What’s the Difference Between Gold-Plated, Gold-Filled, And Gold Vermeil?

When you come to buy gold jewelry, you may notice a fairly wide range of looks, prices, and qualities. It can all be a little confusing.

The different types of gold jewelry – such as gold-plated, gold-filled, and gold vermeil – are uniquely designed to appeal to certain segments of the jewelry-buying market.

Anything gold-filled is the premium standard for gold jewelry, however, it’s also very, very expensive in comparison with gold-plated and gold vermeil. The core difference between the three is in the manufacturing and design process which ultimately determines how long-lasting the jewelry’s look and charm is.

What Is Gold-Plated Jewelry?

Gold-plated jewelry is gold plating on top of a brass base or an alloy, such as nickel or zinc. The advantage of gold-plated jewelry is that it is very affordable compared to gold-filled and gold vermeil. With this, however, comes the fact that gold-plated can degrade and erode quicker especially if the gold-plating layer is thin.

If you buy a gold bracelet that is gold-plated as opposed to gold vermeil or gold-filled, you can expect it to look fabulous but lack a lot of the long-term beauty of gold vermeil or gold-filled.

What Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry?

Gold vermeil is jewelry that is designed using gold plating on top of a sterling silver base. The benefit of gold vermeil is that it is hypoallergenic, due to the use of sterling silver compared to something like brass which would be used with gold-plated jewelry.

Like gold-plated jewelry, surface layer gold with gold vermeil jewelry will eventually degrade although at a much, much slower rate. Eventually, the base metal will be exposed. With it being sterling silver, your skin shouldn’t experience a reaction compared to the zinc or nickel of gold-plated jewelry.

Gold vermeil is created using an electroplating process. Like other gold-plated pieces, it’s essentially painting gold on top of a base metal or dipping a base metal into gold creating a cover.

What Is Gold-Filled Jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry uses a layer of actual gold and pressure bonds it to a core metal using a combination of pressure and heat. If gold vermeil is like painting a base metal, gold-filled is permanently melting it on. You are sending your base metal into a large oven for an extended period of time with gold vermeil and the result is a higher-quality product compared to gold vermeil.

Gold-filled jewelry does not wear down as easily. Gold vermeil is not water-resistant and is at an increased risk of being worn down over time under wear-and-tear from exposure to water, skin, and sweat.

Gold-filled jewelry is much thicker than anything gold-plated but is not itself pure gold though it can give the impression of it. The base metal used for this type of gold jewelry is typically silver, copper, or brass.

What Type Of Gold Jewelry Is Best?

It is really up to you to decide what type of gold jewelry is best. An argument can be made for gold-filled, gold vermeil, and gold-plated.

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, gold-plated is going to be it. For something hypoallergenic and a little bit better in quality, gold vermeil is an excellent choice. Gold-filled jewelry is more expensive, due to the extensive manufacturing process, however is overall more durable.

The exposure to water may be something else you want to consider as gold-filled is the best selection for someone whose jewelry may be exposed to rain or moisture in some capacity.

Shop a wide variety of gold jewelry, from rings to necklaces, bracelets, and more, at Corail Blanc. See all sorts of unique styles perfect for everyday wear, meaningful gifts, and long-term staple pieces in your personal jewelry collection. All are exquisite and luxurious, and perfect for all occasions. Shop with us today.