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Gold accessories are gorgeous, but they are expensive, especially given the increase in gold prices in the past few decades. The increase has left several people to find a cost-effective alternative to gold vermeil. However, is this material as sturdy as gold, or does gold vermeil tarnish?
Buying gold jewelry is not just about attractiveness. The metal is very sturdy and does not get blemished even after several years. Hence, there is no need to spend time and effort on its maintenance, making it convenient.
People buying gold vermeil know that the material wouldn’t be the same, but it is best to know specific details. This blog will help you understand how the material works and the likelihood of tarnishing.
To see the most popular gold vermeil jewelry just click here.
What is Gold Vermeil?
Gold vermeil is used to describe jewelry that uses a Sterling Silver base with a layer of gold electroplated on top. However, not every piece of silver topped with gold falls in that category. The material needs to fulfill strict requirements to be considered authentic gold vermeil.
- The base needs to be premium sterling 92.5% silver or fine 99.9% silver. It also needs to have consistent composition.
- The purity of the gold electroplated on top needs to be more than or equal to 10 karats.
- The gold layer needs to be at least 0.0025mm thick.
So long as a piece of jewelry follows these conditions, it is considered gold vermeil. When the conditions are not met, the item is gold plated or gold filled.
Does Gold Vermeil Tarnish?
Unfortunately, gold vermeil is not as sturdy as pure gold and tarnishes easily. A primary reason is the gold’s purity. The 10 karats pure gold used to create gold vermeil is softer than other forms, and the thin layer quickly receives damage.
Hence, your gold vermeil jewelry is more vulnerable than gold jewelry and at a higher risk of damage. However, it is still better than getting this jewelry than standard gold plated jewelry because that is even more like to become damaged.
Your best option is to buy gold vermeil jewelry and keep it protected to reduce the risk of tarnishing.
Is there a Way to Prevent Gold Vermeil from Tarnishing?
The good news is that there are several ways to keep your jewelry from getting damaged due to wear and tear. Following are the tops ways to make it last as long as possible:
1. Keep it Dry
Metals are not waterproof, especially silver, which can quickly oxidize. Please do not wear the jewelry in the shower and try to take it off before washing your hands. The more it comes into contact with water, the higher the chances of damage, especially if the plating has worn off from a few places.
Typically, a thicker gold coat can prevent the damage from appearing on the surface for some time, but it is much better to be careful.
2. Store in a Fabric Pouch when Not Wearing
A good maintenance technique avoids all forms of intense friction and protects the item. When you aren’t wearing your gold vermeil jewelry, please place it in a small cloth pouch and secure it before placing it inside a drawer or shelf.
The soft fabric protects the jewelry from external moisture and other pollutants. Its surface is also soft, preventing the jewelry’s gold plating from receiving any damage from rubbing against it.
3. Don’t apply Perfume While Wearing it.
The ingredients in perfumes and deodorants are harsh and can corrode the gold plating on your accessories. Therefore, always apply them before wearing the jewelry to avoid the item coming into contact with the ingredients.
Your accessories receive some wear and tear every time you wear them due to body oils and cosmetics. Hence, keeping them away from perfumes is a good preservation technique.
4. Keep it Clean
Keeping your jewelry clean is the best way to avoid damaging it. However, it would be best to be careful with the cleaning process. Avoid scrubbing your items with a toothbrush or potent cleaning agents. They will scrape away the gold plating on top, corrode it, or cause discoloration.
Always clean using a soft fabric, and try wearing rubber gloves to keep the gold protected. Once finished with the cleaning, use fabric or soft tissue to pat it dry completely and store it in your pouch.
5. Don’t Expose it to Heat.
Exposing your jewelry to heat will cause the metal to deteriorate and become discolored. Depending on the heat level, the item can also become disfigured, removing its aesthetic appeal and value. Additionally, you must also avoid applying force or putting weight on it, especially if the item is delicate.
The metal will become misshapen under such conditions, so it is best to avoid it.
Why Does Gold Vermeil Turn Green
You may have noticed a green mark on your skin around where your gold vermeil jewelry rests. This mark results from the oxidization of the sterling silver used as the base for the accessory. The mark indicates the process, and there is no reason to question the item’s worth when it happens.
However, it is concerning if your skin starts itching around the area because that means you are allergic to the metal type. So, keep an eye on how things work for you.
Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry Worth It?
Yes! Gold vermeil jewelry is worth it, especially when you buy it from brands with modern designs. It is chic, versatile, and quickly goes with formal and casual-wear alike. It requires more maintenance than pure gold jewelry, but it is often light and affordable.
Therefore, I would recommend that you ditch the gold and get yourself beautiful gold vermeil accessories for styling needs.
In a nutshell, the answer to ‘does gold vermeil tarnish’ is yes. Gold vermeil does become tarnished, but you can elongate its life by taking good care of the jewelry. Some jewelers also offer re-plating and repair services for a reasonable cost, so you can consider that option once the damage becomes extensive.