Pronounced "ver-MAY", gold vermeil or silver gilt  is sterling silver electroplated with a layer of gold. The early (and quite dangerous) fire gilding process originated in France in the mid 1700’s.  Today gold vermeil is safely produced through electrolysis.


Comparable to high karat gold in appearance, gold vermeil is considerably more affordable than solid gold.  Vermeil is also an excellent choice for those with metal sensitivity or allergies, since true vermeil contains only gold and sterling silver--- no nickel or other metals.  


Gold vermeil will maintain its beautiful luster with gentle care.  To prolong the finish, store in a plastic bag with anti-tarnish paper.  

To clean vermeil, use hot water and a gentle bleach-free liquid soap (I use Dawn liquid detergent) mixed with baking soda to create a paste or thick solution.  Let jewelry heat up and sit for a while in this solution.  Clean with soft toothbrush or cloth, rinse well, and dry with paper towel, cloth or a hairdryer.  

Solid sterling silver jewelry can be cleaned in the same way, or with a jewelry dip-style cleaner easily found at drugstores.

* Do not clean oxidized (blackened) silver-- it will remove the dark patina.


Each piece is constructed individually by hand from silver wire and sheet, textured, soldered, and then formed with hammers and steel mandrels.   Gold vermeil designs are plated with a durable 100 micron layer of 22K gold.

I use primarily recycled, ethically sourced or lab-grown stones in my work, and recycle all my scrap metal to keep my jewelry-making processes as ecologically conscious as possible.


Please contact me for more information if you need a replacement earring or other repair:

All designs © Kathleen Maley 1999-2019.  All rights reserved.

Sculptural, contemporary jewelry in sterling silver and 22K gold vermeil, made in San Francisco, CA.