Difference between Gold Plated, Gold Vermeil, Gold Filled & Solid Gold

Buying gold jewelry for loved ones or yourself can be overwhelming but proper information about the kind of jewelry available can help you in making your decision. Here is our guide, with all types well explained. 

Gold Plated

Gold plated jewelry has usually nickel, brass or copper as base and is coated with a very thin layer of gold. It has less than 1 percent of gold.



Due to very low quantity of gold used, gold plated jewelry is affordable as compared to the others but can lose its colour and tarnished easily.

However, to mimic the expensive designs at a budget-friendly cost, gold platting is ideal.

The price of gold-plated pieces also depends on the purity of gold used for plating. A piece plated with 24K will be expensive than the one coated with 10K.

Gold Vermeil

Vermeil gold features gold, layered on sterling silver which is used as the base. The gold used to coat the base can be 14K, 18K or of higher purity. There are three main characteristics of vermeil gold:

  • The base of metal is sterling silver.
  • The gold used is of minimum 10K.
  • The thickness of gold layer is 2.5 microns minimum.


 The prices of vermeil gold pieces are higher than gold plated but the life of this jewelry is also longer if taken proper care.

 Gold Filled

 Like gold plated, gold filled has also a layer of gold with alloys such as nickel or cooper as base but the difference lies in the thickness of gold layer. Gold filled jewelry has higher quantity of gold which makes it slightly expensive as gold plated. If taken good care, gold filled pieces last longer and would not tarnish.


Solid Gold

Solid gold, as the name indicates is the most valuable and pure form of gold. It is also mixed with other alloys but the percentage of gold is highest. 24K is the gold with highest purity but is too soft for the process of jewelry making. So, to maintain its shape, it has to be mixed with alloys. For the jewelry, 22K with 91.7% gold, 21K with 87.5% gold and 18K with 75% gold are the winners.

Highest content of gold makes solid gold also the most expensive but at the same time they stay for a lifetime and even can be passed down the generations.