Hello All,

Can someone please explain to me the difference between vermeil
and gold plate? I know that vermeil has a thicker plating of
gold than gold plate, but I need a little more If I
have a ring with vermeil areas, will the vermeil hold up well, or
will the gold wear off easily?

My thanks to anyone who can shed a little light on this subject.


Lindsey, Gold plate is gold over a base metal. Vermeil is gold
over sterling silver. So it can be said that vermeil is all
precious metal.

Lindsey, Vermeil refers to gold plating over silver. It has
nothing to do with the thickness of the plate, just the fact that
it is gold over silver. Joel

Ever wish you could take back an email. I looked up the
following after sending a message based on my memory.
I’m on my way to the store for some Ginko Biloba.

The following is excerpted from an sheet from Red

  Electroplating is regulated by the Federal Trade
  Commission.  The following has been gathered
  from their publication, Code of Federal Regulations Title
  16 - Commercial Practices part 23 (January 1, 1994): 

  Gold Electroplate - Electrolytic plating of 24 karat
  minimum fineness, and a minimum thickness of 7 microns may
  legally be marked or described as gold electroplate. 

  Heavy Gold Electroplate - Electrolytic plating of 24 karat
  minimum fineness, and minimum thickness of 100 microns may
  legally be marked or described as heavy gold electroplate. 

  Gold Flash or Gold Wash - Electrolytic plating of not less
  than 10 karat minimum fineness and a thickness of less than
  7 microns may only legally be marked or described as gold
  flash or gold wash. 

  Vermeil (Pronounced VER-MAY)) - The Jewelers Vigilance
  Committee, Inc., has recommended that the Federal Trade
  Commission establish that vermeil meet the following

  Sterling silver jewelry that has an electrolytic plating
  of 24 karat minimum fineness and a minimum thickness of 120
  microns.  A diffusion barrier against tarnish (typically
  nickel) not to exceed 50 microns is also acceptable. 

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA

Please read “microns” in my previous message about vermeil as
"millionths of an inch". My apologies.

As well as being a thicker coating of gold (at least it s’posed
to be ) than regular plating, there is no nickel involved in
this process …the silver will oxidise underneath, so
customers will (god forbid ) have to clean the pieces once on a
while (tell 'em not to use a polishing cloth!), but for those
who are allergic to nickel it means that if it is an item that
they would wear against the skin they are not restricted to
purchasing solid gold pieces which they perhaps can ill
afford…and which might suit them better than silver . Happy
Holidays to everyone Alison

I have another question along this line. I wear my grandmother’s
wedding ring which was made for her by her first husband out of
nickels. When I got the ring (over 30 years ago now), I went to one of
our local jewellers and had it “rolled” in white gold. Can anyone
tell me which process this might have been? The gold has worn off just
a little in the inside, but the outside continues to look as though the
ring is solid white gold.


Jan MacLellan
Mountain Gems Ltd.
4611 Hastings Street, Burnaby, BC Canada
V5C 2K6

Does anyone know the history of vermeil? What are the pro’s and con’s
(if any) of working with it, or owning it? Is the process of creating
it, basically plating? Also, I heard a long time ago that if you
combine silver and gold the gold molecules will eventually drift and
be “absorbed” by the silver. Eventually you no longer see the gold. Is
this true? Thanks everyone! -Iris in San Francisco