Let's start with the basics, how is Vermeil pronounced? Let's do our own version of Phoebe teaching Joy French, say it with me: ver-may. Vermay! Vermeil! It comes from the old French word vermilion which means red, probably because metals turn red when heated up in order to be worked? Just assuming, don't quote me!
Now that we got that out of the way let's find out what it actually means. In a nutshell, vermeil is silver coated with gold. But for it to bear the name vermeil, it must meet the below trade criteria:
- The base metal must be sterling silver (92.5%)
- The coating must have a thickness of 2.5 micrometers
- The gold used must be 10K or higher
Vermeil jewellery sits neatly in between costume and fine jewellery. It's the best of both worlds. It is the perfect balance between quality and value.
It is the highest standard when it comes to plated jewellery. Not to be confused with regular gold plating, gold vermeil uses a similar process in which the base metal is dipped into a bath of electroplating solution. Apart from the base metal used, the main difference is that vermeil jewellery is dipped for a longer period of time thus creating a thicker layer of gold plating. The thickness of the plating is what gives vermeil jewellery its durability.
As vermeil jewellery is made using precious metals (silver, gold & rhodium), it makes it the ideal choice for people with sensitive skin or who are allergic to regular gold plated jewellery which are typically made in brass, copper, nickel or lead.
Caring for your vermeil pieces is easy, sweat, water and chemicals found in cosmetics are a no as they can cause a chemical reaction to the plating so remember to take off when exercising, swimming or showering and when doing your beauty routine. Clean by gently buffing your pieces with a dry cloth and store in its pouch. Your vermeil jewellery can hold its plating for years if you take proper care.