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May 09, 2023
You might have seen the Gold Vermeil option for many of Lila Clare Jewelry's pieces. But what, exactly, is gold vermeil?
Gold vermeil is a popular option for those seeking high-quality yet cost effective gold jewelry. Vermeil, pronounced "ver-may," is a thick layer of gold coating over a sterling silver core. It allows you to achieve the sophisticated look of pure gold without the price tag associated with it.
The process behind crafting gold vermeil involves taking my handmade, botanical-inspired jewelry pieces made in sterling silver and carefully plating them with an ample layer of real gold (read on for more details about this process).
For those of you who love the look of genuine handmade and botanical jewelry in gold, but want to keep your budget in check, choosing beautiful pieces made with this lustrous material can be an ideal solution. Gold vermeil jewelry shines just like traditional solid-gold accessories due to its outer layer being composed entirely of real gold. Additionally, using sterling silver as the base metal offers strength and resistance against tarnishing – giving you more value.
As a result, you get stunning gold jewelry that embodies elegance while providing durability suitable for everyday wear.
Gold vermeil jewelry is crafted through a meticulously regulated process, ensuring that the final product combines the best qualities of both sterling silver and gold. The first step in crafting gold vermeil involves creating a base for the piece using solid sterling silver, which is known for its durability and luster. Once the sterling silver base layer is thoroughly cleaned, it's time to apply the layer of gold using a technique called electroplating. During this process, an electrical current passes through a solution containing dissolved ions of karat gold. As these ions are transferred onto the surface of the sterling silver base, they form a dense and even coating around it.
By law, the thickness of the gold layer on a piece of vermeil jewelry must be at least 2.5 microns and the gold used must be at least 10 karats to be considered vermeil (I use 14k in all of my vermeil pieces).
These crucial distinctions set gold vermeil apart from other types of gold plated items. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) law stipulates that least 2.5 microns (0.0025 millimeters) must be deposited during plating to legitimately call it "gold vermeil." This generous layer provides exceptional resistance against wear and tear compared to cheaper alternatives like thin-coated or filled jewelry pieces – ultimately offering you more value for your investment.
Since I make the majority of my jewelry in sterling silver, it’s easy for me to provide the solid sterling silver core required for gold vermeil. I send my silver pieces out to a plater who specializes in gold vermeil to be sure the process is done carefully and correctly. When purchasing Lila Clare Jewelry handmade pieces, you can be sure that they are made with care and comply with regulation.
Gold vermeil stands out as a great choice among various gold jewelry options for several reasons. First and foremost, it offers a remarkable blend of elegance, durability, and affordability for those who adore the lux look of gold but don't want to break the bank.
In comparison to other alternatives like gold plated or filled jewelry, which often use inferior base metals such as copper or brass, handmade gold vermeil jewelry is higher quality due to its sterling silver core. It’s a precious metal overlay on precious metal, so it offers high value.
By choosing Lila Clare Jewelry's unique gold vermeil designs over other options like solid gold or lower-quality plated items, not only will you be selecting a unique piece but also invest in long-lasting handmade jewelry.
Gold vermeil is a great choice to get that gold look without the gold price. The thicker the layer of gold, the longer it will take for that layer to wear off. Lila Clare Jewelry’s gold vermeil jewelry has a gold layer thickness of 2.5 microns or more, which is thicker than traditional gold-plated jewelry. A thicker layer of gold provides more durability and protection for the base metal underneath.
But I’ll be totally honest - gold vermeil does eventually wear off with rubbing. The more your gold vermeil jewelry rubs against your skin, the faster it will wear off. I don’t say this to scare you into not wearing your jewelry. In fact, I want you to wear your vermeil pieces daily! I can re-plate all Lila Clare Jewelry gold vermeil jewelry for a small fee, just contact me to get started.
I do, however, bring up wear because I think there are times when it might be better to consider a solid gold piece of jewelry instead. In my opinion:
Caring for your gold vermeil jewelry is important to ensure it remains beautiful and shiny, and reduces wear. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your gold vermeil jewelry:
I don’t recommend using a polishing cloth for gold vermeil jewelry, since rubbing can wear the gold layer off.
As I mentioned above, when you purchase a piece of Lila Clare gold vermeil jewelry, you can be sure that they are handmade with care and comply with laws regulating what can be called gold vermeil. I use a solid sterling silver base, and plate with 14k gold, resulting in a beautiful, warm luster on my handmade pieces.
I offer gold vermeil in two of my collections: the Joy Collection and the Desert Botanic Collection. The Joy Collection is inspired by the leaves and trees I was surrounded by growing up in the mountains of North Georgia. My Desert Botanic Collection is made using the dried cellulose skeleton of the prickly pear cactus, and honors the beautiful Sonoran Desert where I live.
Through these collections, Lila Clare Jewelry offers stunning designs that are classic, versatile, and inspired by nature, but my gold vermeil pieces also provide exceptional beauty and durability. So why wait? Treat yourself (or someone special) today!
Questions about vermeil? Please don't hesitate to contact me!