Jewelry 101: Gold Filled vs Gold Plated vs Gold Vermeil

Buying jewelry can be a confusing process. With so many different terms and styles, it’s sometimes hard to know what’s what. We’ve broken down the different types of gold jewelry on the market to help you buy smarter to get the highest quality for your budget.

Gold-plated Jewelry

What Is it?

To make gold-plated jewelry, a base metal like brass or copper is coated in a very thin layer of gold. This process gives the piece of jewelry the look of solid gold or gold vermeil (more on that in a minute). But unlike the more expensive and involved production of solid gold or vermeil jewelry, gold-plated designs tarnish the fastest out of any solid-gold alternatives. Because the jewelry has only a thin coating of gold, it can wear off and expose the base metal underneath. 

Who Is it Best for?

For affordable gold designs, gold-plating is the best option. Because less gold is used in the production of gold-plated jewelry, it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag of other designs. That means that gold-plated pieces are perfect when you’re buying new jewels on a budget. 

Overall Verdict

Gold-plated jewelry is a fun way to switch up your accessories according to trend, but more often than not, they tarnish fairly quick. Good news is that not all gold plating is created equally! Gemandi’s gold plated styles are specifically designed to ensure the highest quality for long lasting wear. We use semi-precious base metals like brass or silver (no nickel allowed here!) for our unique gold-plating processEach piece of nickel-free jewelry is 3x dipped in 14k gold — each round a different process that serves a specific purpose. This ultimately achieves a coating of gold that is five times thicker than industry standards for a higher-end finish. That means our jewelry will keep its shine longer than any other fine jewelry alternatives — making it an even better choice for trend-led pieces that can withstand daily wear. 

Gold-filled Jewelry

What Is it?

Similar to gold-plating, making gold-filled jewelry involves coating a non-gold design with gold to give it the appearance of solid gold. Unlike gold-plated jewelry that is plated in a thin layer of liquid gold, gold-filled designs use a different process. To create gold-filled jewelry, the base metal is wrapped with a thin sheet of gold. The sheet is then fused to the base metal using pressure and heat. Gold-filled jewelry uses more gold alloy than gold plated jewelry, thus making the layer thicker. 

Who Is it Best for?

Given the nature of how gold filled is made, there are extreme design limitations as to what can be produced with the gold filled technique. It is a good option for anyone looking for basic styles like bands, who wants more durability and longer wear for their classic pieces.

Overall Verdict

Gold filled jewelry cannot be cast, therefore limiting structural components needed for more intricate designs. Although Gemandi jewelry doesn’t use the gold-filled process due to design limitations, our proprietary coating technique withstands every day wear without having to give up style and quality!

Gold Vermeil Jewelry

What Is it?

Similar to gold-plating, making a gold vermeil design involves coating a base metal in a layer of gold. Unlike gold-plating, however, Gold vermeil jewelry must have a .925 solid sterling silver base, which means that the base metal underneath the gold is 92.5% pure silver. This base is then submerged into a solution that then uses electrolysis to attract the gold. The gold (which must be between 14 and 24-karats) then adheres to the sterling silver to create the gold coating. The final gold finish must be at least 2.5 microns, to be considered vermeil. 

Who Is it Best for?

Because of it’s hypoallergenic sterling silver base, it makes it a great option for girls with very sensitive or reactive skin. With its strict standards and quantity of gold that is used during gold vermeil production, gold vermeil jewelry tends to be more expensive than gold-plated or gold-filled jewelry. 

Overall Verdict

Gold vermeil is often one of the most expensive options, but it’s also of a higher quality. Gemandi also offers vermeil pieces to include women that prefer the sterling silver base for very sensitive skin types. The best part is that all Gemandi jewelry, both with a sterling silver or brass base, has at least 2.5 microns of gold!

Buying jewelry is a balancing act — it’s about getting the designs you love without breaking your budget. And Gemandi can help you do just that. The fashion jewelry designs strike the perfect harmony between quality and price. By focusing on high-end plating and top-quality crystals, Gemandi checks all of the boxes for your next jewelry purchase. 

 

By Hannah Warne

Hannah Warne is a copywriter and journalist who loves bringing brands to life. With a background working for both global brands like Tiffany & Co. and Groupon and local businesses, Hannah loves to find the perfect words to tell the best story. Based in New York City, she loves to explore the city’s different neighborhoods by way of new restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries.

Sources:

https://www.jewelrynotes.com/what-is-gold-filled-jewelry-and-how-is-it-made/

https://www.goldplating.com/blogs/news/gold-plated-vs-gold-filled-jewelry

https://www.jewelrynotes.com/vermeil-vs-gold-plating-difference/

https://www.jewelryshoppingguide.com/what-is-gold-vermeil/