Gold-filled jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item’s total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal.
Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver, by chemical or electro-chemical plating.
Vermeil is plated with 14K-24K gold. This is a good combination for those with allergy to normal, plated jewelry items. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled, is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver.