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Gold Vermeil vs Gold Plated: What’s the Difference?

Gold plated and gold vermeil have subtle differences. Understanding these key differences is essential when choosing the right type of metal for your next piece of jewellery. From the thickness of the gold, to what type of base metal both materials use, we walk you through the pros and cons of each.

What Does Gold Plated Mean?

Gold plated refers to jewellery that consists of a thin layer of gold that is applied over the top of another affordable metal, such as copper. The process of gold plating is done through putting the economical metal in a chemical solution that contains gold and then applying an electric current to the piece. The electric current attracts the gold to the base metal, where it reacts leaving a thin gold covering.

Many jewellers will use gold plating as a way to create affordable gold jewellery. As the base metal is less expensive than solid gold, it allows for cheaper production whilst achieving that bold metal look that so many adore.

what does gold plated jewellery mean?

Is Gold Plated Real Gold?

Gold plated jewellery is made of both real gold twinned with a different base metal. Whilst these pieces are not solid gold, the plating itself consists of real gold. However, for a piece to be labelled 'gold plated' the layer of gold must be equal to or greater than 0.5 micron.

how long does gold plating last

How to Clean Gold Plated Jewellery

You may be concerned about tarnishing your gold plated jewellery further by cleaning it. Even so, you should be cleaning your jewellery from time to time to keep it looking its best. For those with gold plated pieces you need to ensure you're gentle, avoid rubbing, and simply clean in warm soapy water

What is Gold Vermeil?

Gold vermeil, whilst similar to gold plating, has some key differences that make it distinctive. Vermeil is a technique originating in the 19th century, where gold was applied to sterling silver. Gold vermeil is also made through the gold plating technique but requires a thicker layer of gold. In this case, the gold layer must be above 2.5 microns.

what does gold vermeil mean?

Is Gold Vermeil Real Gold?

Like standard gold plating, gold vermeil is also real gold. At Monica Vinader we use the highest percentage of gold alloy that can be used to make jewellery, this being 18 carats. We adore gold vermeil and the pieces that can be created from it so much that we use it in both our gold and rose gold jewellery collections.

How to Clean Gold Vermeil Jewellery

Cleaning gold jewellery is easy to do at home. We recommend using a gentle polishing cloth on your gold vermeil pieces, ensuring it is clean and dry. Simply rub your piece in one direction, wiping away any dirt.

How Long Does Gold Vermeil Last?

Due to its thicker gold layer, gold vermeil is a durable option for jewellery pieces. Taking proper care of your favourite pieces, like necklaces and bracelets, will ensure your pieces stand the test of time. There are numerous ways to care for your jewellery, from keeping it clean, to keeping it away from liquids, and even storing it in its own pouch rather than thrown in with other pieces.

Gold Vermeil vs Gold Plated - The Key Differences

When comparing gold vermeil to gold plated, there are many differences that make the two gold types stand apart.

  • Base metal - whilst gold plating can take place on any metal, from copper to brass, gold vermeil has to be on sterling silver. For a sustainable option, recycled silver makes an excellent base.
  • Gold thickness - the second key difference is in the thickness of the metal layer, whilst gold plated has a minimum thickness of 0.5 microns, vermeil has to be a thickness of at least 2.5 microns. When it comes to gold vermeil vs gold plated, gold vermeil is at a minimum 5 times thicker than gold plating.
  • Durability - due to its added thickness gold vermeil is far more durable than gold plating. Combining both affordability and quality.

Both gold vermeil and gold plated jewellery have their own unique advantages. For those wanting a higher quality, but still affordable piece that will endure frequent wear for years to come, gold vermeil is the ideal choice. Whether you're looking for earrings or anklets, gold vermeil is a wonderful option. Whereas, those who switch up their style more often, may wish to experiment with gold plated jewellery due to its slightly lower price point.

Contrasting gold vermeil vs gold plated displays how gold vermeil is a higher quality material to use in jewellery.

Gorgeous Gold Vermeil Jewellery with Monica Vinader

Gold vermeil is a stunning metal that allows us to create pieces that combine fashion and fine jewellery at an affordable price. The range of pieces gold vermeil can crafted is endless, from beautiful hoop earrings, to everyday stacking rings. As the technique can be used to create both gold and rose gold jewellery, this option is available no matter your favourite metal. Paired alongside precious gemstones, such as diamonds, vermeil makes a stunning finishing touch to any outfit.

What Makes Monica Vinader Special?

We are a contemporary jewellery brand that was founded in 2008. We combine beautiful metals with vibrant gemstones to create elegant pieces you'll adore. From simple stud earrings, to gorgeous layered necklaces, to everyday stacking rings, to friendship bracelets for a sentimental gift, you'll find your perfect piece at Monica Vinader.

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