Gold Plated Vs Gold Vermeil Vs Gold Filled. What is the difference and which one should you buy?

These days there are so many different gold options available that it can often be overwhelming when trying to decide which option to choose. Visually, the 3 g's (gold plating, gold vermeil and gold filled) can all look interchangeable but actually they are far from it. To help you out we thought we would break down the different option for you so you can find out which one is right for you.

Gold plated versus gold filled versus gold vermeil

1. Gold Plating


Gold Plated

The most common type of gold jewellery you will find is simply named "gold plating". With no minimum karat weight or thickness, this is the most economical to produce and therefore the most affordable to buy. In the gold plating process, a base metal such as brass, copper or silver is electroplated with a thin top layer of gold. On the plus side, gold plating can often look indistinguishable to solid gold with the naked eye but the colour and shine may not last long (depending on the thickness of the plating) as it will tarnish fairly easily.

2. Gold Vermeil


Gold Vermeil

Gold vermeil undergoes the same manufacturing process as gold plating but layer of gold applied to the metal by electrolysis is much thicker (at least 2.5 microns). The base metal used in gold vermeil production is also a much more precious metal such as sterling silver. With a much thicker layer of gold and the use of a more hypoallergenic metal gold vermeil has major advantages over regular gold plating as it will be much more resistant to tarnishing and far safer option for sensitive skin. 

3. Gold Filled


Gold Filled

Gold filled jewellery undergoes quite a different manufacturing process to the others as the gold alloy is permanently bonded to the base metal by utilising both heat and pressure. To be classed as gold filled, the piece must contain a minimum of 5% of gold by weight. Gold filled items have the same desirable properties and look of solid gold without the hefty price tag. With a thick layer of gold on top of the base metal, it is much more resistant to tarnish than standard gold plating and can be worn daily without fear the gold may rub off.

What to buy?

The answer to this question really depends on what you are looking for. Regular gold plating is certainly easier on the wallet and can be a great option for those wanting to partake in new trends without stressing about the cost. For the slight additional cost, however, gold vermeil and gold filled jewellery pieces may prove to be the better investment. With the right care, these pieces will retain their sparkle for a long time without breaking the bank. Looking like a million dollars doesn't always have to cost it. 

At Harfi, we are committed to offering the best quality pieces at the best prices. By going directly to the source and working in partnership with the amazing artisans that make our pieces you will find our gold vermeil and gold filled jewellery at cheaper or similar prices to anywhere else while not compromising on quality. You can read more about our fair pricing here, our ethical production here and Harfi quality here

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post