It is a voluminous curve that seems to curl, like an arabesque, all around the lobe. To hang it by ear, Charlotte Chesnais immediately opted for vermeil. "This 10 gram jewel would almost reach 17 if it were made of gold!" explains the designer. This precious alloy, which mixes silver and gold, allows me to create creations in generous formats that remain very comfortable to wear, especially for the ears. But also to display a much more attractive price on all of my collections. ”
A perfect substitute for gold therefore, already used by the Incas and very popular in the 18th century for ornamental pieces, in particular certain crowns of the kings of France, like that of Louis XV kept at the Louvre Museum, or some imposing jewels of the British Crown. "Technically, a vermeil jewel is a creation in 925 thousandths silver covered with an 18-carat gold plating of at least 5 microns", specifies Anne-Bénédicte Robin, head of collections at Arthus Bertrand. The house, which has used this material since the 19th century for the manufacture of medals, including the Grand Cross crosses of the Legion of Honor , has decided to put it forward according to the latest jewelry lines. Like these medallions in rhodium silver and yellow vermeil to hang pell-mell on a chain with a graphic clasp.
"Vermeil, obtained today by electroplating, makes it easier to play with the two-tone effect," observes designer Adeline Cacheux, who is also exploring this mix of materials. Especially since the tones of gold are available in a wide variety of shades: for example, from pale yellow to a much more sustained gold, very lively. ” This visual association especially supports the contrasts and the reliefs of the most geometric jewelry, as on this pair of asymmetrical earrings spotted by the young label Persta.
The only limit of this precious alloy, which has a state hallmark (the letter V): the plating can fade over time. Particularly on jewelry from the United States, where regulations authorize a layer of 14 carat gold and a minimum thickness of only 2.5 microns. "The quality of vermeil in France is traditionally superior, assures Nadia Azoug, the young woman behind the Monsieur Paris jewelry line. And attracts a lot of customers, even if the surface treatment can fade with friction, the acidity of the skin, its pH, the ambient humidity… Mainly on the rings but also on the necklaces because of the perfume which oxidizes matter. " Most designers who adhere to it therefore offer a re-gilding service. "It is also a way to extend the life of a piece of jewelry, to decline jewelry more in touch with the times because it is more" durable "than simple fancy pieces in brass or bronze," adds Nadia Azoug. After a brief visit to the workshop, we recover earrings or a ring, even brighter and perfectly polished. ” Like new.
Sources of article: