What is Gold Vermeil, Gold-Filled and Gold-Plated?

Sometimes it could be really confusing when it comes to choosing your jewelry materials. When shop online, we see all the different types of materials by names, particularly in the gold-tone jewelry family. Here’s you complete guide of what exactly are the these metal combinations mean.

what is gold vermeil


Vermeil (pronounced vehr-may) is a French word meaning that there’s always sterling silver base (92.5% + some other metals that help the soft silver stay together and have some strength). 

Gold vermeil is thick solid gold (2.5 microns) plating outside sterling silver. depends on the thickness of gold, the prefix 14k, 18k, and 20k are used to indicate the thickness of gold (the greater the number is, the thicker the gold included).

Gold vermeil means solid gold and solid sterling silver together and is hypoallergenic.

Buying tips: gold vermeil jewelry is the best next to solid gold, but gold vermeil has much more reasonable pricing. the pricing gap between solid gold and gold vermeil was due to the metals’  scarcity, not of their quality or their easiness to allergy.

what is gold-filled


Gold-filled jewelry uses traditional craftsmanship that gold is plated over a base, usually sterling silver, sometimes others (such as copper or brass).

In gold-filled jewelry, the gold coat is slightly lighter than gold vermeil. in return, gold-filled pieces are a lot more affordable than gold vermeil while not giving in her qualities in metal.

What makes gold-filled brass differ from gold-plated brass is that gold must weight more than 5% of the total weight while creating.

Gold-filled is usually hypoallergenic when the base is sterling silver.

Buying tips: usually, gold-filled jewelry was handmade. so if you are looking for some handcrafted, high-quality jewelry, gold-filled items would be your choice.

what is gold-plated


As one of the most common materials in the market, gold-plated jewelry offers lower prices range for consumers. being said that, gold-plated jewelry is still much better than any fast fashion flash jewelry that was made only to last a few weeks. 

Gold-plated, unfortunately, is not very hypoallergenic. it would be much better if, say, the earring posts are sterling silver with gold vermeil/ sterling silver earring backs - this is what we do in our gold-plated earrings.

Buying tips: for some larger and statement pieces, gold-plated jewelry is a good option to have both the style and the affordability. Make sure to look for sterling silver post in earrings so the jewelry pieces are hypoallergenic.


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