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Our Materials

Our Materials

The gold price is currently : c. $1720 an ounce.

At Lily Blanche, the quality and sustainability of our materials and craftsmanship are vitally important to us. We work with UK suppliers wherever possible to minimise our global footprint and improve our sustainability and transparency. 

The Best Lockets

The materials and method used to make your locket will determine the true value of your jewellery going forward. At one end of the scale are lockets which are mass-produced in China, stamped out in factories and coated with a very thin layer of low quality gold. At the other are the best lockets handcrafted by trained silversmiths and goldsmiths in an independent studio and made in the traditional manner. This technique - the Lily Blanche method - uses much more precious metal and produces a much more valuable and long-lasting piece of jewellery. Please note that many of our lockets use over an ounce of precious metal in their production. 

Lily Blanche jewellery is handmade in the first instance by master silversmiths from solid sterling silver. This means that it is 92.5% pure silver. This is the base for all of our designs and establishes the quality right from the start. Unlike most other locket manufacturers, our lockets are independently tested and hallmarked in Edinburgh by the Assay Office with a full UK hallmark. This guarantees your peace of mind. We are also active members of the National Association of Jewellers, the leading body for the UK manufacturing trade. Please note that by law, all UK hallmarks relate to the base precious metal used in the item's manufacture.

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What is Vermeil?

When we use gold in our jewellery, it is 18 carat gold vermeil. Vermeil jewellery, pronounced ver-may, is a traditional French technique passed down by jewellers through the centuries. In vermeil, a very thick quantity of gold – more than 7 to 10 times the thickness of regular gold plate - is applied to another noble metal, in this case, sterling silver.  Shop our vermeil jewellery here 

How does Vermeil differ from gold plate?

Vermeil jewellery differs from gold-plated jewellery because it is made wholly of precious metal and because of the carat and quantity of gold used. Vermeil is one of the hottest luxury jewellery trends right now. It is a far superior product than gold plated or gold filled jewellery, both of which  contain base metals and cannot be hallmarked. With the gold price near an all time high, gold vermeil is simply the best quality you can buy at the best price.

We use vermeil in our jewellery to give us flexibility in our designs and to allow us to make precious pieces using high-quality materials which are still affordable. Because many of our designs are based on vintage pieces, we use much more precious metal in our lockets, necklaces and bracelets than most modern jewellers, who mainly specialise in small, lightweight pieces. Some of our most popular lockets contain over an ounce of precious metal. With the gold price rising  dramatically, vermeil gives you the best possible quality for the lowest cost, making it the best value jewellery on the market and a must for those looking for affordable luxury.

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Will Vermeil Jewellery Wear Out?

We use a high quantity and quality of gold in our gold jewellery so with good care, your jewellery should keep well. The industry standard for vermeil jewellery and the legal definition of vermeil in the USA is 10 carats of gold and a thickness of 2.5 microns. This may not sound much but when you consider that flash plated gold can be as little as 0.25 microns, you will understand the quality of this premium gold finish.

At Lily Blanche we exceed the industry standard. Our vermeil jewellery is specified at 18 carats with a minimum of 3 microns. For this reason, when cared for properly, our gold finishes are made to last. How you treat your Lily Blanche jewellery will determine how well it wears. We recommend storing our vermeil jewellery in our Intercept anti-tarnish pouches and treating them with care for best results. The quality and durability of our vermeil jewellery, whether, gold, rose gold or white gold vermeil is prized by our customers, many of whom have built collections of our bestselling lockets, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. However, items which are worn continuously over time, may show some silvering, particularly if the jewellery rubs against coarse fabric or other metals. This does not diminish the jewellery and adds a vintage feel as the jewellery takes on the patina and life of the wearer over time. 

Vermeil jewellery is a great and affordable alternative to solid gold. It is also an excellent pick if you have allergies to metals because the base is sterling silver - a pure metal. It is certainly to be considered when you are upgrading your jewellery box.

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Our Gemstones

Our gemstones are real gemstones unless otherwise stated and our pearls are real freshwater, cultured pearls from a sustainable source. Our gemstones are sourced ethically and cut for us by master gemstone cutters with whom we have a close relationship. The gemstones in our Birthstone collection are 4 to 5 carats in weight, ethically sourced and hand-cut by a small family of gemstone cutters who have been working with us for years. Please not that because these are natural gemstones, each cut to show the stone's natural beauty to the best advantage, there will be slight variations in colour and cut. Small inclusions in the stone are natural and to be expected. They do not diminish the jewellery and in the case of rubies, sapphires and emeralds are highly prized. Our rubies, sapphires and emeralds are natural stones which have not been heat treated. 

You can read more about the origins and properties of our precious gemstone jewellery here 

Shop our gemstone jewellery here