Skip to main content

Article Filters

Your Basket

Your basket is empty. Continue shopping to add products to your basket.

Call Centre

What Is Vermeil? Watch Out for This New Gold Jewellery

Published date: 02 July 2021

Back to Article Listing examplearticleimage.svg
'Vermeil' is a term frequently used when a Gold layer has been plated over a base of sterling silver. It is often used to achieve a gold finish without the cost of solid gold. The karat used is typically 18ct or 24ct but can vary between different sources. 

The Assay Office classifies the following characteristics as vermeil and have issued the following guidance along with The British Hallmarking Society to clarify and help avoid confusion:

1. When the word ‘gold’ or a specific gold fineness description is used to describe a gold plated silver article; the article must be described as silver and the word ‘gold’ must be directly followed by the word ‘plated’ in the description e.g. 18ct gold plated silver ring.

2. Other terms like vermeil, may be used in addition but the phrase ‘gold plated’ and the word silver must appear within the description e.g. 18ct gold plated vermeil silver ring.

3. The term ‘Silver gilt’ may be used to describe gold plated silver, providing a specific gold fineness is not applied as part of the description e.g. silver gilt ring.

4. The gold-plated layer must be of fineness of at least 375 parts per thousand and should not exceed 2 microns in thickness.

There is often confusion within the industry when it comes to the required micron thickness of the plating, we believe this comes from the USA classification which is over 2.5 microns. But as stated above the UK require this plating to not exceed 2 microns and be at least 375 parts per thousand which is referencing 9ct Gold. Therefore any thickness upto 2 micron can be declared as vermeil, but must be described as Gold Plated Sterling Silver before the term vermeil can be used or it can be called Silver Gilt but must not reference the gold carat.

The Assay Office works to protect the value of metals such as Gold and Sterling Silver, therefore they ensure that a plated item can not be wrongly advertised or sold as the more valuable solid metal and require descriptions to ensure any plated item is properly labelled so as to not mislead the consumer.

We strive to use 1 micron on the majority of our Gold Plated Sterling Silver, this is to ensure a durable finish. However some lightweight items such as chains have a flash plating this will be more prone to wearing quicker, but we will always state this in the product description so customers can make an informed choice. It must also be remembered that this is still a plated item and the gold layer will wear off with use and 24ct is softer than 18ct so this can affect its ability to wear too.

Vermeil is also generally considered hypoallergenic so wearable by more people, compared to gold coloured costume jewellery which has a base metal that can cause allergic reactions in some wearers. Therefore Plated sterling Silver Vermeil is considered a safer metal for sensitive skin types.

Gold filled (or Rolled Gold) is also a good alternative to more expensive solid gold jewellery, but this has a base metal core and due to the manufacturing process involved it is generally just available for items made from wire or sheet.

Both ‘gold plated sterling silver vermeil’ and ‘rolled gold’ have price benefits over gold items and the differences can be vast depending of the weight of the product. Gold prices are at an all-time high and therefore Gold Plated Sterling Silver / 'vermeil' has seen an increase in demand from consumers. It offers an affordable way to wear gold.

We have a whole new range of vermeil that has just hit our website including ear hoops, chains and charms including our bestselling rainbow charm so be sure to check out the new in section of the website. We also stock vermeil pieces as part of our expansive wholesale jewellery collection.

Product Compare Call Centre