Ember & Ivy jewelry is true gold vermeil made in Italy with a sterling silver core and plated in a thick layer of 14 karat gold measuring 3.0 microns. This is 5-7 times thicker and longer-lasting than regular gold-plated jewelry, and 15 times thicker than flash-plated jewelry.
We believe that long-lasting, high-quality jewelry should be accessible and do not impart the high markups that most jewelry companies do. Our gold vermeil pieces are comparably priced to most other brands’ lower-quality gold-plated jewelry.
Gold Vermeil Jewelry
- Gold vermeil is a premium-quality thick gold plating that is long-lasting yet more affordable than solid gold.
- To be called “vermeil” jewelry must have a 925 sterling silver base metal plated with a 10 karat or higher gold layer that is at least 2.5 microns thick.
- At Ember & Ivy, we plate our jewelry in 3 microns of 14 karat gold to give our pieces even more durability, longevity and shine. All of our gold vermeil jewelry is made in Italy.
Other types of gold jewelry on the market
- Fast fashion and costume jewelry are generally flash-plated.
- Flash-plating is an extremely thin layer of gold (<0.175 microns) that is applied through electroplating. The base material is usually a cheap material like brass or nickel.
- The layer of gold will wear away quickly, leaving the piece looking dirty or tarnished after only a few wears.
- Flash-plating often uses nickel as its base, so when the gold layer wears off you may experience itching or redness.
- Gold-plated jewelry has a gold layer that measures at least 0.5 microns and the base metal is typically a less expensive brass, nickel or rhodium.
- The thicker the gold layer, the longer it maintains its finish. A .5-2 micron gold-plated piece can tarnish and wear within several months.
- Gold-filled jewelry is covered with a sheet of gold that is mechanically bonded to the outside of a core material (typically a lower quality base metal such as copper or brass). Whereas gold plating is measured in thickness, gold-filled jewelry is measured in weight; the gold layer must contribute at least 5% to the item’s total weight.
- This technique is far more time-intensive and expensive to produce while yielding a comparable product to gold-plating and, accordingly, is not often used by modern manufacturers.
Solid Gold Jewelry
- Solid gold jewelry, as the name implies, is made with pure gold. The karatage (represented with a "k") will tell you the proportion of gold to other metals; other metals are mixed in to make the piece harder and more durable.
- 24k gold is pure gold but it’s too soft and susceptible to scratches so it's not practical for everyday use. We chose 14k gold for our jewelry due to its durability and gorgeous color tone.
- Solid gold jewelry is the most expensive gold jewelry you can buy and can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
if you're looking to buy jewelry that you can wear and enjoy for years, you should look for gold vermeil or solid gold. It may be tempting to buy flash-plated or gold-plated jewelry because it's cheaper, but it won't last long.