Gold vermeil is a technique used to create modern jewellery. It
is when a thick layer of gold, such as
18kt gold, is applied to sterling
silver. It's applied through the gold plating technique, but
requires a thicker layer that must be above 2.5 microns.
The Difference Between Pure Gold & Solid Gold
Whilst by name pure gold and solid gold sound interchangeable,
in actual fact they are two different things. Solid gold refers to
jewellery that is made entirely of a gold alloy, without any
plating or vermeil used. Whilst pure gold relates to the karat of
the metal. Here are the key differences between the two:
- Uses - Solid gold
jewellery is the most common way to see this type of gold used.
Due to its alloy content it is strong enough for everyday wear,
whereas pure gold is not advised to be worn due to its
- Karat - The key difference between pure and
solid gold is the karat. Whilst pure gold must always be 24 karats,
solid gold can be an alloy and can be any karat from 10k upwards.
- Durability - As solid gold is an alloy it is
often much more durable than non-alloyed versions of the metal.
You'll find gold which is pure to be far softer, and more prone to
scratches and tarnishing.
Pure Gold vs Gold Plated
Gold plated, as with gold vermeil, is a technique used to
create jewellery. In gold plating, a thin layer of gold is applied
via chemical or electrochemical plating to a base metal such as
copper. The gold layered onto the other metal can be any karat, but
is often 14k. The gold is thinner than you would get with gold
Due to the thin layer, plating is more prone to scratches than
vermeil, which is why you're unlikely to find pure gold used in the
How Different Karats of Gold are Made
Whilst pure gold does not tend to be used on its own for
jewellery, it is still an essential part of creating our favourite
accessories. To create any other type of gold karat, pure gold is
mixed with a metal such as silver or copper. The karat denotes the
amount of secondary metal added to the 999 gold, for example 18kt
can be made from 18 parts gold and 6 parts silver.
The Tone of Pure Gold
Pure gold comes in the rich yellow tone that is well associated
with the popular metal, you'll also note the deep shine it emits.
The colour of gold changes depending on what alloys it is mixed
with. Rose gold incorporates copper, to achieve that lustrous pink
appearance. Whilst white gold adds 25% nickel and zinc, to create
the pale colour that emulates platinum.