world2022/09/20

3 Reasons To Love Gold Vermeil

by Dani Burroughs

Today, metalwork probably looks very different to the gold smelter workshops we conjure up when we think of gold jewelry. We’ve bid adieu to the old-fashioned traditions of using hammers and heat, and now produce gold vermeil pieces to a strict standard under laboratory-like conditions. Fewer leather aprons, more white scientist coats. And while it’s a little less romantic, it’s much safer and results in high-quality pieces worthy of treasuring forever.

So, what is gold vermeil?

If you’re wondering what gold vermeil is, you’re not alone. You may have come across the term recently or noticed a price difference compared to other materials - less than solid gold but likely more than gold plating. So what is gold vermeil, and why should we choose it?

Firstly, let’s explain how it’s different. Gold plating is a common option for jewelry and has no national standard or minimum thickness requirements. Likewise, there is no regulation determining the carat or the base metal used (usually brass or copper). 

Pronounced ver-may, gold vermeil is a higher-quality, highly-regulated form of gold plating. Each piece starts with a base of precious 925 pure or sterling silver, with a luxuriant coating of a minimum 2.5 microns thickness of gold, usually over 10 carats. 

There are a few reasons why fine and demi-fine jewelry-makers choose to create pieces with gold vermeil over gold plating or even solid gold. Given all of us at Self Published are gold vermeil addicts, here are our top 3 reasons!

1. It's light yet durable 

Solid gold is quite soft and can also weigh a tonne - especially when we’re talking charms and earrings. We firmly believe bold and chunky statement earrings should never come at the cost of shoulder-length ear lobes, so gold vermeil is a much lighter alternative. We start with a core of recycled silver and add a brilliant 14ct gold layer (at least 2.5 microns thick) for all the gild and none of the weight. The result is an incredibly durable piece of gold jewelry designed to look fabulous for a long time. 

2. It’s better for the budget

For those of us who crave top-shelf champagne on a tap beer budget - what if champagne just costs less?! We wouldn’t have to sacrifice our dangerously good taste to save a few pennies. Hence, the second reason gold vermeil is a yellow addict's dream -  a luminous and decadent investment but often priced more affordably than solid gold. And, because of the silver base, it’s still an extra-special treat for yourself or a loved one.

3. Everything is better in French

Describing jewelry techniques and regulatory terms shouldn’t sound sexy, but as with everything, the French have found a way. In this case, the gold vermeil translates to “silver-gilt” or “gilded silver” and is essentially a high-quality, best-in-class gold plating technique developed by the French in the 18th century. It’s fun to wear and equally fun to say - once you nail the pronunciation. 

Jewelry is a love language, even when you’re treating yourself. So we say, find a piece to treasure forever - and gold vermeil ALL the way.

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