by Rena Klingenberg.
What is vermeil – and how the heck do you pronounce it?
Vermeil (pronounced vehr-MAY) is a jewelry metal, created by plating a gold surface onto a core of sterling silver.
The gold must be at least 10k, and in a layer of 1.5 micrometers or greater.
The gold and silver are bonded together by electrolysis.
As an electric current is passed through the metals, gold ions are deposited on the silver.
Vermeil’s surface color comes in a bright yellow, an antiqued yellow, or a rose gold.
As with other plated jewelry making metals, be careful not to scratch or gouge the surface.
Store vermeil items in individual zip-close bags to protect them from surface damage.
Jewelry artists can find vermeil in the form of wire, beads, findings, connectors, clasps, charms and dangles, chain, bells, tiny containers, earrings, jump rings, bead caps and more.