There are many ways that gold jewellery is made; dipped, plated, filled, or solid. EROTIKK makes sure that every piece of jewellery we make is high quality and has longevity for years. We take pride in only using precious metals. So the differences between plated, filled vermeil, and solid gold are explained for all those curious, below.
In order to gold plate something, the item is dipped into a solution that contains gold or a gold-coloured alloy, then shocked with an electric current which places a thin layer of gold to the outside of the base metal. Gold-Plated usually means that the gold content is less than 1%. The base metal is usually brass, copper or nickel and then dipped in a quick gold-bath. The US Federal Trade Commission quantifies gold plated items starting at .5 microns and labels “heavy gold plated” items once they are 2.5 micron plated. If a piece is coated less than .5 microns it is “gold electroplate” if it is less than .175 microns, it is "gold flashed" or "gold washed".
While plated pieces look like gold at first, that layer is often quick to fade when washed, rinsed, or rubbed too hard, leaving behind discoloured skin and dirty looking jewelry. Most fast fashion jewelry is gold-plated, which allows the cost to be as low as possible.
Gold-filled jewellery is similar to gold plating. The difference is in how the gold is applied. Gold filled jewellery is when gold is melted onto a base metal, still through a mechanical process. Legally, gold filled jewellery is required to have at least 5% gold, by weight. This means that the gold coating is thicker than .5 micron gold plating. Gold filled jewellery is stamped with a karat number. Gold-filled jewellery will last for quite some time, but will eventually tarnish with time.
Gold Vermeil Plating
Gold Vermeil is a specific type of gold plating. Vermeil plating is regulated. Legally, vermeil has to have gold thickness of at least 2.5 microns of gold coated over a 925 sterling silver base. Atop of that, the gold plated layer must be between 10k and 24k. The karat of gold is what determines the colour of gold; 10k is a lighter subtle gold, whereas 24k vermeil gold plating has an intense deep yellow gold colour.
On top of being a thicker layer of gold, vermeil plating is hypoallergenic which is why it is seen in stores that sell fine jewellery. With that said, vermeil plated jewellery will wear off after scuffs, scratches etc. It just takes significantly longer than other gold plated jewellery. With Vermeil, you know that after the time it takes for the gold to wear off, there will be another precious metal (925 sterling silver) underneath, which can be comforting for people with sensitive skin.
Gold in its purest form, is 24k and soft. It is orange in color, scratches easily and is terrible to work with because it is so weak. Because of the lack of strength in 24k gold, alloys are added to it to create a structurally sound metal that is referred to as “solid gold.” All of EROTIKK solid gold pieces are made using 14k solid gold, meaning 14 parts of pure gold and 10 part other alloys. Our use of solid gold makes sure that our pieces will not tarnish over time, not even with washing, surfing and everyday wear.We truly value precious metals and quality materials at EROTIKK. If you have any questions about the materials that we use and why, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org