Gold filled vs vermeil jewellery
May 05, 2018

Gold Filled vs Vermeil Jewellery

Gold Filled vs Vermeil Jewellery

In the world of jewellery, the terms "gold filled" and "gold vermeil" often get thrown around, leaving consumers puzzled about the distinctions between the two. While both may sound like they have a golden touch, understanding the difference is crucial when making an informed jewellery purchase. Creating jewellery with both is our passion with gold vermeil slightly being our preference because of its entirely natural origin. In this blog post, we will explain the differences between gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery.

What is Gold Vermeil Jewellery?

Gold vermeil jewellery offers a touch of luxury and sophistication. The term "vermeil" refers to a specific type of gold plating. The base metal is sterling silver. To be classified as gold vermeil, the piece must have a substantial gold layer, typically around 2.5 microns thick, ensuring a rich and enduring gold finish.

The sterling silver core not only enhances the durability of gold vermeil but also appeals to those with sensitivities to certain metals. Sterling silver is known for its entirely natural origin and hypoallergenic properties. This makes gold vermeil jewellery a suitable option for individuals with sensitive skin who want to enjoy the elegance of gold without the risk of irritation. Gold vermeil jewellery should maintain the look of yellow gold for many years but requires care with regular polishing and cleaning.

Red Coral Studs

What is Gold-Filled Jewellery?

Gold-filled jewellery is a popular choice for those seeking an affordable yet durable option with a genuine gold exterior. Contrary to what the name might suggest, gold filled does not mean the jewellery is filled with solid gold throughout. Instead, it involves a process of layering a thick outer layer of gold onto a base metal core, usually brass or copper.

The defining characteristic of gold-filled jewellery is the ratio of gold to base metal. By law, gold-filled items must contain at least 5% gold by weight. The gold is mechanically bonded to the base metal, creating a robust and long-lasting piece that retains the desirable characteristics of pure gold without the hefty price.

Durability and Longevity of Gold-Filled Jewellery

One of the key advantages of gold-filled jewellery is its durability. The thick layer of gold protects the underlying base metal, making it less prone to tarnishing or discolouration compared to other gold-plated alternatives. With proper care, gold-filled jewellery can last for years, maintaining its lustre and appeal.

It is essential to note that while gold-filled jewellery is more durable than gold-plated, it may still wear down over time, especially if exposed to harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. However, the longevity of gold-filled pieces makes them an attractive option for those seeking a balance between affordability and quality.

Green Agate Gold Necklace

Aesthetic Appeal of Gold Filled vs Vermeil Jewellery

When it comes to aesthetics, gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery offers a luxurious appearance that mimics the warmth and radiance of pure gold. However, there are subtle differences in the visual aspects of the two.

Gold-filled jewellery often has a slightly thicker gold layer, providing a bold and substantial look. On the other hand, gold vermeil jewellery with its sterling silver base, may exhibit a slightly cooler tone, and the thinner gold layer allows for a more delicate and refined appearance.

Price Points and Affordability

Understanding the cost differences between gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery can help customers make informed decisions based on their preferences and budgets. Generally, gold-filled jewellery is more budget-friendly than gold vermeil. The process of layering gold onto a base metal is less expensive than using sterling silver as the core.

Red Coral Delicate Gold Bracelet

Caring for Gold Filled and Vermeil Jewellery

Caring for gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery is essential to maintain their beauty and longevity. While both types of jewellery are more durable than some alternatives, proper care ensures that they continue to shine and retain their appeal over time. Here are some tips on how to care for gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery:

General Care Tips for Both Gold Filled and Gold Vermeil Jewellery:

  1. Avoid harsh chemicals and remove your jewellery before swimming, bathing, or engaging in activities that expose it to chemicals, such as cleaning agents, perfumes, water and hairsprays
  2. Store your jewellery in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  3. Clean gently with a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe away any dirt or oils
  4. Put on your jewellery last before going out to avoid contact with lotions, perfumes or makeup.
  5. Rotate your jewellery to ensure even wear and prevent one piece from receiving excessive use.

Gold Vermeil Specific Care:

Avoid polishing harshly as gold vermeil has a thicker gold layer but excessive polishing with abrasive materials can wear it down. Use a soft cloth specifically designed for silver jewellery polishing to maintain its lustre.

Gold Filled Specific Care:

Avoid heavy impact as gold-filled jewellery is durable but not indestructible. Avoid exposing it to heavy impact or rough handling to prevent dents and scratches. If your gold-filled jewellery needs cleaning, use a mild soap and water solution. Gently clean the piece with a soft brush or cloth, ensuring you do not scrub too vigorously.

Rose Quartz Necklace


In the quest for the perfect piece of gold jewellery, the choice between gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery comes down to budget considerations and the desired balance between durability and aesthetic appeal.  Gold-filled jewellery offers a robust and affordable option with a thicker gold layer, while gold vermeil jewellery provides a touch of luxury with its natural sterling silver core and refined appearance. Regardless of your choice, both gold-filled and gold vermeil jewellery present compelling alternatives to solid gold. This allows you to indulge in the timeless appeal of this precious metal without sacrificing your budget. 

Discover Our Gold Filled and Vermeil Jewellery

Tridacna Turquoise Disc Earrings