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sterling silver ear hookVermeil ringWhat is gold-filled,
What is vermeil ?

On this page we will try to clear up just what all these terms mean, and more importantly, when to use them in your jewellery making.

What are the differences between gold-plated, vermeil, and gold-filled?
What does the karat measure? How much silver is in sterling silver?

Sterling Silver is a mixture of pure silver and some other metal, usually copper. The resulting alloy gives the silver strength. The standard is at least 92.5% silver. Hence the .925 stamp you see on some sterling silver items

See all our sterling silver items

Vermeil (Pronounced: Vermay) is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Most of our vermeil is plated with 24K gold. This is a good combination for those with allergy to normal, plated findings. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled, is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver. The standard is for the gold plating to be much thicker than ordinary plating

See all our Vermeil items

Gold-filled also called rolled-gold. These jewellery findings are not actually filled with gold! They are made of a base metal (usually brass or copper) covered by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process. Effectively a thick coat of gold: the gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total weight. Use gold-filled items for your top-of-the-line jewellery. Usually made with 14k gold, it is hard wearing. With reasonable care it will not peel or flake, and should last as long as solid 14k gold jewellery. It is safe for most people with sensitive skin

See all our Gold-filled items

Gold jewellery reacts with chlorine. Never take your gold jewellery into a pool or spa.

Gold-plated A base metal such as steel or brass is dipped into a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When an electric current is applied, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the metal. Since the plating is quite thin, the plate (and hence the colour) on findings can wear off.

Gold Purity - Karats

The karat is a very old measure of how much gold is in an alloy, or gold-blend. A measure of 1 Karat is where there is 1 part of pure gold and 23 parts of metal alloy - or 4% gold. So 24K is 100% pure gold.

9K is 37% - 14K is 58% - 18K is 75%

Carat is not the same as Karat. Carat is a jewellers' weight measurement, initially used to describe diamonds. One Carrat is 200 milligrams ie one fifth of a gram. Jewellers also have a point system where one carat is 100 points. The size of a stone is not necessarily measured by carats. Different types of stones have different density, hence a 1 carat diamond is a different size to a 1 carat ruby.

Allergies: Some people have allergic reactions to some platings. Newall Jewelery sheildThe most common is nickel-plating- possibly up to 10% of people react to nickel. Unfortunately nickel is used to color gold, as an alloy, and sometimes in the electroplating process. If allergy is a problem, most jewellery makers like to use surgical steel, sterling silver, vermeil, or gold-filled findings. The plating on plain electroplated items is usually too thin. A product called "Jewelry Shield" by Newall, which comes from the USA, claims to provide protection for jewellery allergy suffers.


Look here for a wire gauge table so you can convert and find out how thick wire should be.

We have a large range of precious metal wire available. If we don't stock it we can get it made for you!

vermeil drop part

sterling silver spacer

vermeil hanger

vermeil bead

vermeil bead

vermeil stud
vermeil headpin

vermeil toggle

vermeil bead

vermeil clasp set

gold-filled wire

gold-filled VeeO ring

gold-filled snapeez jumprings

gold-filled toggle clasp

Vermeil ear hooksvermeil leverback

List all our Vermeil items



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John or Wendy Carmichael, craft.ontheinternet,
PO Box 595, 53 High St Taree NSW Australia 2430
contact us, Phone/fax 02 6552 4188, International: Phone/fax +61 2 6552 4188

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PO Box 595 Taree NSW Australia 2430
telephone (0265) 52 4188