A few months ago, we introduced Merchants Gold - a turning point for us as a brand in terms of aesthetics and design. All in all, we still want to remain true to our motto - Make Few, Design Well.

So we thought we'd take this time to explain our process with the Gold, what it's made of, how it's created, and more specifically, the difference between Gold Plated and Gold Vermeil. 

When we started planning for the Gold, we took our time. This was not a project that could be rushed. Gold can be a fickle little thing - Too expensive, too soft, too hard, sometimes discoloured, so we made it our mission to find the perfect product. It didn't matter how long it took. We were willing to wait, and we did. Eight months to be exact!

Merchants Gold had to be durable, had to last, had to be affordable and had to be a product that we could proudly say was still consciously created. 

Therefore after much product testing, we decided Gold Vermeil layered over our signature 925 recycled sterling silver was the best option.

A common misconception is that Gold Plated and Gold Vermeil are the same.

Let's break it down!

Is Plated Gold, Real Gold?

Gold plated jewellery is made of real Gold mixed with a different base metal. So although it's not solid Gold, the plating itself consists of real Gold. 

For a piece to be labelled 'gold plated', the layer of Gold must be equal to or greater than 0.5 microns.

Ok. SO What The Hell Does Gold Plated Mean?

You've heard it before; you'll listen to it again. Gold plating is done by putting the economical metal in a chemical solution comprising Gold and applying an electric current to the piece. The electrical current attracts the Gold to the base metal, where it reacts, leaving a thin gold coating.

RIGHT. So what's the difference between Gold Vermeil and Gold Plated?

One of the main differences between Gold Plated and Gold Vermeil is that Gold Vermeil is more sustainable as it has to be on sterling silver which was a no brainer for us as we only use recycled 925 silver. (Check out our blog on 4 Reason to Choose Recycled Silver)

Another difference is, as Gold plated has a minimum thickness of 0.5 microns, Gold Vermeil has a minimum thickness of 2.5. Our product is 3.5 microns. The thickest you can get. 

Because of the above, Gold Vermeil is a lot more durable and also more affordable! 

So if you've got yourself some Merchants Gold or are thinking about it, know that we provide higher quality but still affordable pieces that will endure frequent wear for years to come. 

We've put together a simple table to compare all factors between Gold Plated & Gold Vermeil.