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Gold-plated vs Gold vermeil-getting to know your jewellery

Gold-plated vs Gold vermeil-getting to know your jewellery
Ever wondered what the difference is between gold-plated, and gold vermeil? Well, you’re not alone. Many people tend to confuse the two, and even though visually, they do share similar aspects, there is a slight difference. So to help you out, we thought we would break it down for you here.

Lets start with gold-plated.

Gold-plated jewellery refers to dipping a base metal in a thin layer of gold to create a layer that covers the entire piece. The gold in which the jewellery is covered in can be different levels of purity, and the base metals typically used for this process are silver, brass, or steel. Here at Maravilo our pieces are made from sterling silver, and plated in 18 karat gold. One of the main differences between gold plated and vermeil is the thickness of the gold, in order for a piece of jewellery to be identified as vermeil, the layer of gold must be at least 2.5 microns thick; anything less than this is described as gold-plated.
A gorgeous photograph of a mosaic ring designed by independent designer Pinar Telkok, this ring is made from sterling silver and finished in 18k gold and enamel
Pinar's mosaic ring before and after plating.

Which moves us onto gold vermeil.

The process of creating gold vermeil jewellery is very similar to gold plated, the main difference between the two is that vermeil is dipped in for a longer period of time to compose a thicker layer of gold. Unlike gold plated jewellery, the base layer must be sterling silver, which needs to be plated in at least 2.5 microns of gold for it to qualify as gold vermeil. To the naked eye vermeil can easily be confused with solid gold jewellery, as visually they look very similar. Solid gold jewellery tends to have a slightly lower concentration of gold, which means it will have a lighter hue than gold-plated and vermeil jewellery. 

So which is better? 

Well It depends on what kind of jewellery you're after. Gold jewellery is a good choice If you're looking for a piece that will last a life time. But if you want to build a collection of fashion forward pieces without the pure gold price tag, demi-fine jewellery like gold-plated and gold vermeil are both great options.


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