21 October 2021
Brands offering vermeil, gold-plating and gold-plated brass are flying high. This is due to their popularity with customers who are sensitive both to price (they’re less expensive than gold) and to all things ultra-creative. However, it’s important to be aware of the difference between the three. Used since ancient times, vermeil is silver covered with a layer of gold of at least 5 microns. It comes with a mandatory hallmark, a V (for vermeil) next to a diamond and an oval – hallmarks of the manufacturer and importer. Gold plating is brass coated with a layer of gold of between 3 and 5 microns or Pomponne, a copper and gold lining. It bears no particular hallmark, but some manufacturers include their logo along with the number of gold carats. Finally, gold-plated brass is an alloy, a mixture of copper and zinc, covered with a layer of gold of less than 1 micron. Of course, vermeil remains the most expensive of these metals because it is tied to the price of silver, but over time, thanks to silver’s adhesion, the gold is slower to disappear.
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