Jewellery 101 – What is Gold Vermeil?

So what is gold vermeil anyway?

That’s a good question!

Simply speaking, gold vermeil is premium-quality gold-plated silver.

It’s a particularly lovely way to make jewellery because all the metal is precious – a sterling silver base, covered thickly in carat gold (minimum 2.5 microns) – in our case we use 14ct gold, because we think it offers really good value and a hardwearing finish (the higher the gold carat, the softer the gold).

What is the difference between ‘gold vermeil’ and ‘gold plated’ jewellery?

Much of the jewellery you find out there labelled ‘gold plated’ isn’t made of precious metal.  It’s more likely to be gold-plated brass or other base metal, and the gold plating will be super-thin flash plating.  This is the sort of manufacture traditionally used for costume and fashion jewellery sold on the high street.  Nothing wrong with that if you’re looking for something disposable and inexpensive.

Sustainability is important to us….

We don’t do disposable at Seraphiye.  We spend a lot of time on our designs, and we manufacture in small batches.  We love the fact that our gemstones and the metals we use are thousands and millions of years old, come from the earth and we’ve chosen each gemstone to create beautiful, meaningful pieces that you get to wear and love every day, and with the right care, for ever!

What about ‘solid gold’ jewellery?  Isn’t that better than gold vermeil jewellery?

You might be curious then, as to why we don’t make our designs in solid gold.  The answer to that is because we simply don’t think it’s the right thing to do for our customers.  We could manufacture in 18ct or 14ct gold, but the prices would be so much higher, and the pieces would be smaller and lighter to make them more affordable.  The jewellery just wouldn’t feel right.

We don’t use 9ct gold either.  Some brands do, and they call it ‘solid gold’, but in fact 9ct gold is just over one third gold and nearly 60% other metals – copper, zinc, silver…..We believe that by being clear our pieces are solid sterling silver, with a thick 14ct gold vermeil plating, we are offering the best option, the best look and feel to our pieces.

If you have a piece of our jewellery (lucky you!) you’ll know how tactile and substantial it feels.


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