Our Materials

Our Materials

The gold price is currently : c. $2468 an ounce - a record high.

The average rhodium price last year was over $9,000 an ounce. Rhodium is the world's most expensive precious metal.  We use rhodium in all of our white gold pieces. 

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. We only use precious metals and real, mined gemstones in our jewellery which is designed and made to have lasting appeal.

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 high-quality 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. 

When we use gold in our jewellery it is either 18 carat or 9 carat solid gold (from which most of our gold and white gold diamond lockets are made) or 18 carat gold vermeil. Please see the descriptions on the individual product pages for more details. Our diamond jewellery comes with a certificate of authentication. All our diamonds are ethical and conflict free. They are real diamonds and confirm to the Kimberley Process (KP) and United Nations resolutions. 

Lily Blanche 18 carat gold vermeil 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 many 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. Only precious metal jewellery can be hallmarked by law. 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.

What is Vermeil?

When we use gold in our jewellery, it is either 9 carat solid gold or 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 therefore 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.

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 pouches have been specially made for us in the USA and use patented polymers woven into the lining of the pouch to clean the air and neutralise any oxidising gases in the atmosphere. The pouches are part of the Lily Blanche Jewellery Care Kit.

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.

If you are looking for an heirloom piece in solid gold, we recommend browsing our solid gold jewellery.

Rectangular Amethyst vintage heart locket in gold vermeil closed

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 3 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 of which is cut to show the stone's natural beauty to the best advantage, there will be slight variations in colour and cut.

Please scroll through the images on the page to see the lifestyle and model shots which will show the stones in natural daylight. We regularly post photographs and reels of our most recent work on Instagram and Facebook at @lilyblanchejewellery. We recommend scrolling our Instagram feed to see the most up to date examples of our stones. You can access the Instagram feed on the home page of our website.

Natural gemstones will always contain small inclusions. These are to be expected and do not diminish the jewellery. Inclusions act as a marker of the gemstone’s unique identity, much as a fingerprint does for humans. Each gemstone is unique, and inclusions can tell researchers about the properties of each stone. Gemmologists study inclusions to tell if a gemstone is organic or synthetic and to help identify the provenance of the stone.

While inclusions in diamonds are often regarded negatively, this is not the case for the coloured gemstones where inclusions are often highly prized. You can read more about inclusions here.

We do not use any lab created stones in our jewellery.

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

Shop our gemstone jewellery here