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What is Vermeil?

There are many types of materials used to create jewelry. Many people have heard of vermeil. It is a term tossed around with some ease even though most people don’t actually know what is or how it’s made. Let’s learn a little more about this unique option found in a range of jewelry metals.

The Composition of Vermeil

Vermeil is a metal material that is a combination of silver and gold. It is usually silver cored with a gold plating. It can be more cost effective to use vermeil since it is generally more affordable than pure gold. This doesn’t mean that just any gold can be brushed over silver to be considered vermeil. While vermeil is, in essence, an imitation of gold, it still needs to meet certain industry standards in the USA. For example, to be considered vermeil as opposed to simply plated, it must use 10 karat gold or higher and the layer must be at least 2.5 microns. This is the main difference between what is called gold plated jewelry and vermeil. The quality and thickness of the gold is what sets the two apart since gold-plated can be lower quality and thinner. Another difference between the two is that gold plated jewelry can use any type of metal underneath as the core. Vermeil must use silver to be considered vermeil.

Choosing Vermeil or Gold Plated

Are there reasons to choose one over the other? Well, of course! There are many factors at play with this type of jewelry. While you might assume that gold plated is more cost effective than vermeil, and this is generally true, there will be instances where it might not be more affordable. Sometimes gold plated jewelry can be more expensive than vermeil, depending on the quality of the gold, the size of the piece, and other contributing factors. Another major difference between the two will be the softness or flexibility of the piece. Silver is a softer metal than the options commonly used in gold plated so it might not be quite as long lasting in terms of durability. In terms of scratch resistance, the core matters less than the quality of the surface. If a piece of gold plated jewelry has a higher quality of gold while a vermeil piece has a lower one, the gold plated would show fewer signs of damage. When buying this type of gold jewelry, it is best to assess them on a piece by piece basis instead of saying one is inherently the better choice.

Finding new pieces for your jewelry collection can seem like a daunting task with so many options available. With a little insight, you can shop with confidence and make the right choice!

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