Gold what?

Did you ever wonder what type of gold was your favorite jewelry made of? Not all golds are equal and this article will share what you must know about this beloved metal.

When going jewelry shopping, you will frequently meet different gold names: gold vermeil, gold filled, pure gold, fine jewelry or gold plated? It can be confusing but all these codes are telling you exactly what your jewelry is made of and help jewelry makers offer creations for different tastes and budgets.


Celeste Set

Gold plated

Gold plated is a layer of gold on a base of mixed metal alloys, usually brass or copper. This is a popular option as more affordable but it also requires more care and is often seen as everyday jewelry.


Gold filled

Gold filled is a thick layer of gold on mixed metal alloys, usually brass and copper. The higher amount of gold compared to gold plated jewelry creates a higher value and the process used to bond the gold layer is different, making its shine more durable. To be called gold filled, a jewelry creation must also contain at least 5% of gold of the total jewelry weight.


Gemma Necklace


Gold vermeil 

Gold vermeil is a thick gold layer added to a base of high quality silver (usually 925 sterling). To be called gold vermeil, the thickness must be at least 2.5 microns of gold (in most countries). Usually more valuable and expensive than gold plated, its shine will last easily several years with proper care, thanks to its thick layer of gold.

Having a sterling silver base also adds value to the jewelry and makes it hypoallergenic so ideal for sensitive skin. Gold vermeil provides a fine luxury look at an accessible price point.


Pure gold

Pure Gold, also called solid gold, is the best quality of gold. It's organized by level of gold purity which we call karats (k). For example a 14k jewelry piece will have a purity level of 58.3% versus 75% purity for 18k gold. 

With such a high amount of gold in the jewelry, the price is naturally in the upper range and will also keep its value as an investment (gold prices vary according to the market).

This is jewelry you can wear and pass down, it won't fade over time and will keep its lustre, simply said, gold is forever.



Elizabeth ring


What type of jewelry should I choose?

If you're looking for jewelry you can wear often, with high-end finishing and a lasting quality, we recommend gold vermeil which falls under the fine jewelry category because it uses only noble metals (gold and silver). They are great gifts and can still be worn and enjoyed everyday.

If you enjoy picking from a large variety of jewelry styles and changing often, gold plated is made for you. More affordable and with more choices, you will wear them casually and won't have to worry about losing an earring or the budget needed to create your collection.

If you want to step up your game and add a bit more gold thickness, you can add gold filled creations which will last longer.

Finally, if your budget allows, you can choose to acquire pure gold jewelry. These are pieces that will keep their high value over time, last a lifetime and that you will be able to pass down to the next generation. Beautiful to celebrate special moments and to create memories.


As a jewelry designer, we decided to use gold vermeil and gold plated in our collections. Visit our Piper & Pearl Jewelry shop to discover our latests designs and pick the right type of gold for you.