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What does gold vermeil mean?

Vermeil is a combination of sterling silver, gold, and other precious metals, commonly used as a component in jewelry. A typical example is sterling silver coated with 14 carat (58%) gold. To be considered vermeil, the gold must be at least 10 carat (42%) and have thickness equivalent to at least 2.5 micrometres of fine gold (a 12 carat [50%] plating would need to be 5 μm thick). In the US, sterling silver covered with a base metal (such as nickel) and plated with gold cannot be sold as vermeil without disclosing that it contains base metal.

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