What is Vermeil, Anyway?
Stella & Dot uses a lot of vermeil within its jewelry line, and many of you ask me, What is it? Vermeil is a process by which jewelry is created that provides the look of 14kt gold without the expensive price tage. Vermeil (pronounced vur-may) is produced by coating sterling silver with carat gold. A base metal is never used. Sometimes referred to as gilded silver, vermeil is made using the process of electrolysis — electricity and an acid bath — to attach the gold to sterling. To be considered vermeil, the gold must also be at least 10-carat and be at least 1.5 micrometers thick. This layer of gold is thicker than that applied using the electroplating process and will outwear much better and longer than a gold plated item.
Some great 14kt gold vermeil pieces from Stella & Dot jewelry:
What is 14kt Gold-filled?
Gold-filled jewelry has a thick surface layer of 14kt gold. There is 100 times more gold in 14kt gold filled (rolled gold) than in gold plate. This jewelry is created by taking a sheet of 14kt gold and bonding it through extreme heat and pressure to a core of metal alloy (usually a brass). This is a very sophisticated process and only a few mills in the world do it. The quantity of gold must be at least 1/20th of the weight of the total product, which is why it is called a 14/20 Gold Filled piece and is considered a lifetime piece of jewelry. The end result is a piece of jewelry that is resistant to tarnish because of its thick 14kt gold covering.
Care is easy. Just care for it as you would any other jewelry. It is quite durable. A simple inexpensive way to clean rolled gold jewelry is to soak it for a minute or two in a mild liquid jewelry cleaner. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly with water afterwards and let dry.
What is Vermeil?
It is a term that describes a coating of gold on sterling silver. Have you ever heard of gilded silver? That’s vermeil. We use the process of electrolysis to attach 18-24kt gold to sterling silver. Electrolysis is also called electroplating or just “plating” for short. This process will stand up to normal wear. Gold-filled and vermeil products are a great, quality alternative to the much more expensive solid karat gold. Vermeil is a bit more delicate than gold-filled, but comparing them is a bit apples to oranges. Both are high in quality, but vermeil is often a bit more yellow in color due to the higher karat commonly used. Vermeil is a process used to turn charms and cast pieces into a gold tone since they can be made in sterling silver and then dipped in gold.
What is Stella & Dot Gold Plate or Goldtone?
In our fashion line, we will offer gold plated pieces that offer a great look at a great price. Stella & Dot uses a THICK plating process to minimize the gold plating wearing off. Our electroplated process is a quality way to achieve a gold tone at a great price. Please note that over time gold plating may wear off and this is normal, not a manufacturing defect. This happens with most gol djewelry, no matter the company or quality.