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Gold Vermeil vs. Gold Plated vs. Gold Filled: Know the Difference

You love gold, but you’re confused by the differences between gold vermeil vs gold plated vs gold-filled.  Something most of us are having a hard time determining.  What are the characteristics of these types of gold, then?

When buying jewelry that pleases the eyes and looks elegant, gold is always the best choice, especially after discovering the many mental and physical health benefits that it gives.

It not only makes one it adorns beautiful, but the value of this element goes higher in time. No wonder more and more people enjoy the company of gold as an accessory, savings, and investment!

Why is Gold the Best Choice?

From Egyptian Pharaohs, Medieval Royalties to modern jewelry lovers, this yellow metal has always been the best choice.  Quality is never a question when you speak about this all-time favorite jewelry gold material.

Gold types

Photo by Andie Gómez-Acebo on Unsplash

Reasons why many love gold

These are some of the most common reasons why many still find gold the best jewelry to wear:

It does not react with acid and moisture, making it invincible to rusting.  This characteristic makes it hypoallergenic or suitable for people with allergies to metals. 

Its malleability has helped it fit all types of people with different needs and statuses in life. That even the average income-earner can afford it.  It can be designed for royalties and for a simple person who also wants to wear simple pieces of jewelry gold.

Its value is consistently going higher.  For some, you are a financially stable person if you own this type of jewelry.  It carries with it a status symbol.

It maintains its beauty because it does not tarnish.  The gold jewelry you buy today will still be as beautiful and brilliant as it was the first time you set your eyes on it.  You can be assured it won’t fade or tarnish even if you get it wet or wear it every day.

It has a high reselling value. A good investment? Yes, it is!  You may use gold in moments of financial difficulties because it is widely accepted as a mode of exchange for money and can easily be converted to cash.

Different Karats and Types of Gold

24K is 100% real gold jewelry Hence, it is more expensive and famous.  A 24 k gold has no traces of other metals in it and is of the highest quality type of gold.  This is real gold but too soft to be used in jewelry.

22K is 91.7% solid gold jewelry with the other 8% a mixture of other alloys such as zinc, silver, nickel, and many more.  This mixture makes the jewelry a little harder which helps in its durability.  This is still of excellent quality, and its thickness is better than 24k gold as it is harder.

18K gold is 85% solid gold jewelry with a 25%  mixture of other alloys.  18k gold is more durable for everyday wearing.  This type is more suitable for those with an active lifestyle as it is less prone to cause skin allergies.

14k is 58.3% solid gold jewelry with a 41.7% mixture of other alloys. Besides being more affordable, a 14k gold is also more durable for those leading an active lifestyle as the mixture with other metals makes it harder.  It is also hypoallergenic, thus safe for those with jewelry allergies.

10k is 41.7% solid gold jewelry with a 58.3% mixture of other metals; it is firm and does not scratch or bend easily.

The proportion of gold and other alloys combined to make it more durable and strong for everyday use, plus the process that it has to go through in different forms, are the things we shall be focusing on in this article.

We shall know the differences between vermeil gold, plated gold, and filled gold.

What is gold vermeil jewelry?

Gold Vermeil

Plated gold vermeil jewelry is a legal term that refers to a certain kind of jewelry quality.

The base material of gold vermeil pieces of jewelry is sterling silver. You may say that it is of the highest quality type of gold jewelry as the base metal is 92.5% solid sterling and 7.5% other materials.  Gold vermeil is at least 10k gold plated metal and has gold plating of at least 2.5 microns thick. Thus, it may also be called plated gold vermeil, a piece of really fine jewelry.

The difference between vermeil and gold-filled is how thick the gold is and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver. Vermeil pieces of jewelry are also less prone to tarnish, unlike plated ones.

Vermeil has a thicker layer of gold than normal plating, and more stores selling fine jewelry have it.

What is sterling silver?

Sterling silver combines copper and fine silver, thus making it 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper.

Fine silver, on the other hand, is 99.9% pure silver.  Pure silver is indeed a beauty, of excellent quality,  and may endure tarnishing.  However, pure silver is too soft and pliant- the reason why it is mixed with other metals, and then it becomes sterling silver.

What is gold-plated jewelry?

Gold Plated

Are you on a budget but really want to wear pieces of jewelry?  Then, you must choose gold-plated jewelry.  It gives you the luxury to be trendy without breaking your bank account!

Gold plated jewelry is made by bonding a thin layer of gold on another base metal, usually copper or silver. This process is done by using chemicals or electricity.

