Our Fabulous Metals!
Sterling silver is a metal alloy (blend) containing at least 92.5% silver. A beautiful and solid precious metal that lasts a lifetime. It oxidizes when in contact with Sulphur particles in the air and water. Wearing it often will help prevent tarnishing!
Gold plated jewelry is when a very thin layer of gold - 0.05% actual gold or less is bonded to a base metal (usually brass or copper). The thin layer of gold is plated onto the base metal to create gold plated jewelry.
Gold plating is very thin and the gold can rub off easily over time. It is also more prone to tarnishing when exposed to any kinds of liquids, creams, perfumes or chemicals. Although gold itself does not corrode, copper and brass will, especially when exposed to liquids (in the air, sweat, lotion, perfume, etc). Gold plated jewelry is cheaper than the other types of gold jewelry because it uses a small amount of gold on top of a base metal. Gold plated jewelry is a good option if you need jewelry for just an occasion, or for trying out new trends.
Gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a thick gold plating on top of sterling silver. CAD standards require there to be at least 1.0- 2.5 microns of gold plated on top of sterling silver. It is hypoallergenic, so most people with metal allergies can wear it safely. Since the gold plating in vermeil is much thicker than gold plated jewelry, the gold lasts much longer. Over years, with lots of excessive use, the gold may wear off in areas with a lot of contact.
Note: We sometimes mix and match pendants and chains. A few of our necklaces have gold vermeil charms on gold filled chains or vice versa. Gold vermeil jewelry is a great choice for those who want something to wear daily while still being affordable.
Gold filled is a solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to a base, usually jeweler’s brass. US standards require the gold layer to consist of 1/20th (or 5%) of the jewelry’s total weight. Gold filled jewelry has almost 100x more gold than gold plated jewelry. Since the gold is mechanically bonded to the base rather than plated, its more durable and will not rub off as easily. It has the same qualities as solid gold jewelry at a fraction of the cost. Gold filled jewelry is a great option for people who are allergic to metals, as the material will not cause an allergic reaction on most people. Gold filled jewelry is perfect for everyday wear because it can handle the wear and tear of daily life, and it's very affordable. With proper care, gold filled jewelry can last for years or even a lifetime!
Note: We sometimes mix and match pendants and chains. A few of our necklaces have gold vermeil charms on gold filled chains or vice versa. Like Gold vermeil jewelry, Gold Filled is a great choice for those who want something to wear daily while still being affordable.
Solid gold jewelry is where the whole jewelry piece is made entirely of gold (no base metal). There are many different karats of gold, which determines the amount of gold vs alloy. Pure gold (24k) is too soft and malleable to wear in jewelry, so the gold must be alloyed with other metals to give it strength and durability. 14k solid gold means 14 parts gold (58.3%) and 10 parts alloys (41.7%), while 18k solid gold means 18 parts gold (75%) and 6 parts alloys (25%). The lower the karat, the less expensive it is because it is using less gold.
Solid gold is the best quality of gold there is - it’s great to wear everyday, won't fade, and is hypoallergenic. However, since the whole piece of jewelry is made of gold, it is very expensive. Many solid gold retailers of jewelry also have high markups, so one simple necklace can be hundreds of dollars.
At Elisa Maree we love our gold filled and gold vermeil because they're both affordable and high quality enough for everyday wear. If you have any questions feel free to reach out and contact us!