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Get To Know Your Gold

In the world of jewelry, there's a lot of terms used to describe the piece. At Victoria Emerson, one of those is:

But what does that even mean? Let’s break it down so you know exactly what you’ve got with your VE gold pieces.

18K gold Vermeil written out and circling 18K
This lets you know how much pure gold is in your piece based on the Karats (the K).


24K means it's 100% pure gold. While that sounds super, pure gold is actually quite soft and often warps or can get damaged over time. This means it’s hard to keep 24K pieces looking pristine for long periods of time.



18K is 75% pure gold with a metal mix. This metal mix helps strengthen your pieces so hold up better than 24K over time while keeping that trademark gold shine. Also, because the gold content is still so high, it’s less likely to pick up any metal allergies***



14K is 58.3% gold with the rest being a metal mix. This combo is best if you’re looking for something to wear everyday or a piece that doesn't have that extremely yellow gold color. It makes the item much more durable against scratching or warping so they can hold up against a lot of wear!

breakdown of gold purity based on the number of karats


Pictured: Birthstone Stud Earrings collection

So now what does it mean when you see a piece of jewelry labeled “Gold Vermeil”? Gold Vermeil refers to the type of metals being used in the piece and how the gold is processed.

18K gold Vermeil written out and circling Gold Vermeil

A Vermeil item must have a base metal of Sterling Silver (92.5% pure silver with a metal mix) and be directly covered with at least 10k gold.
Pictured: Zodiac Pendant Necklace

Now, to cover a piece with gold, we here at Victoria Emerson use the technique called Gold-Plating.

You’ve probably heard the term “Gold-Plated” a few times in reference to jewelry. Gold-Plating is a process that’s transfers and seals gold, to the outside of a metal.

 gold is plated onto base metals using electrical currents in water

Gold-Plating is controlled by industry standards. Each item must have a gold thickness of 0.15 to 0.25 mils to be identified as Gold-Plated.

It’s important to remember that just because something is Gold-Plated, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Vermeil. Vermeil jewelry must use 92.5% Sterling Silver as the base metal and use at least 10K gold, whereas something that’s “gold-plated” could have a different base with a lower quality gold, e.i. stainless steel plated in 8K.  

Pictured: Chunky Heirloom Chain Bracelet

These details can be important when considering other gold jewelry! “Gold-Dipped” pieces sound fancy but they may not necessarily meet the required industry standards.  

At Victoria Emerson, all our Vermeil pieces use the require 92.5% silver base with 18K Gold-Plating. The majority of our regular Gold-Plated items have a base of stainless steel for durability and longevity with a plating in 14K or 18K so you still get that classic gold shine!  


Pictured: Birth Month Flower Necklace in June

So now you know exactly what kind of gold you’re getting! The next time you're shopping for new jewelry, you can make the best gold choice for your needs!  

Have you seen our Gold Collection section? We've got some brand new pieces and they’ve got some great sparkle!  


Knotted Moissanite Ring

Rachel Layered Necklace

Poppy Drop Earrings

 shop now 

***18K Gold is not guaranteed to prevent and allergic reaction. You ears may still be very sensitive and have a reaction to the mixed metals. 


Michelle Halbert

Is your gold jewelry sweatproof? Will it tarnish? Can I shower in it?


will you consider doing sterling silver in all your pieces?

Gold Plated Jewelry

This post is so informative, and gives the best description of all the gold’s listed. For jewelry purchase, please visit,

Fiona Manonn

Thank you so much for the beautiful white gold hoop earrings. They are exactly what I wanted, and I am wearing them everyday! I have decided to use the butterfly clasps as you advised.
I am glad to hear your business is so busy. Thank you again for the beautiful jewellery you create.

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