PIAPIAPIA

Gold Plating

Gold plated jewelry is a pretty broad term as it consists of a wide range of base metals coated with a layer of gold. 

We call our pieces Vermeil, which according to the dictionary is simply ‘gilded silver’, however, when applied to modern jewelry terms it is a bit more complicated:

In the U.S. for a jewelry piece to be considered Vermeil, it has to be made of solid 925 sterling silver and coated with gold that is at least 10 karats pure. 

Additionally, the thickness of the gold layer has to be at least 2.5 microns.

Most vermeil jewelry available nowadays is created by electroplating the silver with gold; a chemical process invented in 1805 that uses an electric current to bind the two metals together.

Gold coating is the last step in the manufacturing of our pieces and it is proudly done in Rhode Island by one of the oldest plating companies in the United States. We work with a family business that has been serving not only the jewelry industry but also working on architectural and aerospace projects for over 70 years. 

The gold used in our pieces is 23.5 karats of purity and the thickness of the coat applied is 2.5 microns. In addition, the type of coating we use is completely nickel free.

Before our pieces are submerged in the electrolyte bath that will result in their gold coating, they are carefully hung in racks one by one to prevent them from touching and the stone areas are masked to prevent them from damaging. Certain stones are too soft to withstand this chemical process, which limits our ability to to offer them in vermeil finish.

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