In some ways caring for gold vermeil jewelry is easier than sterling silver. Gold vermeil is a sterling silver item that has been plated over with 10 karat gold or higher. We use 22 karat in all of our vermeil, which is 91.6% pure gold. A sterling piece will develop tarnish over time with contact with air or water, but gold will not. While vermeil is less likely to tarnish, it is still possible to damage the plating of your vermeil item.
Chemicals: will damage the finish of your gold vermeil jewelry. After all, even though gold vermeil is required by law to be at least 100 millionths of an inch thick, it is only 2.5 microns in thickness (a human hair can be as thick as 30 microns) and can be stripped by chemicals, exposing the sterling silver. We recommend removing your jewelry before doing anything that involves chemicals of any kind.
High Humidity & Salt Water: can both damage the surface of your vermeil jewelry. If you're planning any jungle excursions or ocean outings, your best bet is to leave your jewelry at home.
Polishing: since the surface will not tarnish you should only need to wipe your jewelry down to remove skin oil or dirt. We recommend a soft 100% cotton or flannel cloth and very gentle pressure. Heavy pressure can scratch and dull the surface. Do not use any polishing compounds, polishing cloths, or abrasives as you will damage the plating (believe me, I have completely stripped the plating by using a sunshine cloth).
Storage: good storage practices is one good way to keep your vermeil items at their best. We recommend gently wiping them with a soft cloth to remove any oils or dirt from your skin and placing them in air tight plastic bags in a safe place. Try not to store more than one item in the same bag as they can rub together and scratch each other.
Clear Coat/Tarnish Inhibitor & Acidic Skin: some people have highly acidic skin that over time can damage the clear coat and eventually the gold itself. If you are one of those people, you might consider upgrading to solid 14 karat gold jewelry as there is no plating to wear off.