"Vermeil" literally means "gilded silver" and is a term used to describe the highest quality gold plated items. It is 50 times heavier than standard gold plated items.
Vermeil is 2.5 microns (the thickest possible) of 18-24K gold plating over sterling silver. We use either 18k or 24k vermeil in most of our designs.
We use vermeil in a lot of our designs because we love to offer the look, feel and timelessness of real gold without the extravagant cost.
An example of one of our gold vermeil pieces can be found here.
"Gold-filled" or "gold overlay", is made by plating a thin layer of gold to a brass (or other base metal) core. We use 14k gold to cover the metal surface, making it tarnish-resistant. The value of gold-filled over base metal is greater than gold-plated over base metal because gold-filled has an actual layer of karat gold, not just a microscopic film. Though gold vermeil is still more valuable than gold fill as vermeil uses sterling silver. We use some gold-filled components in our designs.
An example of one of our gold-filled pieces can be found here.
"Gold vermeil" and "Gold-filled" jewelry is economical allowing you to enjoy the warm tones of gold at a fraction of the cost of pure gold.
Eventually, the plating can wear down and wear off, so we recommend removing your gold pieces when swimming,showering or sweating. If you do wear them in the water, rinse and dry them after - especially saltwater, as it can erode the finish faster than with normal wear and tear.
We don't do gold and silver plating over brass - it's always filled when we use brass, because simple plated brass is cheaper jewelry - the plating wears down faster and can cause your skin to turn color.
We recommend you purchase sterling silver, gold vermeil and gold-filled whenever possible to give you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to plated items.