What's The Difference Between Gold Vermeil And Gold Plated?

When you are shopping for gold jewellery, you are likely to come across a variety of different terms and phrases for Gold, like Gold Vermeil, Gold-filled, Gold Plated and so on. It can be quite confusing to know what item of Gold jewellery is the best for you. 

Gold is one of the most widely used materials for jewellery, but it is also the most expensive when purchased as solid Gold. Luckily, there are several types of Gold jewellery that are at a more reasonable price point but still have the impact and desired look as solid Gold. 

Gold comes in three colours, yellow, white and rose Gold. Rose Gold is formed when pure Gold is alloyed with copper and some silver, while white Gold is created with zinc or nickel alloying. The addition of these metals creates the colour change in solid yellow Gold. However, there are also a whole range of forms of Gold created by different finishes. These are Gold Vermeil, Gold filled and Gold plated jewellery.

What is Gold Vermeil Jewellery?

Gold vermeil jewellery is Sterling Silver covered in a thick layer of Gold which looks exactly like real Gold. It is less expensive than pure Gold, so a much-preferred option for everyday jewellery. Gold Vermeil is different from Gold plated jewellery. In vermeil, the base metal is always Sterling Silver which is heavily plated with solid Gold. For the jewellery to be considered vermeil in the UK, the gold coating needs to be at least 2.5 microns thick, which makes the piece heavily plated and a rich Gold colour. 

The main pro of purchasing Gold vermeil is its affordability and suitability for jewellery worn everyday. As most jewellers can create this finish easily, it is a great material for unique and extraordinary jewellery pieces. 

What Is Gold Plated Jewellery?

Gold plated jewellery contains the least amount of Gold amongst all the different types of gold finishes. It is created by covering a thin layer of Gold over a base metal. The base metal can be Brass, Copper, Nickel, Aluminium or a mixture of various metals. The technique used is often electrical or chemical deposition, and the thickness of the gold layers averages between 0.175 and 2.5 microns. Gold plated jewellery usually wears down quickly because the Gold plating is so thin. 

Plated Gold can provide a sort of charming and interestingly aged jewellery material, with a slightly oxidised surface after a couple of years, if that is a look you find appealing. But many buyers prefer to buy Gold plated jewellery only for short term use and for everyday wear. The primary reason to buy Gold plated jewellery is for the low and affordable price. Also, because the plating is thin, the work on the gold plating can easily be repaired. Read on to know about the difference between Gold plated and Gold Vermeil jewellery and which one is the best for you.

Gold Vermeil vs Gold Plated: What’s the Difference?


You may have realised by now the one key factor based on which these two forms of gold jewellery vary: the amount of gold present in them. 

While Gold Vermeil contains a significantly high amount of gold and a thicker layer, Gold plating has a much thinner coating. Gold plated jewellery also tends to have a cheaper base metal like aluminium or brass, whereas the metal for Gold Vermeil is always Sterling or pure Silver. All these constituents make the Gold plated jewellery pieces incredibly cheap and affordable. Those looking for everyday light jewellery can go with Gold plated pieces. But if you want a slightly more costly but highly durable piece of jewellery made with a considerable amount of solid Gold, Gold Vermeil will never let you down! Gold Vermeil also comes in a variety of patterns and works because of its captivating and eye-catching look.

We recommend buying solid Gold when you want jewellery that will last a lifetime. You can pick solid Gold for heirloom pieces or sentimental accessories which are to be held onto for a long time. However, Gold Vermeil is perfect for everyday chic and design led jewellery. It contains a high amount of Gold and looks just a great and shiny but is less expensive.