Plated, filled, or solid–it’s all too easy to get swept up in the confusion surrounding gold jewellery. Here’s a run-down and a few reasons why we choose Gold Vermeil for our pieces.
Lets start by breaking down the types of gold jewellery you may have heard of.
At Cloud Nine our gold pieces are Gold Vermeil (pronounced "ver-may") it is the highest quality of gold plated jewellery and is a great option in terms of longevity, quality and value.
To be legally called "vermeil", the jewellery piece must meet ALL of these conditions:
Sterling Silver Base: The foundation of gold vermeil jewellery is crafted from sterling silver, a renowned alloy comprising 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals.
Gold Plating: For a piece to be classified as vermeil, the gold plating must have a minimum gold purity of 10 karats, equating to a gold content of at least 41.7%.
Thickness of Gold Plating:
The gold layer on a vermeil piece must be at least 2.5 microns thick. A micron represents 1/1000th of a millimetre.
How to identify if your jewellery is gold vermeil?
The easiest way to identify the quality of your jewellery is to look for the engraving on it indicating the base metal. For vermeil jewellery, there will be a "925" engraved on it. 925 indicates the purity of the base metal which is sterling silver. So even though there's that thick layer of gold as well, the law requires that the highest percentage of metal used is indicated, which for vermeil is the sterling silver base metal.
If you find 9k, 10k, 14k, 18k, or 24k, that means you have a solid gold piece.
If you find NO engraving that likely means that base metal is brass or an alloy of mixed base metals.
Gold Vermeil vs Gold Plated
Gold vermeil is not the same as gold plated jewellery. The main differences being the thickness of the gold plating and the base metal used. Gold plated jewellery has a plating of at least 0.5 microns thick, Gold vermeil is at least 2.5 microns thick. (thats 5x thicker). Gold plate does not require a sterling silver base; it usually uses inexpensive materials, such as copper or brass as its core metal. Since the layer of gold is so thin, the gold plating tends to wear off very quickly. Gold vermeil is a much better option in terms of longevity, quality and value!
The History Of Gold Vermeil…
The technique of creating gold vermeil was originally developed in France in the 18th century when the majority of large objects produced by goldsmiths were made this way. Now gold vermeil is used to make Crown Jewels and Olympic gold medals as well as jewellery.
How to look after your gold vermeil pieces
Our Cloud Nine pieces are designed to last with love and care. Here are some tips on how to look after your gold jewels.
Avoid contact with water, cosmetics and chemicals (e.g. hair spray, perfume‚ lotions‚ household cleansers).
Do not place in damp conditions and avoid wearing in the shower, pool, or sea.
Remove when exercising or during activities which may cause sweating.
Store in a cool dry place. Our original boxes (included with each order) make the perfect storage spaces for your jewellery. If you no longer have the box, a zip-lock bag is a great alternative.