What is vermeil?

Gold vermeil earrings from my Cadence collection
Silver stud earrings
Selective gold plating.

In the UK, Vermeil (pronounced vermay) means sterling silver which has been electroplated with a layer of pure gold to a uniform, minimum thickness of 2.5 microns.

Why gold electroplate? Well, I love the effect of ‘solid gold’ that quality, vermeil standard gold plating achieves – but at a fraction of the price! Also, gold is considerably heavier that silver and some of my larger earring designs might be uncomfortable to wear if they were made from pure gold!

I also use selective gold electroplating in my work as it adds a colour contrast and enhances the forms and textures of my designs. I enjoy playing with the effect of gold against silver and gold electroplating allows for this flexibility.

All materials and equipment I use for my gold vermeil electroplating comes from Spa Plating. I must reveal now that I have an interest to declare – I’m the chief tester of their products aimed at the jewellery and silversmithing trade and have been able to help guide the development of their products with the needs of these industries in mind.

I am confident that all of my vermeil jewellery attains the standard of 2.5 microns as each piece is tested in house with Spa Plating’s laboratory equipment. Because vermeil silver has been plated to 2.5 microns, you can rest assured that the layer of electroplated gold will withstand a considerable level of wear.