Do You Know The Difference Between Your Golds?

May 3, 2022

hand showing double band gold statement ring

Hello friends! I am back. It's been so long. 

And I am back with some questions I get asked by my customers all the time; what is the difference between gold-plated, gold vermeil and gold-filled jewellery? 

So I am going to break it down for you in the simplest of terms in the hope that it will help you when you come to choosing your pieces.


Jewellery that is gold-plated  basically has a thin layer of gold placed over a base metal such as copper or brass.

Gold plating is a way of creating affordable jewellery by using a less expensive base metal. Therefore it allows for a cheaper production process whilst still achieving the lustre of gold.

Is Gold-Plating Real Gold?

Gold plated jewellery is still made/created using real gold. So even though it is
combined with a base metal, the gold layer is still real gold.

However, for a piece to be labelled as "gold-plated", the layer of gold must be equal to
or greater than 0.5 microns (and you will see on my product descriptions I often list how many microns of gold the piece contains).


Gold vermeil is similar to gold-plating with some key differences.

It is made in a very similar way as gold-plating but the gold layer must be above 2.5 microns.

gold vermeil sunflower inspired stud earrings

How Long Does Gold Vermeil Last?

Due to the thicker nature of the layer of gold, gold vermeil is a slightly more durable option than gold-plating, especially for every day pieces.

However, it is still recommended that you keep your pieces clean, away from harsh soaps and perfumes etc and NEVER shower with your pieces (Yes!!! I know many women who shower with everything on). But I will share some tips for cleaning your pieces etc in a further blog post.


Despite it's name, gold-filled is also referred to in the industry as "rolled gold" also.

It is similar to gold-plating in that a less expensive base metal is used (such as copper or brass). However, with gold-filled jewellery the base metal is then covered in gold sheets which are bonded together using a heat process. Once the heating process is completed you are left with a thick layer of gold on the piece. 

This thick layer of gold usually constitutes 5% of the jewellery pieces total weight. 
As a comparison, gold-plated jewellery usually consists of less than 0.05% of its weight in gold.

So there you have it, a quick run down of the differences in the various gold labels you may come across when you are buying jewellery.

In a further post I will go through the best, quick and easy methods for keeping these metals in their best condition.

flower-inspired, long dangle, gold vermeil earrings