What is Gold Vermeil, Gold Plated and Gold Filled?
When you search jewelry pieces online, do you always come across gold vermeil, gold plated and gold filled jewelry descriptions for the jewelry pieces? You are confused if they are the same material? Here is an article for you to understand them.
What is gold vermeil?
Gold vermeil is 0.925 sterling silver layered with a thin plating of gold. A vermeil coating is 100 millionths of an inch gold over sterling silver. Gold vermeil jewelry pieces shine will not be easily worn down because they have the exact same shine and richness of real 14K gold. You can simply polish your gold vermeil jewelry piece with a clean cloth and machine polishing or chemical usages are no never required to clean a gold vermeil jewelry piece.
What is gold plated?
Gold plated means a thin layer of gold is applied to a less expensive piece of metal, such as copper, brass or silver. So the actually material can be brass, copper or silver. You can say gold plated silver, gold plated copper or something else. The difference is the actual material under the gold plating. Industry standards for gold plating is that 0.15 to 0.25 millionths of gold be applied during the plating process. Gold plated jewelry pieces tend to chip off its base metal and they are not as durable as the jewelry pieces made of pure gold or gold filled. However, you can simply re-plate a gold plated jewelry piece at the jeweler to restore the gold shine.
What is gold filled?
Gold-filled items are constructed in two three layers. The base metal is brass and then a gold alloy is bonded to both surfaces of the brass core. Gold filled jewelry pieces are legally required to have 5% gold content by weight. Such jewelry pieces are marked as "gold-filled", usually 19k, 14k gold are used for gold filling.
What is 24K gold electroplated over brass?
24K gold electroplated over brass means a brass item which has had a layer of 24K gold mechanically plated over its surface. Usually 24K gold electroplated over brass items can be a clock, a piece of jewelry, or a watch. The items look as if they are gold, but at a much lower cost because the actually majority metal is brass. A gold finish on the product may not last as long as a solid item, but the gold looks with cheap price makes these products very attractive to many people.
Pros & Cons
Among the above four materials, the gold filled items are the most expensive, followed by gold vermeil and gold plated. Gold filled jewelry pieces will not be easily worn down because they contain the highest percentage gold than the other three materials. However, gold filled is a complicated process and the price is almost the same as solid 10k gold or solid 14k gold. Gold vermeil is the most popular for jewelry making because both silver and gold are precious metals. Gold vermeil jewelry can not be worn down easily because it is plated with a layer of solid gold and no chemicals required to clean a gold vermeil jewelry piece. Gold plated silver is the same as gold vermeil. A gold plated copper jewelry piece is less valuable than gold filled and gold vermeil ones.
How to care for gold-plated items?
Choosing a gold plated item does not mean that it will be worn down immediately. Gold plating items can also last a long time as solid gold item does with proper care. Moreover, gold plated items are too much cheaper than solid gold with attractive looks. Same as gold jewelry cleaning method, the most effective way to care for a gold plated item is to wash it with mild warm soapy water. It is not good to use chemicals or jewelry cleaners to clean a gold plated product because the chemicals can break down the gold plating. In order to properly care for a gold plated item, try not to expose it to body lotion, perfume, cosmetics, and prolonged moisture because these items can break down the gold plating and cause tarnishing of the base metal.