Frequently Asked Questions
Demi fine jewelry is what is categorized as gold vermeil, gold filled and silver filled. It is a base metal that is then bonded with the precious metal.
- Gold filled jewelry has a solid layer of gold that has been pressure bonded onto a base of quality jeweler's brass. Gold filled is legally required (in the USA and Canada) to be at least 5% gold (1/20 of the total weight), which is significantly more (easily 100x more) than gold plated items.
- Gold filled is durable and will never rub or flake off. Under normal and extensive use, gold-filled will not tarnish. Under extreme conditions and when exposed to significant chemicals, like sulphur, gold-filled has been known to tarnish. It has a thick layer of solid 14k gold that offers a wonderful, quality piece without paying the solid 14k gold price.
- Gold Vermeil jewelry is a demi-fine jewelry piece. The base is always silver, either pure or sterling silver and then a thick layer of gold is applied on top via plating. To meet US standards, the gold overlain on top of the silver must be at least 2.5 microns thick, and at least 10k or higher. Vermeil pieces can last years if taken care of properly.
Gold Filled jewelry has real gold as a component. It is a base metal with a very thick layer of gold, usually 12k or 14k gold, heat bonded on top of it.
- Gold filled: These pieces will not tarnish under normal circumstances, including long-term every day wear and water exposure. There have been, however, instances of gold filled jewelry tarnishing when exposed to Sulphur dioxide, but this is an extremely rare and specific circumstance.
- Please note that if you have a piece that contains components of gold-filled and gold-plated/gold-vermeil, you should not expose this piece to water, sweat, perfumes, etc. Treat this piece with the care that the lesser quality component requires.
- Gold Vermeil: As the base of gold-vermeil jewelry is silver, it is possible that vermeil jewelry will tarnish over time and as some of the gold layering wears away. However, as with silver jewelry, the tarnish can easily be removed.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of suppliers marketing their gold-plated items as gold-filled. This is possibly due to weaker gold-filled regulations in other countries. This may mean that the pieces are not gold-filled according to US Regulations. Some newer businesses are not aware of this difference and therefore also market their plated pieces as gold filled. It's important to note that gold-filled items are, by nature, limited in designs as this material cannot be cast and shaped into any form.
There are limitations on the designs that can be created with gold-filled items, as this material cannot be cast and shaped into any form. Gold filled materials are often simple (such as chains, wires, findings) and used in conjunction with other materials (gemstones, for examples) and techniques to create elaborate pieces.
Yes, we only use genuine gemstones, including pearls, in our designs, unless otherwise noted in the product description online.
I try to source the majority of my supplies from local reputable vendors. When that is not possible, I have also sourced from vendors in the United States, UK, South Korea, India and China, depending on the required supply.