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Gold Vermeil v Gold Plated: What is the difference?

Gold plated and gold vermeil have subtle differences. From the thickness of the gold, to what type of base metal both materials use, we walk you through the differences and why at Monica Vinader we always use gold vermeil.

What is Gold Vermeil?

Gold vermeil has some key elements that make it distinctive and superior to gold plating. Vermeil is a technique originating in the 19th century, where gold is applied to sterling silver. Gold vermeil is made in a similar style to gold plating but requires a thicker layer of gold. The gold layer must be above 2.5 microns, creating a finish that is five times thicker than average gold plating, and far more durable.

Is Gold Vermeil Real Gold?

Yes, gold vermeil is real gold. At Monica Vinader we use the highest percentage of gold alloy that can be used to make jewellery, 18 carats. We love using gold vermeil in our pieces, so much so that we use it across our rose gold collections too.

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.

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Gold Vermeil Jewellery from 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 craft 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 is Gold Plated Jewellery?

Gold plated refers to jewellery that has a thin layer of gold applied over another, cheaper, metal such as copper. Jewellers might use gold plating as a way to create affordable jewellery, as the base metal is less expensive than solid gold or sterling silver. However, at Monica Vinader we exclusively use 100% recyled sterling silver as the base for our gold vermeil jewellery. This allows us to create higher quality, but still affordable pieces, that will last a lifetime. Unlike gold plated jewellery, which might tarnish quicker.


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 microns.


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.

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

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At Monica Vinader we exclusively use sterling silver as the base for our gold vermeil pieces. However, gold plated jewellery will typically use cheaper metals such as copper or brass as the base.
Gold vermeil is roughly 5x thicker than gold plating, meaning you have a stronger and thicker layer of gold over your base. Gold vermeil has to be roughly 2.5microns thick, whereas gold plated need to only be 0.5 microns.
Gold vermeil is far more durable than gold plating. Due to the thickness of the gold and the higher quality base metal, gold vermeil pieces combine affordability and quality.
We think so! While both pieces have their own advantages, for those wanting a higher quality, but still affordable piece, gold vermeil is the perfect choice. Our gold vermeil pieces will endure frequent wear for years to come.

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.