'Can I shower with gold vermeil earrings? popped into my Instagram dm recently and I will reply to these type of questions here on the blog in case more of you are wondering too.
The short answer is: No.
Here's why and the basic differences between gold vermeil, gold plated and gold filled.
You probably hear the terms gold vermeil, gold plated and gold filled thrown around and while they are quite different they all sound and look the same. Gold vermeil has base a made of 925 silver with a layer of gold outside. Gold plated has a base made of non-fine metals (usually brass or bronze) with a layer of gold. Gold filled has a base silver or any other metal with gold mechanically bond to the base metal. It’s simply really thick gold plated (5 to 10 times thicker to be precise) than gold plated. The main takeaway are- All three have similar names but differ in gold thickness and base metal.
Contact with water, soap or chemicals can speed up the process and cause the gold layer to fade sooner. Harsh chemicals might even ruin the gold plate right away. So that's why I advice to remove your gold vermeil jewelry before showering or swimming. Two other alternatives could be to A) Use gold jewelry instead and/or B) Ask the store/person you bought the jewelry from if it's possible to re-plate and at what costs should you need it.
Gold vermeil is an excellent material, but it do take a little more thought to look after than silver or gold jewelry.