First things first, it’s best to understand what you’re cleaning before you dive in. When it comes to gold jewelry it can come in a few different forms and the terms may not all be familiar. So, let’s do a quick break down to help explain.
*Solid gold jewelry means that the pieces contain at least 41.6% gold. The higher the karat, the softer the gold.
*Gold-filled jewelry is a layer of gold wrapped over a brass base metal where the gold must be 5% of the total weight.
*Gold plated jewelry contains a thin layer of gold over another metal, typically brass, with no thickness requirements.
*Vermeil Jewelry, on the other hand has very strict standards to meet in order to be classified as vermeil. The base metal must be sterling silver and the thick gold bonded layer must be at least 2.5 microns.
(If you’d like a deeper dive into the different types of gold check out our article here.)
In other words, gold vermeil is two precious metals, giving you the best of both. It looks the same as solid gold jewelry due to its thick gold coating but it’s less expensive and with proper care can last just as long. Can someone say win-win?
Let’s Get Shining
For Routine Care
The best method to clean your vermeil jewelry is simply by gently rubbing and polishing with a soft cotton or microfiber cloth. (i.e., your sunglass cloth). We recommend avoiding jewelry cloths unless they specifically say “un-treated” otherwise they often contain polishing agents and chemicals meant for silver, not gold.
Please take special care when cleaning chains and gemstones. Our fingers possess greater strength than we realize when applying pressure on small areas.
Think gentle repetition, not force.You’d be surprised by how quickly your jewelry will shine right up simply by removing daily grime.
Need a Deeper Clean?
Use good old soap and water. You’ll want to use lukewarm, not hot, and basic liquid soap (dish soap like dawn is a great option). Despite what you might read elsewhere, it’s best to avoid completely submerging your jewelry into water.
Instead, wet a soft, lint-free cloth into a bowl or sink of warm soapy water and gently clean your jewelry. Don’t use a brush as this can be too abrasive to the gold plating.
After you’re done cleaning, rinse it by using another cloth dipped in water only. Carefully pat it dry afterwards.
How to get the most out of your vermeil jewelry
Like most things in life, the better you care for something, the longer it lasts, and the same goes for your vermeil jewelry.
This one is easy, and one of the most common mistakes. Try to not apply body lotion, perfume, hairspray, etc while wearing your jewelry. The chemicals can interact with the metals and they do not get along well. Simple fix; just finish off your getting ready routine by adding your jewelry at the end. Added bonus, you’ll also avoid snagging any delicate fabrics that way too.
Chemicals in general are a no-no, so that includes cleaning products. I mean,,, they’re not good for your skin or manicures either so just one more reason to wear gloves for your house work.
You know where else there’s chemicals? Swimming pools and hottubs. Sorry babe, but it’ll better to swim sans your vermeil jewelry. Same goes for those salty ocean waves. You can put it back on later to highlight your sun-kissed skin.
Try your best to make it a habit of slipping off your rings when washing your hands, we know this is a tough one and no judgement if you don’t, but it does help longevity.
Lastly, you should always store your jewelry in its box or airtight baggie. This helps two things, keeps the air out and dryness in, and keeps them safe from hitting other jewelry or objects and getting scratched or tangled. Easy. Peasy.
For do's and don't on other metals check out our care guide here.
What if you’re a rebel and live in your vermeil jewelry at all times?
The beauty of vermeil is that it has a sterling silver base. If you do choose to live on the wild side with your jewelry, your likely worst-case scenario is going to be eventually wearing away that gold layer and having silver left underneath. Or a whiter gold appearance if silver shines through in a few high impact areas. If this happens and it bothers you on a beloved piece, it can be re-plated by a professional jeweler, so not to worry.
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