Different Types of Jewellery

Shopping for jewellery is complicated enough as it is with a world of different options available. It can be difficult to understand exactly what you are paying for. So let us break it down for you in the simplest way possible. Whats the difference between these different forms of Gold jewellery?
What is Gold Vermeil Jewellery?

Gold vermeil is when gold is plated on sterling silver as the base metal. It is created by electroplating the silver with gold, a chemical process that binds both metals together and keeps it looking amazing for the longest. In the US, in order for a piece to be considered gold vermeil, the gold plating has to be at least 10K and 2.5 microns thick. 


What is Gold Filled Jewellery?

Gold filled jewellery is when gold plating is done on cheaper base metals like brass or copper and there is at least 5% of weight from the gold. Gold filled jewellery usually has a thicker layer of gold over the metal, but that does not usually mean its better as the base metal makes a difference for people who have metal sensitivities and also the longevity of the jewellery piece. The plating needs to be of a minimum of 10 K.


What is Gold Plated Jewellery ?

Gold plated is simply plating gold on a base metal that can be copper, brass or sterling silver.  There’s no minimum requirement on the gold’s karat and weight - it just depends on how durable you want the piece to be.  


Our Demi-Fine jewellery at Del Rio Jewels features pieces that are 14K gold plated on 925 sterling silver at 2.5 microns thick. 


What is Solid Gold Jewellery?


Solid gold means the piece of jewelry is made entirely of gold – inside and out – while gold vermeil, gold filled or gold plated is having a layer of gold plated on a base metal. The colour of solid gold will not fade.

All karats of gold are technically gold alloys which consist of gold and other metals. In its purest form of 24K gold, it is soft and has a saturated yellow colour which does easily scratch and break. Therefore, alloys are added to the mixture to make them stronger and more malleable to work with. You can find the details in the table below. 



Gold (%)

Alloy (%)

















99.9% or higher

0.1% or lower


In DRJ Fine, we usually use 14K solid gold, but are always able to customise the piece to your preference depending on the budget and preference of gold colour you want. 


Now. Your questions answered... 


Is DRJ's Demi-Fine Jewellery going to tarnish or fade?

Our pieces features 14K gold, rose gold or rhodium plated on 925 sterling silver with a thickness of 2.5 microns. Our jewels are nickel-free and so hypoallergenic and suitable for daily wear of people with sensitive skin. You have to take into consideration the kind of weather you live in when you are looking at the longevity of jewellery. In Singapore for instance, it is hot and humid year round. All silver pieces will tarnish over time, especially when exposed to the elements. How fast this happens will depend on how you care for your pieces. Our recommendations are: 

- remove your pieces before you shower, swim or work out at the gym. 

- store them in air-tight ziplock bags. 

- use a polishing cloth and rub off any grime or dirt that might make your jewellery look a little dull. It brings back all the life to your piece and makes it look as good as new. 

- do not spray perfumes onto plated jewellery.