So you’re sure you know what gold is?

Wikipedia defines it as - “A chemical element with the symbol Au(from the Latin word aurum) and the atomic number79. In its pure form, it is a bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal.” 🥱


But to most of us gold is sparkly, expensive and perhaps most importantly VERY on trend.

Given the fact that it’s very sought after but as previously mentioned VERY expensive (on writing this I’m looking at £66 for a gram of 18 carat gold 😅) most of us tend to look for an alternative that can give us the same look and feel as solid gold but at a price we can justify to ourselves and our disposable income.


Enter gold plating 🚶✨

We’ve all heard of gold plating and it’s generally got a poor rep. Those pieces of jewellery you adorned yourself with in your teenage years (ahem Topshop and Primark to name a few - every teenage girls favourite Saturday haunt 👀 )


stacking rings, catherine ring, silver catherine ring

But is gold plating really that poor in 2024?

Firstly, there is SUCH a variety of plating methods and materials.

So let’s start with your teenage dream of fingers stacked high with bewejelled rings and chunky necklaces just waiting their turn to to adorn your fingers and neck a spectacular greeny/black colour 🥴 this type of plating is known as flash plating. One wear (or two if you’re lucky) and the plating has already started to wear away exposing the base metal underneath. Generally the cheapest of metals with a mere glimpse of gold on top. We’re talking about 0.25 microns - we’ll get into microns very soon…


So gold plating can be done on any metal and at any thickness. It really varies and does not mean that a gold plated necklace being sold for £400 is equivalent to a £20 ASOS number. There are a few things to consider, namely the manufacturing process (has it been handmade or mass produced?), the base metal (is is made from brass, copper, stainless steel, silver?), are the materials recycled or bought cheap as chips wholesale? How thick is the gold plating (microns) and how many carats of gold (9k, 14k, 18k 24k)?



So, microns…what are they?

Microns are the measurement of how thick the plating is on a piece of your jewellery. As mentioned, flash plating could be a little as 0.25 microns and will wear super quickly. For gold plating there are no rules on the base metal used or on how thick the microns are.


Enter gold vermeil jewellery 🙌🏼

For a piece of jewellery to be classed as gold vermeil it must be made from solid sterling silver and be coated in at least 2.5 microns of solid gold.

Therefore if a piece of jewellery is being sold as gold vermeil you have the assurance that the underlying metal is of great quality (solid sterling silver is highly unlikely to cause any skin irritations and is even classed by some as a hypoallergenic) and that the gold coating is at least 2.5 microns thick. Now that’s not to say that a piece of jewellery being sold as gold plated isn’t of exactly as the same quality as gold vermeil but you would need to do some digging on your behalf to find out. Although, it is unlikely that if they could state it was gold vermeil then they wouldn’t.


molten mixed metal necklace, molten necklace, molten silver pendant, molten gold pendant

There is also the term ‘gold filled’ just to add confusion 😅

Gold filled jewellery is generally made from a base metal such as brass and then coated in gold using heat and pressure to ensure that the gold remains in place for as long as possible. There are some benefits to gold filled jewellery…

Gold filled pieces can keep their gold coating for longer due to the bonding process. They are bound by law to be at least 5% gold in weight to assure quality. For this reason, at EJD I use gold filled chains for the gold vermeil necklace pendants.

Every piece of gold jewellery at EJD (aside from chains for the gold Earth TBar, Luna, Initial, Gabriella, Mini Gabriella and Sheila) are gold vermeil.

Every piece of EJD gold vermeil jewellery is made from a sterling silver base (I only use recycled silver unless otherwise stated in the piece description) and it has a higher than minimum micron coating of at least 3 microns of recycled 18 carat gold. EJD necklaces and earrings start at 3 microns depending on wearability, bangles and bracelets at 4 and rings at 8 microns. That’s 5.5 microns higher than most other gold vermeil rings 🤯


Then just to add to the confusion…

There has been a huge increase in non tarnishing/lifetime guarantee gold jewellery over the past few years. If all of the above is true, HOW do these jewellers promise lifetime wearability without it being solid gold?

Well that’s a whole other story for next time 😂

Ellie x


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