers over time and will need topping up or sanding back and doing again. Plating is very similar. However, the length of time needed between coats varies on the thickness of the layer applied. 

Gold vermeil is slightly different in that it uses only precious metals in an item. For instance, all our chains that use gold vermeil have a sterling silver 925 base with 24ct gold plating. The plating on our chains is a minimum of 2 microns thick (this is the unit of measurement for plating) to make them durable for long periods of time and less susceptible to long term tarnish. The process of electrolysis ensures the gold is distributed evenly and to a high quality. 

Gold vermeil chains often appear the same colour as solid gold, at a fraction of the price. Because sterling silver is used as the base and as the main metal, check for the 925 (sterling silver stamp) on articles to make sure they really are gold vermeil and not a cheaper plated alternative. 

Gold vermeil is available in both yellow and rose gold and can take any form. 

The bonus of having a plated item in precious metals, means that gold vermeil is classed as hypoallergenic. 

It is important to note that gold vermeil does need to be cleaned and kept well to maintain its quality shine and gold colour. As with all metals, exposure to heavy wear, oils, creams, sun and chlorine (for example) will cause oxidisation of the metal and discoloration - this is science and cannot be avoided; watch out for anyone who makes bold claims about non tarnish items, either in their marketing or similar. However, with a clean jewellery or cotton cloth, rubbed over occasionally, your gold vermeil jewellery should be looking beautiful for years to come. 

In conclusion, gold vermeil:

-Is a budget friendly alternative to solid gold

-Keeps its shine and condition if looked after properly

-Carries a 925 stamp of sterling silver with a fine layer of gold

-Uses the electrolysis process in modern times to produce

-Is classed as hypoallergenic so is more suitable for those with allergies

-Compliments coins beautifully

-Is available in both rose gold and yellow gold finishes


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