What is Vermeil


Typically, vermeil is a type of gold finished material that is composed of a thick layer of gold over solid sterling silver. Industry standards dictate that the gold portion must be 10 karats or above for a piece to be considered vermeil in the U.S., but most high-quality pieces are 14, 18 or 24 karats depending on the thickness of the jewelry.

FAZ Jewelry pieces are made primarily from 18 karats.

The thickness of the gold portion is what really sets vermeil jewelry apart from simple gold plated pieces. The thickness of the gold portion must be a hefty 2.5 microns.

If you want to build a collection of high-quality jewelry without the pure gold price tag,  Gold Vermeil is a fantastic option. 

Vermeil usually looks like gold to the naked eye, making it a great alternative for those who can't afford pure gold jewelry. You can also shine it up to give it a beautiful gloss, or leave it to tarnish for a vintage look.

Another key factor here is that a vermeil piece must have a sterling silver base (instead of brass or cheaper metals).


In gold plating, any metal can be used as the base, and the gold layer can be of varying levels of purity. This will result in a variety of thicknesses for the gold coating.

Gold plated pieces are cheaper than vermeil jewelry as they use any metal to create the core for the plating.

This can be steel or brass, which is dipped in gold to form a thin layer of gold plating. However, the coating can wear out eventually, leaving your jewelry with the base only.

Yellow gold is the most popular color for these pieces.

Vermeil jewelry pieces are made through electroplating, which is done through micron plating:

  • Micron plating: This method involves measuring the thickness of the gold layer. This is necessary when plating jewelry pieces and watches. Micron plating is used in making vermeil jewelry.


This is an important part when answering the question: what is vermeil?

Now that you have some clarity on the question "what is vermeil?" it helps to understand how to care for your vermeil pieces.

Dust, pollution, perfumes, and cosmetics can affect the surface of your pieces. This might affect the gloss, something that you certainly don't want to happen.

First, you should always apply perfume before wearing your pieces. Also, remember to remove them before taking a shower.

Try as much as possible to avoid exposing your jewelry to cleaners, hot water, and harsh chemicals. Ideally, you want to remove them before handling such solutions.

Substances, such as chlorine, can permanently damage the surface of your piece. Bear this in mind when using chlorine bleach or before diving in the pool.

When not using your vermeil pieces, remember to store them in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.

To clean your jewelry, use a clean cotton or microfiber cloth to buff it gently. Don't be tempted to use chemical cleaners as they can easily strip the gold finish.

Over time, the gold layer is likely to tarnish. This is a common and natural property that adds a unique sense of character to the piece. Don't fret when that happens.