Frequently Asked Questions

Gold Plate FAQ – Feel free to call us at 1-800-336-6462 or email nina@ninadesigns.com if you still have questions after reading the information below.

All FAQs


What kind of gold plate do you offer?

Our gold plate “Vermeil style” is offered in both a satin finish with a 24 karat yellow gold color, or with a 14 karat soft yellow gold color. The plating process uses 98.5% pure gold. It is a gem quality plating that is 40 micro inches thick over sterling silver or bronze with a fine layer of nickel in between. The plate is very reliable and extremely popular with our customers. However, please keep in mind that bending a gold plated item may cause the gold layer to crack.

Our 24K satin finish requires a little more care than the 14K shiny or smooth finish. If you were to look at a satin finished item through a microscope, you would find that it resembles a carpet (thus making it harder to clean) rather than a smooth wood floor. Anything that adheres to the satin surface can be difficult to remove. Please read our instructions on how to care for your gold plated jewelry.

Customers within the European Union: Please be aware that any of our plated items (gold plated silver, gold plated bronze and silver plated bronze) contain a thin nickel layer that increases the longevity of the plate and may not be in compliance with EU regulation EN1811-2011.

Will your gold plate wear off?

Our gold plate is 40 micro inches (1 micron) thick. It is a gem quality plate.

Many people who are nervous about gold plate have had negative experiences with gold plated jewelry that has a thin wash of gold as little as 1 micro inch thick. Our gold plate is 40 TIMES as thick, at 40 micro inches (1 micron). We find this thickness to be extremely durable.

However, please keep in mind that bending a gold plated item may cause the gold layer to crack. Additionally, repeated friction on the surface of the gold plate can cause the gold layer to wear away, revealing the core metal beneath. For example, the inside edge of the hole on a large hole bead that slides along a chain all day long will eventually wear away the layer of gold plate. A cluster of charms on a chain that swing back and forth over the surface of a gold plated charm may wear away a “skid” mark on the surface of the gold plated charm.

Although our gold plated finger rings have the same 40 micro inches of gold as all of our other gold plate items, finger rings receive more wear and tear than any other item of jewelry. Expect the gold plate to wear off more quickly on them than on our other items like charms and pendants.

Many of the pieces you offer are not available in gold. Why is that?

We periodically review new style sales, and if an item sells well in silver, we will also offer it in gold plate vermeil style. There are some styles that we do not gold plate for technical reasons (items that have moving parts, carpet granulation, or pearls, for example).

Can I special order silver items to be plated in gold?

Due to complications, and special order management, we are no longer offering customers the option of having silver items specially ordered for gold plate. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you would like to suggest an existing style that you would like to see offered in our gold plate line, don’t hesitate to send us a suggestion.

Please call us at 1-800-336-6462 if you have any questions.

We have carefully analyzed gold sales and feel confident that most of your needs can be met by the items stocked online.

I am an International customer. Do your gold vermeil style pieces contain nickel?

Our gold plate vermeil contains a fine layer of Nickel between the sterling silver and the 14K or 24K gold to prevent the silver from migrating through the gold to the surface. The nickel layer greatly increases the longevity and durability of the gold plate. This has caused customs problems for some European customers in the past. If you are an international customer ordering our gold plate vermeil styles, it is your responsibility to know the customs regulations specific to your country.

Customers within the European Union: Please be aware that any of our plated items (gold plated silver, gold plated bronze and silver plated bronze) contain a thin nickel layer that increases the longevity of the plate and may not be in compliance with EU regulation EN1811-2011.

Do you offer other gold filled findings? Many of my customers do not trust gold plated jewelry.

We have a limited selection of gold-filled jewelry styles. Gold filled items are 5% gold by weight. The 14K gold is permanently bonded over a core of base metal, usually brass, using heat and pressure.

We find that our gold plate has a richer look than gold filled, and is actually higher value because it is a layer of 14K or 24K gold over sterling silver (not base metal). Our satin finish Vermeil Style gold plate is 40 micro inches of 98.5% pure gold plated over sterling silver with a fine layer of nickel in between to increase the longevity and durability of the gold plate.

Many people who are nervous about gold plate have had negative experiences with gold plated jewelry that has a thin wash of gold as little as 1 micro inch thick. Our gold plate is 40 TIMES as thick, at 40 micro inches (1 micron). We find this thickness to be extremely durable.

Why do you describe your gold pieces as “ vermeil style”?

It is standard practice in the Fashion Press to refer to gold plate over sterling as Vermeil, to distinguish it from gold plate over base metal. This is a useful distinction. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines Vermeil as 100 micro inches (2.5 microns) of plating over sterling silver. Most gold plated jewelry has a thin wash of as little as 1 micro inch. Our gold plate is 40 TIMES as thick, at 40 micro inches (1 micron). We find this thickness extremely durable and more affordable than the 100 micro inches mandated by the FTC to legally label products Vermeil. Therefore, we refer to our products as Vermeil Style instead of Vermeil.

For our Vermeil Style gold plate, we use gem quality plating that is 40 micro inches (1 micron) thick and very, very reliable. Our regularly stocked gold plate has a satin finish with 24 karat color, as well as a shiny finish with 14 karat color. The plating process uses 98.5% pure gold. There is a fine layer of Nickel between the silver and the gold to prevent the silver from migrating through the gold to the surface. The Nickel layer greatly increases the longevity and durability of the gold plate.

Where are your solid 14K styles manufactured? What can you tell me about this collection?

Our solid 14K gold charms are made in the USA. There may be some very slight variations from our matching sterling silver styles made in Thailand. Our 14K gold is also nickel free.

Due to fluctuations in the gold market, any backorders made for these styles may come in at higher prices. If so, we will confirm updated pricing with customers before shipping your backorders to you.