Vermeil Silver or also called Vermeil Gold consists of Sterling Silver Jewelry layered with 10, 14 or 18 carat gold and with a layer of at least 2 microns using a gold coating electrolysis technique. We tell you what it is, its characteristics and advantages.
What is Gold Vermeil jewelry?
To qualify a piece of jewelry as Gold Vermeil, the pieces must meet certain requirements:
- The base must be Sterling silver.
- It cannot be coated with any other metal before the gold coating is applied.
- Finally, this layer of gold with which the silver is covered must be at least two microns thick.
Regarding the percentage of gold with which the silver is coated, as with gold pieces, a greater number of carats means a piece of jewelry with a higher gold content. Gold Vermeil can be created using 10, 14 or 18 karat gold.
You can find gold-coated silver in different gold finishes: yellow, white, rose and tri-color.
Advantages of Gold Vermeil jewelry
Vermeil Silver is comparable to sterling gold in its appearance and quality. Thanks to its primary silver composition, Gold Plated Silver is much more affordable than sterling gold. Since, by definition, it cannot contain other metals, people with a nickel allergy or sensitivity to other metals can wear gold-plated silver jewelry pieces comfortably and safely.
How to care for gold-plated jewelry
Gold-plated silver jewelry will last for many years without losing its shine and without the gold layer wearing off if you take care of it properly. You should avoid wearing Silver Vermeil jewelry in the bath, shower, or when swimming.
There is no machine to polish this type of jewelry (a job normally done by a jeweler), as this process can wear away the gold layer. Use a soft, clean, lint-free cloth to remove dirt.
Differences between Vermeil and gold plating or bathing
Gold plating or plating is the term used to describe the electrolysis process carried out on jewelry made of any common non-precious metal, such as brass, nickel, copper, with a thin layer of gold. On the other hand, in Vermeil Silver the covering layer is thicker and is made on a precious metal such as sterling silver or 925 silver. Generally, gold-plated pieces are marked by these initials GP, RGP, GEP, HGP or HGE, immediately after the carats. Gold-plated silver jewelry may have a distinctive symbol that says 925, to denote the purity of the silver. The commercial value of a Silver Vermeil jewel, compared to the plated piece, is greater, because they are made solely and exclusively of precious metal such as silver.
History about the jewelry coating technique
Around 1750, a technique of coating gold on silver pieces was discovered in France. This technique was called Gold Vermeil or Silver Vermeil. They discovered that, by using high temperatures and mercury, gold bonded to silver. However, in the process, the mercury was vaporized; and this caused blindness to many goldsmiths. For this reason, in 1800 the use of this technique was prohibited.
Over time, the electrolysis process began to be used, which is a completely safe system, to achieve the gold coating on silver jewelry.