Vermeil Vs Gold Plated vs Gold Filled: What’s The Difference?

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Gold is a favorite metal in the jewelry industry. People like it for its color, luster, durability, and value. This is also why there are so many types of gold jewels even for those who sometimes can’t buy the high-end ones. The plated jewels mimic the high-end style of jewelry.

You can have solid gold which is pricey and most valued. But sometimes you can also have gold-filled, gold plated, and gold vermeil to give you a taste of the gold. In this article, we discover the differences, similarities, and everything about the three types of gold. Notice that although the gold vermeil, gold-filled, and gold plated jewels aren’t really solid gold they are as good as solid gold.


What Is A Gold Vermeil Jewel?

This is a type of heavy gold plating that’s normally done over sterling silver. The jewel made using the gold vermeil jewelry method, therefore, will not tarnish and it’s hypoallergenic. Of course, if you have metal allergies then you will find this to be safer to use and high quality. Now the difference with the gold plating though is that this one has a thicker plating and therefore it lasts longer with quality gold. You can’t even rub it off because the layer is thick.

When you are making the charm jewels, you can use the gold vermeil as it won’t peel off. However, you can also use gold-filled ones. If you are thinking of wearing the jewel on an almost daily basis, then you better use gold vermeil and not gold plated jewelry.


What Is A Gold Plated Jewel?

Now, this is the most common and some fraud jewelers will make you believe it’s real gold if you don’t know the difference. Here you have a light layer of gold that covers a base material. The base material is often bronze or brass. It features the use of a thin layer of gold over the metal. It makes 0.05% actual gold layer but sometimes even less.

Remember it has a thin layer and this only means that you can rub it off very easily. The difference is that these metals will also tarnish easily. It doesn’t matter if you expose them to the different chemicals or the atmospheric air it will tarnish easily. Notice that your solid gold will never corrode and will mostly maintain its structure but the copper beneath will cause corrosion and tarnishing. Of all gold jewels, this is the cheapest option but it’s because it has a very thin layer.

These are best if you are maybe going to wear them for only one special event or you are trying a new style. This one you would expect to be non-hypoallergenic because the layer will peel off soon letting out the base metals. The secret is to remove whether you are going to use any chemicals or wash up because they will always come out.


Are Plated Gold Jewels Good?

This question will depend on how long you want to use it, your skin sensitivity, and your sense of style. Generally, though the gold plated jewelry is good if you are going to use it just once. The benefit of using gold plated is it’s a luxurious design. Remember this kind of jewels will come to you with a wide range of choices. They will always give you the impression of luxurious design. It’s strong. Gold plated jewelry normally has brass metal beneath it which is strong. Of course, it will not last long since the layer is usually thin. It’s affordable. When you want to choose the jewel that you can find easily then always go for the gold plated choice.

Cons. They are non-hypoallergenic. Of course, the presence of metals like nickel will cause a skin reaction. If therefore you are sensitive, you shouldn’t wear gold-plated ones. Remember we have a very thin layer of gold over a large base metal. It will soon peel off regardless of the situation you subject it to.


A hand with a gold necklace with gold bracelets on the wrist.

Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver.



This one then has the heaviest layer of gold and as such the jewelers bond it to the base metals. The base metal here can be anything from brass to bronze and even silver. The jewelers mostly use 14K gold to make these jewels but sometimes will even use 12K gold. When talking about the differences, remember the gold-filled will have almost 100 times the gold plated jewelry. It’s the best choice for those who develop allergic reactions and it will never form an allergic reaction.

This is the closest we have to solid gold and it’s the reason why this one is highly-priced. You can never peel off the layer of gold as it’s very thick. The jewels here will never cause the wear and tear either. The gold-filled option is therefore the best choice when you want the type of gold that you can use daily.


Benefits Of Using The Gold-Filled

You will be having a gold-like appearance and feel even though the jewel is not fully gold. You know gold is a precious metal that all of us want to associate with. So you will be happy you bought something very close to gold.

