Vermeil is 925 sterling silver that has been gold-plated. It is also known as silver gilt. In fact, vermeil is the French term for silver-gilded.

Three factors determine whether something is vermeil. They have the purity and thickness of the gold and the type of base metal. Vermeil jewelry has a sterling silver base, and the gold coating must be at least 10K and a minimum of 2.5 microns thick.

In the U.S. sterling silver is covered with a base metal, like nickel, and then plated with gold cannot be sold as vermeil.

Electrolysis bonds the gold and silver together. As an electric current is passed through the metals, gold ions are deposited on the silver.

Vermeil Beads

The Popularity of Vermeil

During the Victorian era, vermeil had many applications including jewelry, vases, and silverware. Modern gold vermeil looks very similar to gold-plated or solid gold jewelry, and it is difficult to tell the difference without testing the metal.

Those who suffer from metal allergies choose gold vermeil jewelry because of the thickness of the gold and the sterling silver base, which is a pure metal and does not contain nickel.

Using vermeil beads lets you make affordable designer jewelry and is considered an insider’s secret, with many high-end jewelry designers embracing the trend. Vermeil jewelry offers the beauty and quality of designer pieces at incredible prices. Many fashion-savvy women use gold vermeil jewelry to build their personal collections because it is fashionable, durable, and less expensive than gold.

The White House has a Vermeil Room, completely dedicated to an extensive and unique collection of vermeil items bequeathed by Mrs. Margaret Thompson Biddle in 1956. The collection includes creations from 1810 by English silversmith Paul Storr, as well as some pieces by French silversmith Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot. The room is also called the Gold Room and is used as a ladies sitting room for formal occasions.

Vermeil Jewelry

fashionable beads on mannequin

Vermeil can last for many years. It is an excellent choice if you want a durable piece of gold jewelry, but you can’t afford solid gold or gold-filled pieces.

If you are looking for the perfect beads to use in your next beading project, consider adding a touch of gold without the price tag of solid gold beads. Vermeil beads are an affordable design alternative when making your own jewelry pieces. They always look impressive, whether they are teamed with precious gemstones or used by themselves.

Try these tips for incorporating vermeil beads into your jewelry:

  • Mix the beads with other metals to give them strength and durability.
  • Use a thicker and stronger cord to balance a bead with a larger hole, especially if it is an antique. Antique beads usually have larger holes.
  • Beads such as daisy beads work well with any color palette and are the perfect accent for your jewelry creations.
  • Match your vermeil spacer beads to your findings so the gold hue is similar.
  • Select smaller, plainer vermeil beads if you want your other beads or gemstones to stand out. The gold beads will play up their natural beauty.
  • Faceted vermeil beads in medium to large sizes can really make an impression, so consider them as focal beads.
  • Use vermeil spacer beads to customize or lengthen a creation.
  • Reduce the weight of a piece by adding more vermeil beads and fewer heavier beads such as glass.
  • Vary the shapes and sizes of the beads for a younger, less-traditional look.
  • Rose gold vermeil beads and toggles are the perfect way to update a classic accessory in a chic, and trendy style.
  • Vermeil won’t wilt away when used with bold, dark colors, so use the beads to complement darker ones.


You can use gold vermeil beads to produce beautiful, golden jewelry with the durability to last, for a fraction of the cost of real gold. They have the advantage of always being in style.

The range of shapes, finishes, and sizes available allow designers to use gold vermeil beads to make jewelry to suit all ages and tastes. For an easy project and some inspiration, try this simple tutorial.

Care of Vermeil Beads

Gold vermeil beads require special care and should be put on and removed gently. Always remove them before applying lotion, perfume, or bathing. Store vermeil jewelry in an airtight container when not in use to prevent scratching. Keep your jewelry away from extreme heat or moisture.

Never use a polishing cloth to clean vermeil beads because it can damage the finish. Instead, buff gently with a soft, dry microfiber cloth. The beads will tarnish with age, adding character to your piece and making it as individual as the wearer.