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Gold Vermeil vs Plated - What's Right for You?

Gold Vermeil vs Plated - What's Right for You?

Key Insights
  • All About Vermeil 
  • What’s Gold Plated? 
  • Key Differences Between Gold Vermeil vs Plated 
  • Selecting Vermeil
  • Opting for Gold Plated Jewelry
  • How to Find Quality Gold Vermeil and Plated Jewelry 
  • Save on the Perfect Drip - Get a Quality Vermeil or Plated Piece for Your Collection 

You’ve decided to upgrade your fit with some new drip. While you can never go wrong with a quality piece made of solid gold, not everyone is ready to make that investment. 

To replicate the aesthetics and shine of solid gold at a lower price point, you may be looking into gold vermeil or gold plated pieces. What’s the difference between them, though? With all the terms used to describe different types of jewelry, it can get confusing. 

We got you. Today, we’re going to cover the differences between gold vermeil and gold plated jewelry to help you decide which one is best for your budget and your style. 

Let’s start with vermeil. 

All About Vermeil 

Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) pieces are made by coating a sterling silver base with a thick outer layer of gold. At the minimum, a quality vermeil piece will be coated with gold that’s at least 10 karats, if not higher. 

This process results in a piece that combines the luster and shine of gold with the more affordable silver underneath. While it will save you money on your purchase, it still offers a quality finish that’s designed to last. 

For those with sensitive skin, you’ll also love vermeil due to its hypoallergenic properties. You can rock your piece in complete comfort with the confidence that you’ll be looking your best in any situation. 

What’s Gold Plated? 

Gold plated jewelry is made through a similar process to vermeil but with different combinations of base metals and ratios of precious metals. While gold-plated jewelry often has a thinner layer of gold, at GLD, we keep it held to the same expectations that we would for our vermeil items, including durability testing and the use of only hypoallergenic materials. 

The base metals in gold plated jewelry are usually a more affordable alternative to silver, such as brass, copper, or stainless steel. At GLD, we use 316L surgical-grade stainless steel as our base for plated pieces due to its hypoallergenic properties and incredible durability. 

In most cases, gold plated jewelry is your best bet if you’re looking to add a quality piece to your collection at an affordable price. While the outer coating will be a thinner layer of gold than vermeil, if you purchased one from a quality source, you’ll have a chain, bracelet, ring, or pendant that will upgrade your looks for years. 

Key Differences Between Gold Vermeil vs Plated 

While vermeil and gold plated jewelry may seem similar, there are several key differences:

  • Gold Content: Vermeil has a thicker outer layer of gold and is held to stricter protocols on the thickness of the gold, but at GLD we use 18k purity on all gold plated and vermeil pieces.
  • Durability: Because of the thicker gold layer and the sterling silver base, gold vermeil tends to last longer than gold plated jewelry in most cases. The durability of gold plated jewelry can depend heavily on the strength of the base metal. However, at GLD, we hold all of our gold-plated pieces to the same durability tests and standards as our vermeil jewelry. 
  • Price: With a higher gold content and sterling silver base, gold vermeil is generally more expensive than gold plated jewelry.
  • Hypoallergenic Properties: As gold vermeil is made with a sterling silver base, it's less likely to cause skin irritation than gold plated jewelry with certain base metals. With a stainless steel base, gold plated jewelry can offer the same hypoallergenic properties. When making a purchase, check which base metal is used for their gold-plated pieces to ensure it’s a hypoallergenic metal like 316L stainless steel. 

Selecting Vermeil

If you're someone who values both quality and affordability, gold vermeil could be your best bet. It contains two types of precious metals in a single piece with a completely golden exterior. 

Gold vermeil strikes a balance between the opulence of solid gold and the practicality of gold-plated pieces. It bears the look, feel, and weight of solid gold jewelry without the steep price. This makes it an attractive option for anyone who appreciates the aesthetic of gold and wants to wear it regularly, but is also mindful of their budget.

Opting for Gold Plated Jewelry

On the flip side, gold plated jewelry could be the perfect choice for those who love to stay on top of the latest trends or are shopping on a more restrictive budget. Plated pieces are highly affordable, making it an excellent choice if you love to switch up your look frequently. 

You can easily amass a diverse collection of gold plated jewelry, allowing you to mix and match on the daily.  This way, you'll always have the right piece of jewelry for every fit and occasion.

It’s important to note, though, that not all gold plated pieces are made equal. Take time to research which base metal a brand is using for their jewelry. If it’s something that’s prone to tarnishing like copper, it could affect the quality and cause an allergic reaction on the skin. If you take the time to research pieces from reputable brands, you can find a quality plated chain, bracelet, or ring that looks just as sleek with a better price. 

How to Find Quality Gold Vermeil and Plated Jewelry 

When shopping for either vermeil or gold plated jewelry, you'll want to look for a few main indicators of quality.

First, look at the information provided by the brand. What base metals are used, how high is the karat on the gold coating? If they’re selling a potential allergenic metal or using a karat lower than 10, look elsewhere until you find something that’s worth your purchase. 

Second, consider the reputation of the shop you’re buying from. Look at reviews and ratings, and don't hesitate to ask questions about the piece you're considering. A brand that stands behind their work will be transparent about their products and happy to provide the information you need. 

Finally, a key indicator of a legit brand is if they offer a warranty or guarantee for their products. If something is wrong with the jewelry when you receive it, will they cover a repair or replacement for you? If not, that’s a major red flag.

Save on the Perfect Drip - Get a Quality Vermeil or Plated Piece for Your Collection 

At GLD, we get that everyone is upgrading their fit with different wallets to work with. You shouldn’t let a high price tag get in the way of looking and feeling your most confident. That’s why we supply you with solid gold, vermeil, and quality gold plated pieces to choose from. Finished in 18k gold, you won’t find a cleaner vermeil or plated piece to add to your collection. 

To find your perfect piece for your collection, shop our full men’s and women’s collections today. or hit us up anytime to learn more.