It’s good quality. Of course, this one is very close to solid gold and this is why it shares the same features. Such options don’t wear out quickly rather they will last longer. They will not tarnish, they won’t wear out quickly, neither will they peel or flake with time. Notice that they will serve you for decades with proper care especially if you choose the harder ones like 14K gold. However, if you chose 22K then that’s a softer kind of jewel and that may influence the durability.

It will give you the perfect appearance. So then you are sure it will make you enjoy perfection. It’s harder to tell the difference between the gold-filled and the solid gold type. You will have the perfect look at a slightly lower cost with a gold coating. It’s safe. You won’t experience allergies with this type unless you are a very sensitive type. It has all the safety elements with none of them causing skin reactions. It’s versatile. You can use them anywhere and with any style or shape. Whether you want the anklet, earring, bracelet, or even a necklace is all okay.

Cons. It’s a little costly. Compared to the other types you see below this gold-filled type of jewels is costly. You will spend more than you will always do on other plated gold types.


Is Gold Vermeil Good Quality?

Yes, they are. You know although they aren’t solid gold, they feature a heavy layer of gold over the sterling silver. Notice that the base metals, in this case, is still one of the highest quality choices. It will never cause reactions and that means it’s safe. People like it for its durability but also the fact that you can wear it every day. In most cases, it has a thicker layer of gold which makes it even better. Notice that most people use the 14K gold karat and that makes it even more durable.

It’s cheap. You will have a gold-like appearance and they come to you at a cheaper price. Remember, it features the use of a layer of gold over the sterling silver metal. Sterling silver though precious metal is never as expensive as most other metals. And this is the reason why it’s expensive.

You want to look fine every day in the gold vermeil. It’s nickel free. Of course, if you have any problem with nickel, any metals that contain nickel is a trigger. Well, the gold vermeil luckily doesn’t contain nickel. This is why you are safe in wearing the gold vermeil jewels. Nonetheless, to be safe ask your jeweler if the gold vermeil has nickel in it.

It’s versatile. Although the vermeil means a layer of gold or silver, it can be any kind of gold; white gold rose gold or even yellow gold.


Is Gold Filled Jewelry Good Quality?

Of course, it is especially since it has a higher amount of gold yet it’s more valuable. It looks and feels like you have real gold jewels even though there are other metals on the inside. The gold-filled jewels are durable so you will do it over a long time. It’s also the best choice if you are going to use the jewel on almost a daily basis.


The Value of Gold Filled Jewelry

Of course, you would expect the one with a lot of gold to be more valuable. In this case, the gold-filled one is more valuable than the other two because it has a thicker layer of gold. Most people can’t even tell the difference between the solid gold and gold-filled type.

Gold vermeil is also valuable and its layer is thicker than that of the thin gold plated jewels. People will prefer the gold-filled over the gold vermeil and gold plated. As a result, expect to spend a lot more.


The Thickness of Gold Filled Jewelry

It’s worth mentioning that gold-filled jewelry has the thickest layer of gold. That’s why it’s bonded to the metal beneath. Gold vermeil has a heavy layer too but not as heavy as the gold-filled one above. This is what makes it more durable. It won’t even peel off unnecessarily. Gold plated features just a thin layer of gold that will normally peel off soon. This is also the reason why it doesn’t last long.


Composition Of The Base Metals

They normally have the same feature in that the gold will cover a base metal. The base metals are different for the three types of gold. Gold vermeil is popular because it features the use of gold over sterling silver. It can be any kind of gold though. The only base metals that are here are sterling silver.

Gold-filled has a thicker layer of gold but it’s bonded to either sterling silver or brass. The good thing is that no base metal will seep through. Gold plated ones have not many people knowing what the base metal will be but here it can be anything. Brass, zinc alloy, bronze. I mean almost any metal. This is why it is a non-hypoallergenic type.



