Everything you need to know about gold plating and gold vermeil

At Wild Horse Club, all the gold plated jewellery we create and sell has a minimum thickness of 2.5 microns and is plated over solid sterling silver as the base metal. This is thicker than standard gold plated jewellery, meaning it’s better quality and will look stunning for longer.

All gold plated jewellery will wear and tarnish over time – that’s just in its nature. However, there are things you can do to make your jewellery look stunning for longer. Keep it clean and dry and store it so it doesn’t get scratched.

If your gold plated jewellery starts to tarnish, it can be replated to give it a new lease of life. We’d be happy to help you with this – just drop us a line.

Nothing looks nicer than a gorgeous piece of gold jewellery. It gives you confidence for any occasion, as well as adds a touch of opulence to every outfit!

If you’re looking for a fabulous statement piece, then gold plated (or gold vermeil) jewellery can be an affordable addition to your jewellery box. 

When people think of gold plating, they often think back to the cheap chains and rings you used to be able to buy out of the high-street catalogues back in the day. However, gold plating has come a long way since then!

Let’s take a look at gold plating and how you can keep your gold plated jewellery looking as dazzling as the day you bought it.

What is gold plating?

Gold plated jewellery consists of a base metal piece with a thin layer of gold bonded on top.

The base metal depends, typically on the type of jewellery. Examples of metals used include silver, brass, steel, and copper.

When it’s done right, it’s hard to tell if a piece is gold plated or made from solid gold.

Gold plated jewellery vs gold vermeil – what’s the difference?

Many people think gold plating and gold vermeil (pronounced ‘vermay’) are different ways of talking about the same thing. However, in reality, they’re very different.

Gold vermeil (sometimes referred to as ‘silver gilt’) is a special type of gold plating. To be legally called gold vermeil, a piece of jewellery must satisfy two criteria.

  1. The base metal is sterling silver
  2. The gold layer has a minimum thickness of 2.5 microns. For comparison, gold plated jewellery has a minimum thickness of 0.5 microns

This means that gold vermeil is of a higher quality than standard gold plating and is more durable. It’s also better for people with allergies as they’re less likely to come in contact with the base metal.

We only deal with gold vermeil at Wild Horse Club. This means when you buy with us, you know you’re guaranteed an exceptional piece of jewellery. 

Gold plated or solid gold jewellery – which is better?

The main advantage of gold plated (or vermeil) over solid gold jewellery is that it’s a more affordable option. This makes it the perfect choice if you like to change up your look regularly.

Solid gold is softer than gold plated metal, meaning that while it’s perfect for special occasions, it’s not ideal for everyday wear. Gold plated jewellery is fantastic for everyday use, whether you’re off to work or off to the shops for a pint of milk

The disadvantage of gold plated jewellery is that it does lose its brilliant shine over time. The good news is we’ll look at some of the ways you can keep it looking great in just a moment.

At Wild Horse Club, all our beautiful gold pendants are available in both gold vermeil or solid gold options. This means you can pick the option that’s perfect for your lifestyle.

How to keep gold plated jewellery looking stunning and stop tarnishing 

All gold plated jewellery will wear over time. The molecules in the base metal eventually move into the gold layer, causing the gold plating to tarnish.

How long does gold plated jewellery last before it starts to discolour? It depends. The thicker the layer of gold, the longer it will take to tarnish – so vermeil will last a lot longer than standard gold plating. 

If you’re worried, you can have your gold plated jewellery replated – this is when a fresh layer of gold is applied. This is definitely something a professional jeweller needs to do for you… please don’t try it at home! 

Here are our top tips for extending the life of your gold plated or gold vermeil jewellery and keeping it looking fab.

  • Avoid wearing your jewellery when doing chores around the house, as the chemicals can damage the plating. The alternative? Get someone else to do the housework!
  • Take your jewellery off before going swimming – salty water and chlorine can cause the gold plating to corrode
  • When you’re getting ready for that big night out, try and minimise contact with makeup, perfume, and moisturiser. We recommend popping your jewellery on just before you hop into your Uber!
  • Going to the gym? Leave your jewellery at home. The acid and salt in sweat can wear the plating down
  • Store your jewellery in a cool and dry place – steer clear of warm and humid rooms like bathrooms
  • Avoid storing pieces of gold plated jewellery in the same bag or box as they can rub together and cause damage. Similarly, take care if you have a ring stack with lots of gold plated rings
  • Regularly clean your jewellery with mild soap and water and pat it dry with a soft cloth so it doesn’t get scratched. You can get specialist jewellery cleaner, but in our opinion, soap and water does the job

We hope this article has given you more insight into the world of gold plating and gold vermeil. This type of jewellery can be an amazing way to get a wonderful statement piece at a price that’s right.

If you want to know more or have any questions about how we plate our gold jewellery here at Wild Horse Club, we’re always here to help.


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