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The Low-down: Plated vs. Gold Filled vs. Vermeil vs. Solid Gold

The Low-down: Plated vs. Gold Filled vs. Vermeil vs. Solid Gold

Not all pieces that carry the word gold in their title are created equal. So what is the difference? 

Gold plated objects have a micron thick layer of gold chemically plated onto the surface of a lower quality base metal (often brass). This layer is so thin that it will wear off quite quickly, especially if worn often or if the wearer has relatively acidic skin.

Gold filled is quite a misleading term, it means that a layer of solid gold (about 5% of the item’s total weight) is mechanically bonded to a base metal. Gold filled jewellery can be expected to have a slightly longer life expectancy than gold plated jewellery but will peel off over time.

Gold vermeil has a thicker layer of solid gold than those above, about 2.5 microns thick in fact, and must have sterling silver as its base metal. Vermeil is not as likely to rub or peel off as plated or filled jewellery but is still only a surface treatment.

Solid gold, different to pure gold, can be any karat but the most important fact is that what you see on the surface continues all the way through the piece. Solid gold will stand up to lifetimes of wear, during which they may become worn in but never be worn out.

It's no secret that we are big believers in solid gold pieces. We strive to make sustainable pieces that last through this generation and the next and for that it's solid gold, every time! 

sand and salt

a photojournal by the waters edge