As you would expect it’s rare for you to hear that either gold filled or gold vermeil will cause a skin allergy when used as a piece of jewelry. Gold plated though will cause allergic reactions just because it contains nickel and many other kinds of metal. Such base metals will solicit your skin reaction.


The Cost

Notice that they have different prices based on the amount of gold they have. Well, you will have the gold plated one being the cheapest since it has a very thin layer of gold. The gold vermeil isn’t very costly either but it’s costlier than the gold plated ones. Gold-filled is a high-end metal. It will cost you a lot more than the two because it’s also very close to real gold.


A pair of hands with three gold bracelets on them.

Gold plated silver jewellery can still tarnish as the silver atoms diffuse into the gold layer, causing slow gradual fading of its color and eventually causing tarnishing of the surface.



This is an important aspect that people want to know when buying a jewel. Gold plated will peel off sooner so it has a shorter lifespan. But the gold vermeil and the gold-filled both have a longer lifespan. But the gold-filled one will last longer since it has the bonding method to use in attaching the gold content to the other metal beneath.


How Long Does Gold Vermeil Last?

Notice that the plating done for the gold vermeil is a durable one and in most cases, the gold vermeil may last for years. However, if you decide to use it daily then it will start to wear off after 6 months. There’s no specific date though when you can expect it to wear off. It will mostly depend on the care you give the metals.


How Long Does The Gold-Filled Last?

It will mostly depend on the quality of the jewel we are using here. In most cases though if you choose the highest quality jewel then you can expect it to last up to 30 years. Here it doesn’t matter if you are going to wear it daily or just once it will last long.


Does Gold Vermeil Wear Off?

Every jewel metal will eventually wear off so yes it does wear off but not as soon as the gold plated does. If you take good care of the vermeil piece then it will last much longer.


Does Gold-Filled Tarnish?

Yes, it can tarnish but it rarely occurs. Of course, you may ask but it has a thick gold layer bonding? It does but when you subject the jewel to too much exposure to sulfide then you don’t secure it. It will often start to blacken and this is then what we call the tarnishing.


Which is Better Gold Plated Or Gold-Filled?

Both of the gold plating jewels are perfect for different occasions. But when looking at the quality then gold filled which is very close to pure gold is the best. Although it will cost you a lot more, it’s still the best choice to use for fine jewelry.


What Is The Difference Between Gold-Filled and Gold Plated?

The gold-filled jewels are of higher quality than the gold plated. They have a thicker gold layer than the thin gold layer one. The method of bonding the thick layer of gold also makes it last longer than the gold plated one that will soon peel off.

If you are concerned about the budget though you can use the gold plated option instead. It’s cheaper and ideal for when you only want to wear it once or twice. Gold-filled is expensive so no wonder it will last up to 30 years with proper care.



Those in the fashion industry will choose the different kinds for use at different times. They like gold plated ones because they are cheap and you can use them to try different styles. But they also like the gold vermeil and gold-filled ones for their durability and strength.

The main advantage of gold plating and gold vermeil is their low cost, but you should immediately remember a very significant disadvantage of such products - their fragility. Gold plated products cannot be worn directly close to the skin, as a chemical reaction is possible when combined with sweat, which will undoubtedly spoil the appearance of the jewelry. Gold vermeil lasts a little longer if you follow the necessary care requirements (you cannot get moisture on the product, you cannot polish it, etc), and you need to remember that the main material of the product is 925 sterling silver, and gold vermeil is used as a decorative element.

Of course, gold plating can be used on small parts of a silver product, but buying gold plated jewelry is not practical at all. Gold plated and vermeil jewelry is not intended for daily wear, it is almost impossible to preserve the original appearance of products, such jewelry is not used as an heirloom or as wedding rings. Another unfortunate point is that most of the base metal used in gold plated items tend to stain your skin green or cause allergic reactions. Gold-filled products are more durable than gold plated and vermeil, they retain their appearance for a long time. Gold-filled differs from a gold item in its lower value, and also in that it cannot be recycled.


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