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Accueil / Which Gold to choose ? The differences between Gold, Vermeil, Plated, etc.

Which Gold to choose ? The differences between Gold, Vermeil, Plated, etc.

You want to buy a nice piece of jewelry, but you don’t know which gold to choose so that it will be both bright and durable? We decode for you here the difference between the different metals used in jewelry.

The Gold


Resistant, shiny, non-oxidizable, it is the number one, it takes the first place of the podium, it gets the gold medal! But there are several categories of gold that we will look at together so that you can decide which gold is right for you.

The Vermeil

A strong and durable metal, vermeil is actually solid silver plated with gold. To be certified “vermeil”, the jewel must be composed of a solid silver base plated with at least 5 microns of 18-carat gold. However, some unscrupulous manufacturers may bend the law. They then offer a sub-5 plating, which hovers around 3 microns.

While knowing that a micron is in fact a thousandth of a millimeter, it is light.

The soaring price of gold (whose price has increased fivefold in ten years) has contributed to the resurgence of this metal, which has been used for a very long time, particularly by the Incas.

The advantage of vermeil, and one of the differences with plated, is its silver base. If the gold goes away, it is the silver that will come out, thus avoiding the copper effect.

Moreover, it should be noted that it does not give allergies since it is made of both gold and silver. These two metals have the common characteristic of being anti-allergic. This precious metal has its own V-shaped hallmark.

If you are interested in punches and want to learn more about them, you can read our article dedicated to them.

Gold plating

Gold Plate

This is the designation that is on the rise! It can be seen in many of today’s designers and jewelers.

The majority of non-experts will call “gold plated”: any metal covered with a layer of gold. Without taking into account its thickness or its purity. However, it turns out that the regulations are formal. To call a real piece of jewelry “gold plated”, a minimum thickness of 3 microns of gold must be applied to a common metal, commonly brass.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, which has the disadvantage of oxidizing naturally when exposed to air. This oxidation is a chemical reaction that will tarnish the metal and significantly modify the color of the jewel (the famous and regretted “rust” effect)

The advantage, however, is that it is necessarily much less expensive. It is therefore very suitable for costume jewelry. Perfect for a small gift or to treat yourself reasonably. But be aware that without special attention to daily life (not washing your hands or taking a shower with them, for example) their life span is unfortunately not unlimited.

Fine Gold Gilding

Gilding with fine gold

Obtained by the same process as gold plating, gold-plated jewelry is different from gold-plated jewelry by the layer of gold applied. Almost 10 times thinner (between 0.3 and 1 micron, often called “flash”). We are in the thousandth of thousandth of millimeter.

It is therefore the most alterable and delicate category. To maximize their longevity, again, you must wear these jewels sensibly, be meticulous and take great care of them.

Stainless Steel

stainless steel

It is an alloy of iron, chromium, nickel and carbon which, as its name indicates, has the property of being stainless.

Hypoallergenic and known to be resistant and durable over time, it is often used for piercings. Often silver in color, it can exist in gold but know that there is no gold. Zero. It will be a simple gold coloring of the metal, which will have the advantage of being less “fake” than some plated whose color is often flashy.

Now you know which gold or metal you want to choose for your jewelry!

Oh no, one more piece of information! In France, only jewelry with a minimum of 18 carats of gold can be qualified as “gold jewelry“.

This legislation, we impose it to ourselves at Noir Carat, insofar as all our jewels have a minimum of 18 carats. This selection criterion is very important to us. 18K gold will never lose its gold, it is resistant and ready to accompany you everywhere and forever.

Far from resenting plated jewelry, it is important to know what you want from a particular piece of jewelry and how you want it to age over time.

I hope you were able to learn and retain a few tidbits of information despite this pavement! Feel free to leave me comments if you have any remarks or questions. I will be happy to answer them.

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