CORE METAL IS THE KEY
The jewellery can only be labeled as VERMEIL when the core metal is SILVER with gold plating on top. It will label ‘925’ to indicated 92.5% silver instead of labeling the plated gold content.
For those labeled as ‘gold-plated’, the covered material is of other metals. You might see labels like GP, RGP, HGP, HGE.
The durability depends on the gold karat and the plating thickness on the core metal.
The gold karat plating affects whether the surface will be scratched easily. The higher the gold karat, the softer the material, it is also less durable.
For vermeil, there is a minimum requirement in US that the gold plating has to be at a minimum of 0.0025mm. For gold-plated ones, there is no requirement at all.
Due to the core material, the pricing of vermeil jewellery is higher than those marked in gold-plated.
See Yanli Jewellery: