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  • 5 min read

Wearing jewelry is one of the best ways to take an ordinary outfit and turn it into something amazing. And when you get a new piece, you probably want to wear it everywhere you go.

The only issue is that sometimes when you wear a piece of jewelry often, you can leave it more susceptible to being tarnished and getting ruined. This is a major reason why so many people spend extra money on solid gold or pure diamonds to extend the life of their materials.

But you might not need to drop so much money to get high-quality materials. Gold vermeil is a great way to get the feel and look of real gold at a more accessible price. Here’s what you need to know about gold vermeil tarnishing, as well as what you can do to extend its life.

What Is Gold Vermeil?

Solid gold jewelry is sought after by most jewelry aficionados and celebrities. And while there’s not much better than a piece of solid gold around your neck or around your wrist, solid gold can run you a pretty high price tag. 

Gold vermeil is the next best thing. With vermeil, your piece will be made with a base metal of sterling silver, which is even more durable than gold. This sterling silver is then covered with a layer of solid gold to give it that classic appearance.

Most large objects made in goldsmithing are not actually made with 100% gold. For instance, a trophy is most likely made with sterling silver (which is cheaper than gold) and then covered in a gold layer to give it that prized appearance.

Vermeil is extremely durable and high quality. It is similar to gold plating, with the major difference being that gold plating involves more inexpensive, less durable metals like nickel, stainless steel, and more.

If you’re looking for a piece of jewelry built to last but is a bit more accessible to your budget, going with gold vermeil is a smart choice.

Does Gold Vermeil Tarnish?

Gold vermeil is incredibly resistant. In fact, it’s the most resistant jewelry outside of solid gold and diamond. Typically, your usual wear and tear doesn’t really affect vermeil pieces in the same way as plated pieces.

Of course, if you wear your pieces often, or if you don’t take care of them, it’s entirely possible that the outer golden layer might wear away, revealing the sterling silver piece underneath.

Even if that does happen, you can get vermeil reinstated for a lower price than the original piece itself. If you don’t decide to get the vermeil replaced, your piece will still hold up well, thanks to the high-quality sterling silver underneath.

How To Protect Your Vermeil Jewelry

Even though vermeil is pretty resistant to tarnish, there’s no reason not to take the necessary steps to protect it. Here are some simple ways to defend your vermeil, and any other piece, from normal wear and tear.

Keep It Dry

Water might be necessary for us to stay alive, but it’s a piece of jewelry’s worst enemy. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when a metal reacts with water and oxygen. While gold doesn’t necessarily react with oxygen and water to create rust, the sterling silver underneath can.

So, it’s never a good idea to wear your pieces in the pool or ocean, especially since other chemicals in these places can wear away metals even more. If you do happen to get caught in the rain with your vermeil chain around your neck, just be sure to pat it dry with a fiber cloth once you get back inside.

Bear in mind that humidity in your home can also easily contribute to rust on your pieces. Your home should be at a relative humidity of around 30% and 50%. If it’s anything above this, you might want to consider a dehumidifier.

Keep It Away From Other Pieces

Gold is a durable metal, but it is also relatively soft. This means that other hard metals can easily scratch and ruin its appearance. Believe it or not, a lot of this damage can come from your gold jewelry rubbing against other pieces of your jewelry.

The Mohs Hardness scale can give you a lot of insight into what materials might cause some damage to your vermeil. Pure gold is a 2.5 on the scale, meaning that steel, diamond, and topaz can all damage it if you rub them against each other.

A bright way to protect your gold is by getting a jewelry box. These allow you to keep your pieces away from one another while also protecting them from the elements like dust or humidity.

You can also wrap your gold pieces in a fiber cloth before storing them to keep them padded and protected from getting nicked, dinged, and scratched up.

Take a Break

Believe it or not, your own body might be the main culprit in why your jewelry is starting to lose some of its luster. This is because your body’s natural oils can wear away at the outer gold plating of your chains, bracelets, blinged-out watches, and rings.

While you might want to wear your jewelry every single day, it’s always good to give it a rest. Too much exposure to the oils and grease on your skin can affect the way your piece looks in the long haul.

Clean Regularly

If you want your vermeil jewelry to last you a lifetime, spend just a few minutes every now and then giving it a nice clean — the way you do this is essential. But first, remember to clean your vermeil or gold jewelry regularly with a jewelry cleaning cloth to keep their shine forever. 

Soaking your pieces is vital instead of scrubbing. Scrubbing can be abrasive on the materials that make your piece look so amazing, to begin with. Experts recommend that you soak your piece for at least three hours and then scrub off solid debris with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Soaking in water is usually enough, but if you want, a mild dish soap is acceptable for most pieces.

Just be sure to dry your piece well after cleaning to avoid it getting rusty from all the oxidation. 

In Conclusion

Gold vermeil is one of the most stunning and durable materials you can ever get a piece of jewelry made out of. It uses a strong base metal of sterling silver, and it’s then covered with a generous layer of gold to give it that iconic appearance.

While vermeil is generally resistant to tarnishing, you can always take steps to keep it looking brand new. This involves keeping it dry, storing it in a safe location away from other materials, and trying not to wear it too often to prevent body oils from wearing away the outer golden layer.

But you should always be able to have confidence in the quality of your product. That’s why 6 Ice offers a lifetime guarantee. So if your piece breaks from normal wear and tear, we’ll work with you to make things right.

Get high-quality jewelry you can feel confident in. Take a look at our full collection of vermeil jewelry today.


About Gold Jewellery |

Mohs Hardness Scale | U.S. National Park Service

Humidity and Sleep: Optimize Your Sleep Environment | Sleep Foundation