21 Mar 2016

What is gold vermeil and why I love it - Jewellery Curated - Jewellery Blog

The biggest question for the budding jewellery lover; what is gold vermeil? A term that you will start to see all the time once you read this article.

I am a huge lover of vermeil jewellery but it is not a commonly known phrase. Gold Vermeil is simply thickly plated sterling silver jewellery.The thickness of the gold must be a minimum of 2.5 microns and the base metal must be sterling silver. Fashion and costume jewellery is often called gold plated which means that the plating is not very thick and the base metal is usually brass. All UK vermeil pieces should be stamped with the 925 mark to indicate that the silver is 92.5% pure silver.

Although the process of gold plating silver is known as electrolysis the original plating process was called fire guiding but is no longer commonly used. Vermeil jewellery was popularised in 19th Century France hence the word vermeil is pronounced "Ver-may

Why should you love vermeil jewellery; this is only gold plated jewellery?

Traditionally gold plated jewellery has a bad rep. It wears off eventually and it's obviously not as good as a solid piece of gold jewellery. Think green ring marks on your finger as a teenager and all that jewellery you painted with clear nail varnish to protect it. I feel this bad rep for any type of plating has only come from a lack of understanding of what the different plating types are.

For me, Vermeil gives me the look of solid gold jewellery at a fraction of the cost. Particularly when my ear piercings started to get more sensitive I wanted to invest in better quality earrings but found that most jewellers are still selling very traditional pieces and as I mentioned before a gold plated item from a fashion retailer doesn't feel precious to me and is likely to wear out in time.

If you still think "this is just plated jewellery" the only alternative jewellery at a similar price point is 9ct jewellery. There are not as many fashion forward 9ct gold jewellers (Jessica De Lotz to name one) as this metal still belongs to the more traditional style jewellery stores. 9ct gold has risen hugely in popularity in the UK with the gold price rocketing through the roof but when I see 9ct jewellery all I hear is the word 9ct and that is the lowest purity on the market and many other countries would consider 9ct gold too low quality to sell on the market.

I am also always raising my eyebrows at how much money people invest in fashion jewellery pieces when Vermeil jewellery offers real quality at a similar cost. If you are buying it's fine to splurge on a non-precious piece of jewellery if you know what you are buying and the longevity of the piece but you might think differently the next time you are ogling a Givenchy Shark Tooth or Marc Jacobs earrings.

So, here we have the Marc Jacobs earrings. A huge successful best sellers at most top department stores. These are £40.00 from Selfridges and feature the classic logo on a stud earrings. The only real detail in the product description is that they are 50% Enamel and 50% Brass.
Marc Jacobs Logo Earrings Jewellery Blog
So what is available in Gold Vermeil? I have selected four different kinds of Vermeil studs to show the leading brands, a variety of styles and what you get for your money. Admittedly these are more expensive, but with only £20.00 difference between the Marc Jacobs earrings and the cheapest pair below these are better value for your money as you will be able to wear them for years without the plating coming away.
Missoma Bolt Stud Jewellery Blog What is Gold Vermeil
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Missoma Bolt Studs
Astley Clarke Faceted Prismic Studs
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Dinny Hall Bijou Heart Stud
Monica Vinader Siren Stud
Jewellery Curated Author
Written by Odette Schofield

A passionate jewellery lover with a special interest in gemstones and three years of working with fashion and jewellery brands. Jewellery Curated showcases the best of jewellery trends and brands that you didn't know you loved.