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    Gold Vermeil? Gold Filled? Gold Plated? Huh?

    What are the differences between gold-plated, gold vermeil, and gold-filled?

    What does the karat measure?

    How much silver is in sterling silver?

  • Gold-plated Memorial Jewelry - A base metal such as steel or brass is dipped into a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When an electric current is applied, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the metal. Since the plating is quite thin, the plate (and hence the color) on findings can wear off.
  • Sterling Silver Memorial Jewelry - Sterling Silver is a mixture of pure silver and some other metal, usually copper. The resulting alloy gives the silver strength. The standard is at least 92.5% silver. Hence the .925 stamp you see on some sterling silver items.
  • Vermeil (Pronounced: Vermay) Memorial Jewelry - Gold Vermeil is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Most of our vermeil is plated with 22K-24K gold. This is a good combination for those with allergy to normal, plated jewelry items. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled, is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver.
  • Gold-filled Memorials Jewelry - Also called rolled-gold. These jewelry items are not actually filled with gold. They are made of a base metal (usually brass or copper) covered by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process. Effectively a thick coat of gold: the gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total weight. Use gold-filled items for your top-of-the-line jewelry. Usually made with 14k gold, it is hard wearing. With reasonable care it will not peel or flake, and should last as long as solid 14k gold jewelry. It is safe for most people with sensitive skin.

Gold jewelry reacts with chlorine. Never take your gold jewelry into a pool or spa.

Jewelry Allergies

Some people have allergic reactions to some plating. The most common is nickel-plating- possibly up to 10% of people react to nickel. Unfortunately nickel is used to color gold, as an alloy, and sometimes in the electroplating process. If allergy is a problem, most jewelry makers like to use surgical steel, sterling silver, vermeil, or gold-filled items. The plating on plain electroplated items is usually too thin. A product called "Jewelry Shield" by Newall, which comes from the USA, claims to provide protection for jewelry allergy suffers.

Gold Purity - Karats

The karat is a very old measure of how much gold is in an alloy, or gold-blend. A measure of 1 Karat is where there is 1 part of pure gold and 23 parts of metal alloy - or 4% gold. So 24K is 100% pure gold. 9K is 37%, 14K is 58%, 18K is 75%

Keepsake Memorial Cremation Jewelry

Keepsake memorial cremation jewelry refers to wearable jewelry that is designed to allow you to carry a small amount of your loved ones ashes, a lock of hair, dried ceremonial flowers or other small memento.

History of Memorial Jewelry

The tradition of keepsake jewelry dates back to the Middle Ages when "Memento Mori" ("Remember Me") jewelry was created by encasing a lock of hair in gold, silver or other precious material.

Mainely Urns Memorial Jewelry

Mainely Urns offers a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to accommodate your personal tastes while representing the life of a loved one who has passed. Pieces are made of a wide variety of cherished materials including sterling silver, 14K gold, gold vermeil (gold plated), pewter, brass and titanium. We also offer an extensive selection pet cremation jewelry.

Types of Memorial Jewelry

There are three basic types of memorial Jewelry.

  • Jewelry that does not hold ashes (cremains). These include lockets for photos and jewelry that may be personalized with an engraving.
  • Jewelry that holds cremains or jewelry for ashes. The majority of pieces on our website are this type.
  • Jewelry with embedded cremains. These are typically glass memorials which are produced by glass artists who create works of art that contain a small portion of the actual cremains of your loved one, creating tributes that can always be part of your life.

Keepsake Jewelry Glass Domes

When not wearing your memorial cremation jewelry, you may wish to display it in a keepsake glass dome to honor your loved one. Keepsake Glass Domes have bases that are made of pewter or brass with a gold overlay.

Filling Your Keepsake Cremation Jewelry

Filling your memorial jewelry is simple. Most jewelry pieces can be filled through a small screw opening with a provided filling kit. Each piece is shipped with a funnel, glue, and complete instructions on how to fill your jewelry item and how to clean and care for your keepsake jewelry item. Click here for more detailed instructions. If you prefer to have this process done for you, a funeral professional can assist you with the process.