If your project involves sheet goods, you could consider using
gold-filled. The surface is thicker than gold plate and it is harder
since it has been applied under pressure and heat and rolled to
thickness. Some manufacturers used to make gold-filled on sterling.
All vermeil I have ever had the misfortune to work with tarnished
through the gold. Then the process of trying to clean it started to
destroy the gold layer. Gold-filled on sterling would be thick
enough that the silver would be protected from the tarnishing
It has been one of the great sadnesses of my career in retail that
the sources of well made gold-filled jewelry have disappeared. I
used to do five figures at cost every year with one of the big names
until they were bought by another firm and they ceased to find us
interesting. I am guessing that the line is gone entirely by now. I
blame the general disappearance of this product to people on my side
of the sales counters. They were too lazy to understand and describe
the material to their customers. Given a choice between two items
at, say $40, it was easier to just say that this one is solid 14
karat gold than to describe why the other would last ten times as
long because it wasn’t as thin as tissue paper. Alas.
Some suppliers still list gold-filled sheet and wire but it may be
only single sided. I’m not sure if the material is something a small
shop could create. Yes, I’m thinking about it.