Solid Gold vs Gold Vermeil Jewelry

solid gold and gold vermeil differences

What are the differences between solid gold & gold vermeil jewelry? And how do you care for each?

gold starburst ring with diamonds

14 Karat Gold otherwise known as 14K

Pure gold is 24 karat which means 100% gold with no other metals or alloys added. You don’t see many 24k pieces because gold is fairly soft. A common gold karat used by many jewelers is 14k. 14k gold means 14 parts of 24 parts gold and 10 parts other alloys, this comes out to 58.5% pure gold. This is why sometimes you see 14k gold stamped 585. The metals that make up the other 10 parts or 41.5% depend on the color of gold and whether it's yellow, white or rose. Yellow and rose gold typically have copper and sterling silver added as their alloy. Rose gold has more copper, making it that lovely pink color. Where as white gold often has nickel, zinc and sterling silver mixed in. The higher the karat the more pure gold and less alloy is mixed in. 

People love solid gold because it is made to last a lifetime and become an heirloom piece of jewelry. Pure gold also does not tarnish, however the alloy metals in 14k gold can tarnish mildly over time. Chemicals like chlorine can damage gold so I always recommend removing your jewelry before swimming or using any sort of cleaning agents.

Slightly tarnished gold can easily be revived with dish soap on a soft toothbrush and warm water. To read more about how to clean your favorite jewelry pieces click here.

Nature inspired opal necklace

Gold Vermeil Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry that has been gold plated is known as vermeil. Regular gold plated jewelry typically has a base metal such as brass or steel underneath. Gold vermeil holds more value and stands up better to wear because of the solid sterling silver underneath. To make gold vermeil jewelry, a layer of gold is added to the sterling silver through electroplating. It is a great option for those who love the look of gold but don't have a huge budget. That being said the gold plating can wear off overtime and tarnish, especially on rings since they tend to see more wear than necklaces or earrings. It is important to keep these pieces away from sweat, chemicals, perfumes and lotions. I like to follow the rule last thing on and first thing off when accessorizing to prolong the life of my pieces. 

If your pieces from me have been well loved and they need to replated it's easy to do! Just send me an email at and I would be happy to get your pieces looking brand new again. 

Not wanting to deal with having to re-plate your jewels from time to time? Solid gold jewelry is a great solution! You can wear it day after day without having to worry. Solid gold jewelry is perfect to mark a precious moment in your life such as a birthday, pregnancy, anniversary or Valentine's day! Click here to shop