Gold Vermeil: What You Need to Know


Who doesn’t want to walk around with gold dangling from their necks? I mean, it’s so shiny, which makes it so alluring, right? But what makes it valuable is its scarcity. Gold isn’t abundant. And with time, its quantity keeps diminishing. That is why it’s so expensive, but people still want it. This leads us to a few alternatives. Fortunately, there are a few options available in the market. Gold vermeil is one of them. A much more affordable replacement to the typically pricey and classic gold. Want to know if it’s worth it? Scroll down to find out!

Gold Vermeil


No, no. It’s not ver-mail, it’s very-may. It’s a French word, so it deserves the tribute. Gold vermeil is legally recognized in the USA.

What Is Gold Vermeil?

Yes, but what is gold vermeil? It is a Sterling Steel with a layer of gold plated on top. You get what’s gold plated, no? Simply put, it is a metal dipped in a chemical. An electric current is passed through the chemical, making the submerged gold stick to it. In this case, the metal is Sterling Steel. A metal alloy consists of about 93% pure silver and some 7% other metals.

Apart from this, the plated gold layer must range from 14k to 24k gold. And to finally make it the gold vermeil, the plated gold should be not less than 2.5 microns thick. Otherwise, it’s just plain gold-plated metal. A piece of jewelry that quickly tarnishes and is more likely to fade away.

Just like solid gold, it can be used to make gold vermeil chains, rings, bracelets, etc., that can last for a long time while giving you the glamour everyone so craves.

Is It Real Gold?

Gold vermeil is absolute gold. Sterling Steel is commonly electroplated with 18k or 24k gold as a precious base metal. It can also be plated with 10k or 14k real gold.

Will Gold Vermeil Tarnish?

No, and yes. Gold vermeil can tarnish, but it doesn’t do so quickly. Unlike gold-plated jewelry, vermeil has a thick layer of gold on top of it. Combined with the sturdy Sterling Steel alloy, it can last a very long while. Especially when well cared for. Keeping it in its pouch rather than with other stuff can lengthen its life.

Naturally, its color can wear off with time, and the base metal can tarnish. It can nonetheless be polished and recovered safely by an expert jeweler.

What Vermeil Does that Others Can’t

Other gold-plated jewelry can become a turn-off. By using cheaper metals like copper, certain jewelry can stain the fingers green. This is caused by the abundance of those cheaper metals in the alloy. Other metals besides copper can do so, but gold vermeil doesn’t have this vice as it uses Sterling Steel.

Can Water Damage Vermeil?

Over time, even gold can tarnish with exposure to water. After all, it is a metal. And all metals are susceptible to deterioration upon contact, although not instantaneously.

It’s often asked whether showering with vermeil is okay. Indeed, if you are willing to get rid of it as quickly as possible, the effects won’t show immediately, but constantly exposing the metals to water can damage them. The more it comes into contact with water, the faster it fades away. Also, shampoos and hair conditioners can undoubtedly have some damaging effects on the vermeil.

Gold Vermeil Isn’t Allergenic

Certain metals can come across as allergic to some people. The most common metal that is used in gold-plated jewelry is copper. Besides painting your fingers green, copper can also be potentially allergenic. Along with other metals like chromium and nickel, these allergenic metals can cause itching and redden upon contact with the skin.

Fortunately, gold, especially 24k and Sterling Steel, proves hypoallergenic. Meaning that they aren’t reactive to the skin. Which makes gold vermeil a quality choice for anyone.

Cleaning vermeil with warm, soapy water is a good idea once in a while. Although polishing clothes are preferred.

Quality of Vermeil

The closest thing to real gold you can get your hands on is vermeil. It isn’t as costly as gold, but doesn’t come that cheap. Compared to other types, gold vermeil jewelry doesn’t wear off quickly. For it to become vermeil, it must meet the abovementioned requirements. Till then, it would be no more than a cheap rip-off with not as much value.

Gold Vermeil and Other Types of Jewelry

After gold, vermeil usually attracts the eye if you’re looking for quality. It differs from other types of jewelry based on a few factors, which are discussed below:

Gold Vermeil vs. Gold Filled

Gold vermeil is jewelry with Sterling Steel as its base metal with about 2.5-micron thick gold electroplated on top. On the other hand, gold-filled is only a bit different. No, it isn’t filled with gold in and out. That can become perplexing. It usually has gold as thick on top as vermeil. But where it differs is that it uses cheaper base metals. It isn’t easy to tell them apart at a glance. But using them for a while would reveal the difference.

Gold Vermeil vs. Gold Plated

Gold-plated jewelry is to vermeil what a prison is to a palace. Gold-plated jewelry has no standard of thickness, so they come in different varieties. However, their thickness usually does not increase as much as that of vermeils. It also uses a substandard base metal, making it even more valuable than vermeil. Likely not lasting not a very long time.

Is Gold Vermeil Worth it?

That depends on your budget. You can undoubtedly go for real gold, but that would cost you. But if you want something nearly as valuable as solid gold, there is no better option than gold vermeil. It comes relatively cheaper, all the while holding the same luster everyone likes. Gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry is an option, but they won’t hold as much value as vermeil. They can wear off quickly. Repairing them would cost you too. So, why not go for quality?