What is True Gold Vermeil?

What is True Gold Vermeil?

At Sixth & Hill it is our mission to create precious jewelry that is designed with the highest levels of ingenuity, craftsmanship, and technology available, in an effort to deliver products that not only help to accentuate the personal style of our customers, but to bring them value as well. 

Within that mission we set to engineer a method for creating high end jewelry from precious materials, which remain aspirational yet approachable in cost. That mission is achieved in our production and mastery of True Gold Vermeil, which is the highest standard of precious metal plating in the world and is exclusively produced by Sixth & Hill.

On this page we cover details regarding the history and production of True Gold Vermeil, and answer many of the questions that you may have.



What is "Vermeil"?

Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) also known as Silver-Gilt or Gilted/Gilded Silver is the French standard for heavily gold plated or gold bonded Sterling Sliver. To be considered Vermeil, an item's base metal must be cast in .925 Sterling Silver, and it must be plated or bonded in gold that is at least 10 karat (42% pure) and be at least 2.5 micrometers thick.

For 100's of years Vermeil has been used throughout Europe by the royal and elite as an alternative to Solid Gold when creating large decorative pieces of jewelry and various wares. The term became popular in France and The United States in the early 1900's when high end fashion designers began using it for jewelry and accessories.


How is "True Gold Vermeil" different from "Vermeil"? 

Over the years some jewelry companies have decided to use the term "Vermeil" to describe their products as a form of marketing, without adhering to the standards originally set for an item to be considered Vermeil. By using sub-par and non-precious metals like stainless steel and brass, and plating them with very thin layers of low karat recycled gold, this practice began to devalue and discredit the term Vermeil.

In order to distinguish ourselves from the the companies that misuse the term, we've invested countless hours of research and development to create a material and rating system that not only adheres to the original standards of Vermeil, but also goes above and beyond those standards to deliver products that have a level of quality that is unmatched by any other jewelry company in the world.

In order for an item to be considered standard Vermeil, it's layer of gold bonding must be at least 2.5 micrometers thick, and that layer must be made of gold that is at least least 10 karat (42% pure). True Gold Vermeil differs from this process by starting with 100% pure 24 Karat Liquid Gold that is bonded to the surface of the Sterling Silver base with the most stringent technique of electroplating available in the world. From there every piece of True Gold Vermeil is x-rayed to ensure that the gold bonded layer is no less than 2.5 micrometers thick. After being x-rayed and approved, the item is then able to be certified as True Gold Vermeil.


How is True Gold Vermeil produced?

Every piece of Sixth & Hill jewelry is cast and hand finished in our private factory in Los Angeles, California. To produce an item in True Gold Vermieil, we first begin by creating a wax version of the item from a mold, that is then cast in .925 Sterling Silver. Once removed from casting, the item is then hand polished and finished by one of our expert metal smiths. From there the item is sent to the factory where it is bonded in 100% Pure Liquid Gold. Once the gold bonding process has been done, the item is then x-rayed to ensure that the layer of gold bonding is thick enough for the item to be certified as True Gold Vermeil. Before any piece of Sixth & Hill jewelry is made commercially available, it must undergo a stringent quality control inspection in order to guarantee that it meets our strict standards.


Is True Gold Vermeil considered "Precious Jewelry"?

Yes, True Gold Vermeil is recognized by the National Jewelers Association of America as a precious material used in the manufacturing of precious jewelry.


Is True Gold Vermeil considered "Fake Jewelry"?

Absolutely NO! True Gold Vermeil is not "fake" or "costume" jewelry. It is made of 100% precious materials and maintains a market value.


Does True Gold Vermeil chip or crack off?

True Gold Vermeil will not chip or crack off like cheap forms of gold plating, if for some reason that happens to a piece of Sixth & Hill True Gold Vermeil, we will replace or replate the item at no charge. Although we can not guarantee against excessive wear and tear if you do not care well for your jewelry and allow it to be banged or dented frequently.


Does True Gold Vermeil fade?

Due to the various levels of acid and salt in every individual's skin, the color in True Gold Vermeil can fade lightly after a long period of time, depending on the individual and how they care for their jewelry. Fading is rare, and we offer replating services in the case that it does happen.


How long does True Gold Vermeil last?

Once again, due to various factors the fading time can vary, but in most cases a few years should pass (on average 2 - 3 years) before any sort of fading or loss of color occurs.


Can True Gold Vermeil be cleaned, polished, or replated?

Yes, just like any other precious metal True Gold Vermeil can be polished and cleaned, and whenever necessary the gold bonding can be replated, which restores the item to new-like status. We offer cleaning, polishing, and replating services for all of our True Gold Vermeil products.


How does True Gold Vermeil compare to Solid Gold?

The base metal of True Gold Vermeil is Sterling Silver which is only about 20% lighter than 14k Solid Gold, so as far as weight it is very comparable, making it feel much more substantial and heavier than brass or stainless steel. Sterling Silver is also a harder metal than Solid Gold, so True Gold Vermeil is actually more durable and less delicate than Solid Gold. As for difference in color it is virtually unnoticeable, most jewelers will need to check an item's metal stamp in order to differentiate it from Solid Gold. All of our True Gold Vermeil items are stamped ".925" in order to guarantee that the base metal is .925 Sterling Silver.


Do you use real diamonds with True Gold Vermeil?

Yes, we only use 100% Genuine Diamonds and Precious and Semi Precious Gemstones in all of our items. We do not use synthetic diamonds or gemstones in any or our items.


Does True Gold Vermeil contain nickel?

No there is absolutely no nickel used in the bonding process of True Vermeil. In the US and many other countries, products that contain nickel cannot be sold as Vermeil. We use absolutely no nickel or base metals in any of our items.


Can True Gold Vermeil jewelry get wet?

Though we discourage against excessive exposure to moisture, it is fine if True Gold Vermeil jewelry gets wet. Being that some types of chlorine and other chemicals can discolor even Solid Gold, we do recommend against excessive exposure to swimming pools or saunas.


How should I care for my True Gold Vermeil item?

We suggest using the polishing cloth that came with your Sixth & Hill item. Give it a gentle wipe down with the cloth before putting it on, and once again before returning it to the box or sack that you received it in. When not wearing your jewelry, we suggest keeping it in a dry place away from moisture.

To clean your True Gold Vermeil item you can wipe it down with a light mixture of water and soap, then dry it well and wipe it down again with a dry cleaning cloth. We suggest against using commercial jewelry cleaning solutions and products. If your True Gold Vemeil item has acquired a heavy amount of tarnishing or is excessively dirty, you can send it to us for polishing or replating services. Just contact us directly at info@sixthandhill.com for a quote.