Gold cufflinks are well known. As soon as vermeil, silver-gilt, is mentioned interest weans. However, most objects, that are thought to be made of gold, are actually this magic metal the perfect substitute for pure gold. Cufflink designers indulge in creating yellow gold silver-gilt cufflinks.
Cufflinks are used to attach mousquetaire type shirtsleeves. They were formerly made of two buttons connected by a chain. Today many different types of cufflinks exist: silk or cotton knots, stud/button cufflinks, bullet back and toggle closure cufflinks, locking cufflinks. There are also many different materials including silver, brass, rhodium-plated cufflinks, palladium, mother of pearl, crystal, and what interests us here silver-gilt. Vermeil* or silver-gilt is a precious metal and is made of the solid metal covered with a layer of gold i.e. gold-plated silver. Silver-gilt is obtained following a chemical process called electroplating which consists in applying a thin layer of gold on solid silver. The quality of the gold used is subject to different legislation depending on the country. In France the gold must by 75% pure and at least 5 microns thick. Jewelry obtained this way is durable, wear resistant and maintains its luster longer. In addition, it does not tarnish and is scratch resistant.
THE HISTORY OF YELLOW GOLD SILVER-GILT CUFFLINKS
Silver-gilt has existed since antique times, as gold-gilded silver objects have been found from the Pre-Colombian era or jewelry from ancient Greek and Roman populations. Numerous ancient peoples used their own gilding techniques. The Incas gave real meaning to gold and silver because these two metals represented respectively the sun and the moon. They used a plating technique that aimed to remove in order to guarantee the quality of the gold plating on silver. Mercury gilding was used in the 18th century before electroplating existed but was quickly abandoned due to its high toxicity for the workers.
THE ADVANTAGE OF YELLOW GOLD SILVER-GILT CUFFLINKS
When the price of gold soars, jewelry lovers rush to pieces in silver-gilt as the visible difference between silver-gilt and gold is barely noticeable, which makes silver-gilt a perfect substitute for gold. Moreover the price of silver-gilt makes it quite affordable. Its advantages don’t stop there. It is lighter than gold and the presence of silver and gold makes it a hypoallergenic metal thus avoiding an allergic reaction.The durability of silver-gilt has been proven. Silver-gilded objects dating back to antique times have been found in almost perfect state. Silver-gilt resists shocks, scrapes and scratches. It’s quite understandable that this miraculous metal appeals to so many people.
CARING FOR YELLOW GOLD SILVER-GILT CUFFLINKS
Vermeil, also known as silver-gilt, results from a chemical process and therefore requires special care. Abrasive products may scratch the surface or remove a layer of the gold.To care for your silver-gilt jewelry, delicately rub it with a soft cloth and soapy water, rinse then dry it. If your cufflinks are very dirty, rubbing alcohol can also be used. Mix 4 drops of warm water with one drop of alcohol and as above use a soft cloth dipped in the solution, rinse and dry. White wine vinegar and warm water can be used as well. Quickly rinse after cleaning it with the vinegar solution. Cover silver-gilt jewelry with bees’ wax to better protect it.
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