What Is Vermeil?

You've seen or heard the word while on your search for jewelry. If you haven't gotten a chance to read up on it, here’s your chance now! Vermeil, is pronounced vehr-may. You guessed it, it's a French word. Here's a bit of info on vermeil, so you know exactly what it is to look for when next you go jewelry shopping.

What Is Gold Vermeil?

Gold Vermeil is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Most of our vermeil is plated with 14K-24K gold. This is a good combination for those with allergy to normal, plated jewelry items. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled, is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver. 

As you know, when it comes to gold jewelry, there are more types which you can own. Solid gold jewelry refers to pieces that contain at least 41.6% gold (10k). Gold filled jewelry pieces contain a thick layer of gold plating. The gold in these pieces needs to represent at least 5% of the weight of the entire piece. Gold plated jewelry contains a layer of gold over another base metal. There is no thickness requirement for those pieces. Vermeil jewelry, on the other hand, has very strict conditions to meet. The core metal needs to be silver and the gold layer needs to be at least 2.5 microns thick. 

In other words, gold vermeil is silver jewelry with a thick gold coating.

Gold is a very soft metal that scratches easily. This is why even solid gold pieces contain other harder metals in the alloy. The less gold you have in the piece, the more scratch-resistant it will be. The same principle applies to gold vermeil.

A 22k vermeil jewelry piece will be less resistant than a 14k one, for example. As the karats go down, the durability of the piece goes up. This is important to consider when you clean your vermeil jewelry.

How Should You Care For Your Vermeil Jewelry? Read on!

Use lukewarm water and a soft liquid soap. Avoid harsh chemicals and detergents when cleaning your gold vermeil. Do not dip your pieces in water. Instead, dip a lint-free cloth in the bowl with water and soap and gently rub your vermeil jewelry piece. While with silver or solid gold you can also use a jewelry brush, we recommend you not to try it on gold vermeil. You can end up rubbing off the layer of gold, leaving the silver underneath visible.

After you finish cleaning your piece, rinse it by using another cloth dipped in plain water. Carefully dry it afterward and place it in your jewelry box, wrapped in a soft cloth.

One of the biggest mistake made, is apply body lotion or perfume while wearing the jewelry. The chemicals in those products can interact with the metals in the jewelry pieces and ruin their look. Make sure to wait for at least five or six minutes after you apply your cosmetic products before putting on your vermeil jewelry.

It’s is needless to say that you shouldn’t do housework while wearing your jewelry. Also, it’s best to avoid exercising or going to the pool with your jewelry on. Last, but not least, when you place your vermeil pieces in your jewelry box, make sure to keep them separate from your other jewelry. If not, they can get scratched. If you don’t have a special compartment for them in your box, simply wrap them in a soft cloth to protect them.