Difference between Solid Gold, Vermeil, and Gold Plated Jewelry

When it comes to purchasing jewelry, it's important to understand the different types of gold finishes available. Solid gold, vermeil, and gold plated jewelry are all popular options, but they differ in terms of composition, durability, and price. Let's explore the differences between these three types of gold jewelry:

Solid Gold

Solid gold jewelry is made entirely of gold, typically mixed with other metals such as copper or silver to enhance its strength and durability. The purity of solid gold is measured in karats, with 24 karat gold being the purest form. However, pure gold is soft and malleable, making it less practical for everyday wear. Commonly used karat values for solid gold jewelry include 14k, 18k, and 22k, which offer a good balance between purity and durability.


Vermeil jewelry is created by layering a thick coat of gold over sterling silver. To be considered vermeil, the gold layer must be at least 10 karats and 2.5 microns thick. This type of jewelry offers the appearance of solid gold at a more affordable price point. Vermeil is a popular choice for those looking for high-quality jewelry with a luxurious finish.

Gold Plated

Gold plated jewelry, on the other hand, is created by applying a thin layer of gold onto a base metal such as brass or stainless steel. The gold layer in gold plated jewelry is typically less than 1 micron thick. While gold plated jewelry can be more affordable, the thin layer of gold may wear off over time, revealing the base metal underneath. It's important to note that the lifespan of gold plated jewelry largely depends on how well it is cared for and how frequently it is worn.

Choosing the Right Option

When choosing between solid gold, vermeil, and gold plated jewelry, consider your budget, desired durability, and personal style. Solid gold jewelry is the most durable and valuable option but comes with a higher price tag. Vermeil offers a balance of quality and affordability, while gold plated jewelry is a more budget-friendly choice.

Caring for Gold Jewelry

To ensure the longevity of your gold jewelry, it's important to care for it properly. Avoid exposing your gold jewelry to harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or household cleaners, as they can damage the finish. Store your gold jewelry in a separate compartment or pouch to prevent scratching, and clean it regularly with a soft cloth and mild soap to maintain its shine.