The Difference Between Gold Plated & Gold Vermeil Jewellery

In the mesmerising realms of the Mediterranean and Aegean, the echoes of history and nature intertwine, weaving stories of forgotten figures and characters. At ASSUWA, our passion lies in crafting these narratives into wearable art, each piece unfolding a forgotten story. As we take inspiration from Mother Earth, we are committed to exploring sustainable practices and encouraging our community to follow conscious consumerism.

When we first started ASSUWA, we spent days and months trying to find the best way to create a sustainable jewellery brand. We wanted each piece to last a lifetime, and not harm the environment. 

Today we want to share our insights and learnings with you about gold-plated and gold-vermeil jewellery. Let's embark on a voyage into the world of gold craftsmanship.

Gold in Jewellery

Gold has been used for jewellery making since ancient times due to its rarity, durability, and beauty. As jewellery consumption increased, over the years, different techniques have been developed to create different types of gold jewellery, including gold-plated and gold vermeil jewellery. While these two types of jewellery may look similar, there are significant differences in their composition and manufacturing process.

Gold Plated Jewellery

Gold-plated jewellery is made by covering a base metal, usually brass or copper, with a thin layer of gold using an electroplating process. The thickness of the gold layer can vary from 0.5 microns to 2.5 microns, depending on the quality of the plating and the craftsmanship's dedication. This process is commonly used to create affordable fashion jewellery pieces, capturing the essence of solid gold.

Pros of Gold-Plated Jewellery:

  • Affordability, a doorway to elegance without breaking the bank.
  • A plethora of styles and designs, offering versatility to suit every taste.
  • Easily accessible in both physical and digital stores.
  • Tarnish-resistant and sturdy, provided with the care it deserves.

Cons of Gold-Plated Jewellery:

  • Vulnerable to the sands of time, displaying signs of wear with extended use.
  • Susceptible to chipping, scratching, or fading, especially when exposed to harsh chemicals.
  • A potential trigger for allergic reactions or skin irritations in some individuals.
  • Not ideal for daily, enduring wear if it’s not high-quality micron plating.


Gold Vermeil Jewellery

Gold vermeil jewellery is made by layering a base metal, usually sterling silver, with a thick coating of gold using an electrolysis process. The gold layer must be at least 2.5 microns thick and can be as thick as 5 microns. The finished product is a durable and long-lasting piece of jewellery with the appearance of solid gold.

Pros of Gold Vermeil Jewellery:

  • Durability that weaves through the tapestry of time, resistant to wear, chipping, or fading.
  • Embraces the rigours of daily wear and extended periods of use.
  • Hypoallergenic in nature, a soothing touch for sensitive skin.

Cons of Gold Vermeil Jewellery:

  • A slightly heavier investment when compared to gold-plated counterparts.
  • A more selective range of designs and styles, yet each one a testament to quality.
  • Demands mindful maintenance for a lasting legacy.

ASSUWA’s Journey in Gold

We saw that if you are not creating your jewellery from solid gold then what you can do best is to use high-micron gold plating which creates a thick layer of gold ensuring the beautiful gold colour doesn’t fade - and can be considered as gold-vermeil. And, for the choice of base metal preferably it should be 925 sterling silver because silver can last a lifetime. However, silver itself is a heavy metal, and that’s why, sometimes for earrings or necklaces instead of silver, brass or bronze could be used.

For our designs, we only use 100% recycled silver and gold with 18kt high-quality gold micron plating. We also offer a 2-year warranty and a jewellery recycling programme because we believe that ‘throwaway fashion’ is extremely costly to nature.

With ASSUWA Jewellery, we wanted to create affordable designer jewellery that can last a lifetime and can be your own modern heirloom.

In the grand tapestry of gold craftsmanship, the defining threads that set gold plated and gold vermeil jewellery apart are the thickness of the gold layer and the choice of base metal. Gold-plated jewellery, though accessible and budget-friendly, weaves tales of fragility over time if it’s not with high-quality micron plating and not well taken care of. On the other hand, gold vermeil jewellery is a great investment for those looking for high-quality gold jewellery.

Learn more about sustainability in the jewellery industry.

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