What is Vermeil

Out in the world of high-end jewelry and elegant adornments, there's an unsung hero that lurks – often mistaken, underappreciated, and curiously drenched in intrigue. The silence breaker, the long-overdue spotlight stealer we're talking about today is none other than gold vermeil!

What is Vermeil?

Death, taxes, and confusion about shiny goldish stuff – is there anything more certain in life? Before we dive into the fascinating universe of gold vermeil, let's put on our classy investigative goggles and uncover - what is vermeil?


Vermeil (pronounced 'ver-may' not 'ver-meal', for those bitten by the fancy pronunciation bug) is a specific type of gold finish. Think of it like the James Bond of jewelry finishes – suave, sophisticated and almost exclusively seen in high-end circles. It involves sterling silver at its core, which is then gilded with gold.


But Vermeil isn't just any gold; you won't find any of this sub-standard, knock-off, counterfeit-at-the-corner-store stuff here. Vermeil uses only high-quality gold, usually 14k and above. Bear in mind, your common garden variety silver is not the same as sterling silver, and similarly, your corner shop gold isn't the same as vermeil.

The technicality

So onto the nitty-gritty. To perfectly caramel coat this definition, let's get a bit technical. In jewelry-making terms, for a piece to qualify as 'vermeil', it has to have a minimum layer of 10 karats or more pure gold, which must be at least 2.5 micrometers thick.


Vermeil puts the 'special' in specialty with its unique manufacturing process. The core silver piece is usually coated in gold using electrolysis. Remember those electrode experiments that used to blow your socks off in the school laboratory? Same principle but with a much more fashionable output!

What is the Difference between Vermeil and Gold Plated?

Now, we're going to step into the golden arena of comparison. You see, vermeil and gold plated items often get mistaken for each other. It's like mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn; they might both have a horn, but unicorns are inherently more magical. Let's look at some aspects that make gold vermeil the 'unicorn' in this situation.

Core Material

Firstly, let's talk about the core. The heart of gold vermeil is sterling silver, pure and unalloyed. Yet, in the case of gold plated items, it could be any base metal. Brass, copper, nickel, tungsten, you name it. It's like comparing apples to a basket containing anything from peaches to passionfruit.

Thickness of Gold Layer

Next up is the gold layer thickness. Remember our friend, the aforementioned 2.5 micrometers? Gold plated jewelry doesn't have this threshold. The golden coating could be so thin, you'd need a microscope or a faith leap to see it. In contrast, a vermeil piece is dressed in gold thick enough to throw a lavish party for your eyes.

Durability and Hypoallergenic Traits

Finally, consider durability and potential allergies. On account of its thicker gold layer, vermeil tends to stand the test of time better than its gold-plated counterpart. Also, it's hypoallergenic by nature (thanks to sterling silver), making it a gift from heaven for people with sensitive skin. With gold-plated ornaments, the same can't be guaranteed as the base metal could cause allergic reactions.


Of course, all this fancy footwork and steadfast quality come with a price tag. In a classic 'you-get-what-you-pay-for' scenario, gold vermeil costs more than its gold-plated counterpart. But hey, for an extra slice of luxury, isn't it worth investing?


Hopefully, this grand tour through the world of gold vermeil has left you a little intrigued, a lot more knowledgeable and perhaps even a tad inspired. Next time you look at a piece of vermeil jewelry, you'll appreciate the detailed craft, the high-quality materials, and the uncommon luxury that it truly stands for. After all, there's just something about gold vermeil that adds a dash of extra glitter to life!