Gold vermeil, pronounced "ver-may," is a type of jewelry finish that involves a combination of precious metals. Specifically, it is a term used to describe a piece of jewelry that has a sterling silver base coated with a thick layer of gold.
To be considered gold vermeil, the following criteria typically apply:
- Base metal: The base metal used is sterling silver, which is an alloy consisting of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper).
- Gold plating: The sterling silver base is coated with a thick layer of gold. The gold layer must be at least 10 karats and have a thickness of 2.5 microns or more. Sometimes, higher-quality gold vermeil may have a gold layer that is 14 karats or 18 karats.
- Durability: The gold plating should be substantial enough to withstand regular wear and use without quickly wearing off or fading, as is often the case with thinner gold plating.
Gold vermeil is a popular choice for jewelry because it offers the appearance and elegance of solid gold pieces at a more affordable price. However, it's essential to note that gold vermeil jewelry requires proper care to maintain its beauty and durability. Avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, perfumes, and excessive moisture, as these can potentially degrade the gold layer over time.
It's also worth mentioning that regulations and standards may vary from country to country regarding the use of the term "vermeil," so it's always a good idea to verify the quality and authenticity of the jewelry with the seller before making a purchase.
Read our post on identifying the right gold finish for your jewelry.