Metals. gold plated, vermeil, gold fill and gold - what is the difference between them?

We get many people asking about the differences between gold plating, vermeil, gold fill and solid gold.

Below is a bit of information about the various options and their properties.


As with all gold plating, vermeil, and gold fill, will over time rub and wear off however they are different durability wise. This is because they are gold which is plated or layers over a base metal.

We recommend gold plated jewellery is only worn as occasion rather than every day to retain the colour. It is often electroplated to a base metal and therefore the gold content is a thin coating (normally less than 0.05%) The base metal for gold plating can either be nickel, brass, stainless steel, sterling silver or copper.

Vermeil is more durable than gold plating but again it is advised items of this nature are only worn on occasion. It is often plated over sterling silver and there when tarnished or rubbed off will show a silver metal below.

Gold Fill is a much heavier coated metal type and therefore is the most durable of the three. With gold fill, the gold layer makes up 5% of the metal weight and therefore a much heavier layer over the base metal (normally jeweller's brass). With good care it can last a lifetime or longer as it is bonded differently to the base metal than vermeil and gold plate and therefore does not tarnish or chip off.


All products that are labelled as being 9kt, 10kt, 14kt, 18kt (sometimes listed as ct rather than kt) are just that, they are not a plated or layered gold and are made of the alloys which make up the various golds. Some chains are hollow gold rather than solid links, this makes the chain lighter and much more affordable. If you are unsure please let us know and we can clarify any queries you may have.


All our silver products are 925 sterling silver. 

Please refrain from wearing all these metals in the shower, while bathing or swimming. Also avoid having them come in contact with body lotions, perfumes, soaps or any other chemical substances and always wipe down with a jeweller's cloth or a dry lint free cloth after wearing to avoid acid from the skin affecting the metal.

We source all our metals, chains and settings and components from NZ, Australia, USA and Hong Kong.

For more information about caring for your jewellery please see tips for caring and cleaning your jewellery page.