In your search for the best, most affordable gold jewelry that you can wear every day, you will come across gold vermeil jewelry.
This is fashionable and stylish jewelry that falls in the fine jewelry category, and you may like the gold vermeil jewelry if you have been looking for something long-lasting.
But before you buy this kind of jewelry, let’s take a look at gold vermeil jewelry and what this kind of jewelry means, starting with the basics.
Gold Vermeil Definition
One of the hottest luxury jewelry trends on the market today, gold vermeil can be defined as gold jewelry with a specific kind of gold-finished material made of a thick gold layer, often over solid 925 sterling silver.
According to the industry standards, for jewelry to be regarded as gold vermeil, it must have at least 10 karats of gold or more. The good news is that most of the high-quality gold vermeils in the US are the 14k, 18k, or the 24K gold. The thickness of the gold depends on the jewelry, though, and it’s what sets the vermeil jewelry apart from all the other gold plated pieces of jewelry.
Regarding the thickness of the gold on the jewelry, a piece of jewelry is only characterized as vermeil if the gold layer is 2.5microns thick. So, if you are interested in building a collection of high-quality jewelry, specifically the ones without the high price tag of the pure gold of even solid 18k gold jewelry, then the gold vermeil jewelry might be a great option for you.
To the naked eye, the gold vermeil jewelry looks pretty much like solid gold jewelry, which is why it is an excellent option for you if you are trying to save money while enjoying jewelry with a nice, high gloss. With this kind of jewelry, you could also leave it to tarnish for that nice, vintage look.
Note that unlike all other types of gold jewelry, the gold vermeil jewelry has a thin layer of gold bonded to the base sterling silver metal using gold powder or a gold leaf, rather than a sheet of gold.
The other standard characteristic of the gold vermeil jewelry is that the jewelry must-have sterling silver as the base metal. So, if it’s made of copper, brass, or any other metal, then you are looking at a gold plated piece of jewelry.
So, if you want to know if the jewelry you are interested in is actual gold vermeil, you should always look for three important things – the 2.5-micron thickness for the gold, the 925 solid sterling silver base, and lastly, the plating with gold; at least 10k gold. What this means is that the gold vermeil jewelry combines two of the best precious metals and their properties for that desirable, luxurious, golden look. These features also give you affordable gold jewelry.
Therefore, you could think of gold vermeil as this thick gold layer that’s applied over high-quality sterling silver.
What is gold vermeil made of? Is gold vermeil real gold?
Gold vermeil, a type of the gold-coated metal, is made of a base metal made of precious metal, often 92.5% sterling silver or 99.9% fine silver; which is why the gold vermeil also goes by the names gilded silver or the silver gilt. The gold coating must be made of a minimum of 10k gold, with a thickness of at least 2.5 microns.
Therefore, it would be safe to note that the gold vermeil jewelry is made of gold and a sterling silver metal base. What this means, however, is that gold vermeil is a form of plated gold jewelry and not pure gold, although the gold layer is actually made of real gold.
How long does gold vermeil last?
Well, how long it lasts or the gold vermeil jewelry’s durability depends on the thickness of the plated gold layer. What this means is that gold is the main element or component that determines how many years you will wear the gold vermeil jewelry for. As a general rule, the thicker that layer of gold is, the more durable the piece of jewelry.
Besides the thickness of the gold, you’d also want to take into consideration the purity level of the gold vermeil. Essentially, higher purity gold jewelry or materials tend to be softer and at a significantly higher risk of damages and scratches. And if you’d want to buy a gold vermeil jewelry that would last a while, the safest option would be either the 14k or the 18k gold vermeil – these are sturdy and durable enough to withstand scratching and wear. And though the 20k 22k or 24k gold used for the vermeil offers more value and purity, these are too soft. On the other hand, the 10k gold wouldn’t be the best option for you if you are going for that nice, lustrous gold color.
The other thing that affects the durability of the gold vermeil is the fact that the gold vermeil jewelry will tarnish over time. The reason for the tarnishing results from the fact that the vermeils are made of a silver base and the silver oxidizes when it’s exposed to the air. But with regular cleaning, the tarnishing can be easily removed or prevented, and the gold sparkle restored.
Does Vermeil Gold wear off or turn your finger green?
What happens when you find the perfect gold vermeil ring or chain, only for you to notice an embarrassing green stain on your skin after some time? Well, this happens most of the time, but only if the jewelry you have is made of poor quality materials or if its main components like the base metal is copper. Copper reacts with water or anything it comes in contact with, like sweat or your hand lotion, forming copper salts that result in the green stain on your finger.
But copper isn’t the only reason for the green tinge on your skin after wearing jewelry; the tinge could also result from the sterling silver in the gold vermeil ring. The sterling silver in the vermeil results in the faint green mark as a result of oxidation to sterling silver. The results of the oxidation is either a dark green or a black stain on the finger.
Think of the green stain on your skin as a sign of how your body reacts to different metals, and it, unfortunately, has little to do with the quality of the gold vermeil jewelry. Therefore, you should always be aware of the metallic contents of the jewelry piece whenever you buy jewelry.
So, yes. Gold vermeil jewelry will turn green because of the sterling silver base metal.
Regarding the vermeil gold jewelry wearing off, you should know that the gold vermeil jewelry is like the gold plated jewelry, but with a thicker layer of gold and sterling silver base metal. It will, however, last longer than the gold-plated jewelry, although it will still tarnish when exposed to water, perfume, or sweat. Also, the gold layer might rub or scratch off with time.
Can you wear gold vermeil in the shower?
Though tempting, you shouldn’t shower with your gold vermeil jewelry on. Though more durable than the gold plated jewelry, the jewelry made of gold vermeil will fade off or wear out faster if kept in contact with water, chemicals, or soap.
Keep in mind that even with the thicker layer of gold on top, constant exposure to harsh chemicals or just water will increase its speed of wear, which is why you should remove your gold vermeil jewelry before swimming or when hitting the shower/ taking a bath.
How do you keep gold vermeil from tarnishing?
Here are some of the things you could do to stop the gold vermeil jewelry from tarnishing:
- Use a jewelry polishing cloth to safely clean the vermeil jewelry and to prevent tarnishing. Just make sure that the polishing cloth isn’t too abrasive. Also, avoid the silver cleaning cloths because they could be too harsh on that layer of gold, removing the gold layer prematurely.
- Clean it using clean water and gentle soap. You could also use hot water to clean it, then dry it off immediately using a clean kitchen towel. Once it’s cleaned, buff it using a soft, microfiber cloth. Be careful not to scrub or rub it too hard.
- If you don’t trust yourself to clean the gold vermeil jewelry, you could take it to a jeweler for professional cleaning and tarnish removal.
- Store the jewelry correctly in an airtight container or even a sealable baggy. You could also invest in the boxes or bags that come lined with some tarnish-resistant materials.
Gold vermeil lasts many years, but only if you take good care of the piece.
Essentially, the gold vermeil is made of the highest quality materials and a thick layer of gold (compared to the gold plated pieces), which means that the jewelry will last significantly longer as long as you avoid showering, swimming, or working out with the jewelry.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.