THEIR JEWELRY: The Difference Between Plated, Filled, Vermeil and Solid Gold Jewelry
What’s the difference between plated, filled, vermeil and solid gold jewelry? We’re here to tell you.
When a piece of jewelry is gold plated, its gold content is usually less than 1% with the base metal being brass. This means that the piece of brass jewelry is dipped into the gold. Most fashion jewelry is gold-plated, which allows the cost to be as low as possible. When you first buy a piece of gold plated jewelry it may have the same shine and luster as solid gold, but this layer will often quickly fade leaving behind discolored skin and dirty looking jewelry.
Gold filled jewelry is similar to gold plating where it is made with a different base metal. The process however is different from gold plating. In filled jewelry, the gold is melted onto the base metal through a mechanical process. The gold content is 5%, so it is generally much thicker than plated jewelry. While filled jewelry will maintain its gold shine for longer, it will eventually succumb to tarnishing and discoloration.
Gold Vermeil is when sterling silver is plated with a layer of gold. Vermeil is more hypoallergenic and has a thicker layer of gold than gold plating. The gold is coated with a thickness of 2.5 microns. As sterling silver is more affordable than solid gold, you’ll find that Gold Vermeil is more of a budget friendly option for gold jewelry lovers. Gold vermeil can last for years if you take proper care of it, but after some time, the plating will wear off. All of our gold vermeil pieces are made using 14k recycled gold and sterling silver as a base metal.
Solid gold is the most expensive and highest in quality and gold content. In its most pure form (24k) gold is soft and malleable so it is not the most feasible for everyday jewelry. To help with the malleability, alloys are added to create a more structurally sound metal which is known as ‘solid gold’. All of our solid gold pieces are made using recycled 14k solid gold to keep the price point accessible, but keeping the high standard quality that can last.
Our materials and processes matter to us so we think it's important to educate around them; they are the reason why we do what we do.