Pronounced “ver-may”. Gold vermeil is at least 10K gold that is a minimum of 2.5 microns thick, and layered over sterling silver. These are strict standards that must be met in order for jewelry to be called vermeil.
The Vermeil pieces in my shop are a variety of thicknesses that are at least 14K gold and are noted in their descriptions. If you have additional questions, please email me.
Myths about Vermeil
Myth 1: Tarnish is a sign of poor quality.
Because vermeil’s base metal is sterling silver and sterling silver contains copper, over time your piece may show spots of discoloration. It’s due to the copper content. This isn’t an indication of poor quality and happens naturally over time. The sign of good quality vermeil jewelry is that it can be cleaned and doesn’t stay discolored. I recommend using the jewelry polishing cloth from W.J. Hagerty & Sons. They have been around since 1895 and have wonderful products.
Myth 2: Vermeil jewelry can't get wet.
With vermeil, it’s recommended that it does not come in contact with chemicals. Most places where you would get your jewelry wet contain chemicals. For example, pools may have chlorine, swimming in the ocean may have a high salt content. That’s why there's a simplified recommendation to not get your jewelry wet. If you happen to shower with your pieces just dry them off with a soft cloth afterwards.
How to clean vermeil jewelry
Deep cleaning your jewelry every so often keeps your jewelry sparkling. It can wash away dust, dirt and traces of chemicals from lotions, perfumes, hair products, etc that may cause your jewelry to tarnish.
- Mix 1-2 drops of dish soap with lukewarm water in a bowl and mix until bubbly.
- Soak your jewelry for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a soft bristle brush to gently clean the hard to reach areas on your pieces (like in between the gemstone settings and chains). I like to reuse an old clean toothbrush as the bristles are usually soft.
- Rinse your jewelry in a separate bowl of clean water (no soap).
- Pat dry your jewelry with any soft cloth.