What is "Vermeil" ?

You will often see on the description of sterling silver items, the word "vermeil". But what is "vermeil" ? Vermeil is a French word standing for sterling silver covered by a layer of gold (18K or 22K). Compared to its preciousness, vermeil is between sterling silver and gold. The use of vermeil is a mark of quality. 

The hallmark for the vermeil is the same as the sterling silver hallmarks

Gold Sterling Silver Chalice Communion Medal Necklace Rococo

What is the difference between gold-plated, gold-filled and vermeil ? 

Gold-plated : a thin layer of gold on a base metal like brass or copper.

Gold-filled: a thick layer of gold coating a base metal as brass or copper. The French labels as Oria or Fix used gold-filled. 

Vermeil: a layer of gold coating over sterling silver

St Joan of Arc Gold-filled brooch
Fix Gold-filled st Joan of Arc Brooch


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