This type of jewelry easily tarnishes and fades over time, and the base metal is not hypoallergenic and may cause allergies.

What is gold plating?

Gold plating is applying a thin gold layer onto the outer visible part by the process of electroplating.

In electroplating, a base metal, usually brass or steel, is dipped into a solution with a mixture of solid gold.  And then, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the metal.

Electroplating involves cleaning the surface of the substrate, stripping, polishing, sandblasting, tumbling, and a variety of liquid cleaners.  Dirt and oil must also be removed from the substrate during gold plating.

What is gold-filled jewelry?

Gold Filled

Jewelry is said to be gold-filled when an even thick layer of gold is bonded to another metal.  Your eyes may deceive you, but when you see gold-filled jewelry, you won’t recognize the difference. Plus, jewelry that is gold-filled also has lots of other benefits.

Gold-filled jewelry does not tarnish compared to gold-plated pieces, and the shine does not rub off or change color. Gold-filled is also best for those who have sensitivity issues with jewelry.

Its thickness varies with the manufacturer’s choice, but gold-filled jewelry is generally thicker than gold-plated ones.  When it is authentic gold-filled the outer gold layer should have a thickness and a minimum weight of that precious metal which is 5% thick.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Which is of better quality, vermeil or gold-filled?

If we focus on different criteria, both vermeil and gold-filled jewelry pieces could get a plus quality. Let’s look at this table:

Comparison Chart of Gold Vermeil vs Gold Plated Vs Gold Filled

Which lasts longer, gold plated or gold vermeil?

Gold plated and gold vermeil are similar to each other if we consider some factors. The main difference is the gold layer. 

Gold vermeil has a thick layer of gold, and the base metal is sterling silver, thus having better quality.  This factor makes it last longer than gold plated, which just used a not-so-quality metal as its base, and does not bond on it as well as gold vermeil.

What is the difference between gold-plated and gold-filled?

Gold-plated jewelry undergoes a gold plating process, where an ultra-small layer of gold is dipped or applied over a base metal.  

On the other hand, Gold-filled is processed by wrapping layers of solid-gold sheets, which are either 12k,14k, or 18k around a base metal.  Gold-filled is of nearer quality to solid gold material like vermeil jewelry.  Vermeil jewelry, on the other hand, has more quality than gold-plated ones.

Is gold-filled worth more than gold plated?

Remember, gold-filled jewelry is processed using solid gold sheets.  While gold plated use pure gold at such a minuscule part, almost non-existent layer of gold, that’s why its value is extremely cheap compared to gold-filled jewelry.

Which is better, gold plated or vermeil gold-filled?

If you mean “better” based on the thickness, of course, vermeil gold-filled is at least five times thicker than gold plated. Thus, making it more durable.

Is gold vermeil worth buying?

You want to buy gold jewelry, but you don’t want to spend too much on it, so gold vermeil is the best option.  Most jewelry experts recommend gold vermeil as the best substitute for solid gold.  Of course, between vermeil and gold-plated, the vermeil gets most of the positive attributes, with cost as the only vote for a gold-plated.

Will gold vermeil wear off?

Yes, gold vermeil does wear and tear compared to gold filled.  But when you compare vermeil with gold-plated jewelry, it has a much thicker layer making it less likely to fade fast or wear off.  

This is contrary to the fact that it is similar to gold-plated jewelry; the latter is way ahead when it comes to the thickness of the gold bonded in it.

Between vermeil and gold-filled, the decision of what to buy depends entirely on your capacity to afford the price difference.

Is vermeil gold better than solid gold?

Gold Vermeil

Again, gold vermeil has a lot more precious yellow metal than the gold-plated ones, but remember that it still is not 100%.  And gold vermeil has a thicker layer of gold that you should not expect from a plated one.  Also, the base metal is sterling silver.

It is known as silver-gilt or gilded silver or known by the French term vermeil.  Vermeil jewelry is sterling silver gilded with precious yellow metal.

On the other hand, solid gold is 24k gold.  Remember that 24K is not ideal for jewelry because the higher the purity, the softer it is.  

Gold that is acceptable for jewelry/accessories is at least 10k.  It will definitely last the longest, does not wear and tear for years, and those between 14-18l gold are most suitable for jewelry because of the balance of value and sturdiness.

Contact Us

Visit our shop at  Gold Galore Jewelers in Florida, check our exquisite pieces, and be captivated by our breathtaking collections.

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