What is Vermeil? Gold Charms and Pendants that are 100% Precious

vermeil gold charms and gold pendants

Vermeilis a type of metal used in jewelry making that is made by plating a layer of gold onto a base of sterling silver. To be considered vermeil, the layer of gold must be at least 10 karats and 2.5 microns thick. This results in a piece of jewelry that has the look of solid gold, but with a more affordable price tag.

What is Vermeil? How Is It Made? How Do You Pronounce It?

The process of creating vermeil involves several steps. First, the base metal of sterling silver is cleaned and polished. Next, a layer of gold is applied through a process known as electrolysis, which involves the use of an electric current to bond the gold to the silver. Finally, the piece is polished and finished to create a smooth, shiny surface.

Vermeil gold beads and gold charms are highly sought after for their luxurious look and affordability compared to solid gold. It is also a popular choice for those with sensitive skin, as the sterling silver base is less likely to cause irritation than other base metals. However, it is important to note that vermeil jewelry may require special care to maintain its appearance, as the layer of gold can wear off over time with frequent use or exposure to harsh chemicals.

Gold plating services exist throughout the country and you can send your old sterling silver jewelry to get a fresh coat of gold and a new lease on life. Beadworks is a fan of Red Sky Plating but there are  others online.

What is Gold Fill? How is the different from Gold Plated?

what is gold filled diagram from Wikipedia

Gold fill and gold plated are two common types of jewelry materials that look like gold, but they have significant differences in their composition and durability.

Gold fill, also known as “gold-filled,” is a type of metal made by bonding a layer of gold onto a base metal core (usually brass) through a high-pressure process. This results in a thick layer of gold that is at least 5% of the total weight of the metal. 

Gold fill jewelry is considered to be more durable and long-lasting than gold plated because the gold layer is thicker and is bonded to the metal core, making it less likely to wear or flake off over time. Gold fill jewelry is also hypoallergenic and safe for most people with sensitive skin.

On the other hand, gold plated jewelry is made by applying a thin layer of gold onto a base metal core (such as brass or copper) using an electroplating process. The layer of gold is usually very thin, about 0.5 microns or less, and will easily wear off over time, especially with frequent use. Gold plated jewelry is typically much less expensive than gold fill, but it will not last as long or be as durable.