How to Clean Your Gold Vermeil Jewelry

How to Clean Your Gold Vermeil Jewelry

Congratulations, you have just gotten a unique, sustainably made piece of gold vermeil jewelry. We are sure you are in love by now and want to help you keep your jewelry sparkling for years to come. Gold vermeil is a special substance and requires intentional care to preserve its longevity. Clean your jewelry and enjoy this long-lasting material with these simple tips.


What is Gold Vermeil?


Gold vermeil (pronounced “ver-may”) is a particular type of jewelry base. Composed of solid gold bonded over sterling silver, this material exclusively consists of precious metals. Gold vermeil boasts a higher quality compared to other plated jewelry. This process requires the gold layer over sterling silver to be at least 2.5 microns thick. In comparison, there are no regulations for other types of plating, and certain processes can even result in an extremely thin layer of gold (known as flash plating).


Common Myths about Gold Vermeil


“Tarnished jewelry means that it is ruined.”


Though your spirits may sink at the sight of those pesky smudges and discoloration on your vermeil jewelry, rest assured that hope is not lost. As pure gold is too soft to be used as a solid base for jewelry, it often also contains sterling silver and/or copper. Vermeil’s base metal is sterling silver, this leads to those spots you might see on your jewelry over time. The good news is that these spots are not permanent, nor do they mean your jewelry is too old or ruined. You can often clean these spots with the methods recommended below to maximize your jewelry’s lifespan.


“My jewelry can’t get wet.”


While it is good practice to be mindful of the environments you wear your jewelry (maybe not hot yoga class), it is not always life or death when it comes to getting your accessories wet. The good news is that gold vermeil jewelry CAN come into contact with water. So if you catch yourself in the rain, simply use a soft cloth to dry off your jewelry. Keep in mind that it is typically recommended to avoid contact with water due to the fact that there are often chemicals associated with water (think pool chlorine). 

How to Clean Your Gold Vermeil Jewelry


To keep your jewelry in tip-top shape, you’ll need a few things. Add a soft cotton or microfiber cloth and regular mild dish soap to your supply bin. To clean, gently wipe your jewelry with your cotton, microfiber, or lens cleaning cloth. Be sure to use a clean cloth every time to avoid accidental contact with chemicals or unwanted substances. We recommend being as careful as possible when navigating the nooks and crevices of your jewelry to avoid damaging it. 


To deep clean your jewelry, use mild dish soap in lukewarm water. Simply dip your cotton or microfiber cloth into the solution and gently rub your jewelry until clean. It is best to avoid completely submerging your jewelry in the water solution, and just spot clean as needed.