Solid Gold vs Vermeil, Plated, Filled Jewelry
Posted on April 14 2020
So much gold, so little time! At Skaska Fine Jewelry, we want to ensure the durability and longevity of your jewelry so you can enjoy it for a lifetime. That's why we only use solid gold in our designs. But what's the difference between solid gold vs vermeil, plated, or filled jewelry?
Gold plated jewelry is the cheapest to produce and the least durable. A thin layer of gold is bonded to low-cost materials such as copper or brass. Gold content in jewelry made using this method is less than 1%. Due to the low level of gold used, it wears off quickly over time and the underlying materials, such as copper, can sometimes turn your skin green. While this is the cheapest type of gold jewelry to produce and sell, it doesn't last very long.
While the process is similar to gold plating, the underlying materials used in gold vermeil jewelry is sterling silver. Vermeil is more hypoallergenic than gold plated jewelry, and is usually marked as 925 for silver. The silver is then gold coated at a thickness of 2.5 microns. Gold vermeil jewelry may last longer than gold plated jewelry, but will eventually wear off.
Gold filled jewelry is created through a process that binds a thicker layer of gold to another metal, usually brass or copper. In the US, the gold content for gold filled jewelry is required to be at least 5% of the total weight. This type of jewelry will commonly be stamped with a karat number, which refers to the filled coating. Gold filled jewelry will last longer than plated or vermeil, but will discolor and tarnish over time.
Solid gold jewelry is the highest quality gold jewelry you can find, as it does not discolor or tarnish with repeated wear. Unlike plated, vermeil, or filled jewelry, solid gold jewelry can be worn daily for decades without tarnishing. Solid gold jewelry is classified by a number and a "K", which stands for karat. Pure gold, classified by 24k, is malleable and soft, and must be mixed with alloys to give it strength and durability. All of Skaska designs are made from solid 14k and 18k gold, so you can wear it daily without worrying about discoloration. As an added benefit, solid gold jewelry increases in value over time, and is a true investment you can wear!