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What is gold vermeil and why should you own some?

What is gold vermeil and why should you own some?

Gold vermeil is one of the new players on the jewellery scene and quickly becoming one a jewellery must have for any savvy accessories lover. Offering the same desirability of pure gold without the high price tag, find out why you should own some gold vermeil jewellery!

What is gold vermeil?




First used by French artisans in the 1700’s, gold vermeil (pronounced 'ver-may') has definitely stood the test of time. The Victorians plated much of their jewellery and tableware in gold vermeil and did you know that Olympic gold medals are coated with gold vermeil? Today, we use more the more modern method of electrolysis, which, if done correctly is capable of lasting for a very long time and last for many years.

But what is gold vermeil exactly? Gold vermeil is a method of quality form of gold plating. A a thick layer of gold is coated on to sterling silver (rather than on to a base metal such as brass or copper. For metal to be considered vermeil, it needs to meet three main trade criteria:

  • The base of the metal must be of sterling (92.5%) or fine (99.9%) silver.
  • The purity of the gold must be of at least 10 karats
  • The thickness of the gold coat should consist of a minimum of 2.5 microns (0.0025 millimeters)

The thickness of the gold plating is key and the thicker the coating, the more durable it will be. Gold vermeil is used in all demi-fine jewellery (with the addtion of semi-precious gemstones).

Why use gold vermeil?




Gold vermeil allows a jeweller to create beautiful gold jewellery designs without the high cost of solid gold. An added benefit is that as it used pure metals, vermeil is more hypoallergenic, for those that have any allergy issues.

Azuni love to work with gold vermeil for the gold plating of our gold jewellery because it is in-keeping with the slow fashion craftsmanship of our pieces. Our mission is to encourage a non throw away society and for our customers to appreciate where and how their products are made.





What is the difference between gold plated jewellery and gold vermeil?

Good question. Most costume and fashion jewellery is “flash gold plated” using a base metal such as brass or zinc rather than sterling silver. These are soft metals which are cheaper but not as durable. Depending on the thickness of the gold coating, gold plated jewellery can turn colour to green or black relatively quickly. In addition some people suffer allergies to base metals. It is a cheaper however a way of creating gold plated jewellery if your budget is limited.

Does gold vermeil tarnish?

Pure 24k gold doesn’t tarnish. However gold plating is usually not more than 18k gold and yes, may dull slightly over time, especially if it has been in contact with lotions or chemicals found in cosmetics and perfumes. The thickness of the plating will also determine how long the gold lustre will last - so be careful to shop wisely.

How to care for gold vermeil jewellery




1. Best practise is to remove your gold jewellery when swimming in
chlorinated pools or applying creams. 2. Try to keep your vermeil pieces in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.
3. We don’t recommend using chemical cleaners as they can easily strip the gold finish.
4. To restore your gold vermeil to its original shine, it’s often the simplest method (and most cost affective) that works the best! Simply mix a small amount of natural (eco friendly) washing detergent and a few drops of ammonia with warm water. Gently brush with a soft baby toothbrush and dry with a paper towel.

For more information about how to look after your jewellery, please read our advice on our jewellery care page. It’s time to upgrade you jewellery box with some gold vermeil jewellery!

The verdict:

Know you’re the wiser, you might be thinking it’s time to own some gold vermeil jewellery. Whether you’re wanting to find a special, long lasting gift or want to treat yourself, gold vermeil jewellery is a great and durable alternative to solid gold. And you’ll love the way it looks and feels.

Those of you who suffer with an allergy to base metals such as nickel – you’ll be happy to know that you can wear gold vermeil jewellery without worrying as it’s made with sterling silver which is a pure metal.

Just be sure buy with a reputable jewellery brand to make sure your piece is genuine. You should be able to tell by the price tag - if it looks to good to be true, it probably is and might be just gold plated not vermeil.

Shop Azuni’s gorgeous new ranges in gold vermeil jewellery online. Whether you want to go for layering necklaces, stacking rings or statement earrings, you’l find a luxury range of jewellery perfect for everyday wear or evenings out.





Happy shopping!  SHOP AZUNI GOLD VERMEIL