Difference Between Demi-Fine and Fine Jewelry

As an entrepreneur, and a woman who embrace female independence and empowerment, I saw the need for affordable high-quality jewelry that women could self-gift, which is inspired by the fact that women are making their own buying decision and fueled by women empowerment.

With this in mind, I opened my shop to meet this demand, specializing in high quality natural gemstones and crystals, and demi-fine jewelry.


Fine jewelry refers to items made with precious metals and precious or semi-precious stones. Most commonly, that means pieces crafted with 10- to 18-karat gold, sterling silver, or platinum. Stones range from sparkly favorites like diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires, to colorful choices like topaz, agate, turquoise, and opal.

Demi-fine jewelry most commonly refers to vermeil, plated, and filled pieces. Demi-fine pieces won’t feature expensive gems like diamonds, but often include wallet-friendly options like white sapphires, amethyst, agate, moissanite, or cubic zirconia.

Most of this jewelry is made with gold in some capacity. Gold jewelry comes in a few different variations:

Gold-plated jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry is made out of a thin layer of gold atop a base metal. Because of that, the outer coating can wear off over time.

Vermeil jewelry

Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) jewelry has a sterling silver base with a thick layer of 10- to 18-karat gold on top. These pieces are often good quality with a lower price tag.

Keep in mind that vermeil means different things to different jewelers, and it’s not standard from country to country either. For example, in Canada, jewelry has to be plated with only one micron of gold to be marketed as vermeil. The United States requires vermeil jewelry to have plating that’s 2.5 microns thick.

Gold-filled jewelry

Gold-filled jewelry is made of a thick layer of gold bonded to a base metal. At least 5% of the weight of each piece must be solid gold.

Solid-gold jewelry

Solid-gold jewelry is exactly what it sounds like: solid. In order to be considered solid gold, it must be at least 10 karats.