Understanding Fancy Jeweler’s Lingo

Being a jewelry shopper, you will always come across different descriptions for the metals used in pieces. The more you delve in , the more you realize terms such as gold-plated, gold-filled and vermeil gold are different from each other. It is always good to know why.

Here’s a little break down for you to understand what you are purchasing:

Gold-plated : By far it is the cheapest manufacturing process for getting that yellow sheen on jewelry. A very thing layer of gold is electroplated on a base metal, either brass or copper which are inexpensive.
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Rubs off with time and tarnishes.

Gold-Filled: Similar to gold-plated where a layer of gold is applied to a base metal. It’s done mechanically which means it gets a thicker layer of gold and lasts longer.
Pros: Does not tarnish or rub off, can endure long periods of wear.
Cons: Cost more than gold-played

Vermeil Gold: Again this is a layer of gold, the difference is the base metal being sterling silver which takes that gold layer with arms open wide. Giving the final product an extremely shiny, and beautiful golden sheen.
Pros: Long lasting gold color
Cons: Pricy because of silver base, which may tarnish and darken the gold color.


Sterling Silver: Always try to go for this option. Silver can be polished to perfection whenever it dulls and we all know its great against supernatural monsters.
Pros: Solid and strong.
Cons: Pricy

Silver Plated: Like Gold-plating, a layer of silver is electroplated unto a base metal.
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Rubs off eventually, and some sellers may pass it for real silver.

Base Metals:

Brass: Brass is God in the jewelry industry because it can achieve that golden color we all seek, but at a much cheaper price.
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Tarnishes quickly, make sure you have a polishing cloth on hand.

Copper: It’s a deep brown color and we’ve been told its good for circulation
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Turns green when tarnishing, can turn your skin green too if not sealed properly.

Ok, I hope this little blog post has helped you all understand the jewelry you wear and buy. Knowledge always goes a long way.

About chibijewels

Chibi Jewels is a New York jewelry studio whose whimsical collection of handmade jewelry takes inspiration from the traditions, colors, patterns, and symbols of cultures from around the world. Each collection starts with travel, encounters, and collaborations between artisans and results in beautifully handcrafted jewelry, designed and constructed here in New York City. In Japanese, chibi means small, but it is a term of endearment used only between those that are close. Chibi Jewels aims to unite far away people and cultures and to bring their traditions together through their unique collection of modern jewelry.
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