Gold Vermeil? Gold Filled? Gold Plated? What’s the difference!

Ever get confused by the descriptions of jewelry, especially between gold filled, vermeil, or gold plated? Continue reading to learn the differences!

Gold plating as a term gets a bad rep…and it’s probably with good reason. The “plate” does tend to wear off! Gold plated by definition is a base metal such as steel or brass dipped into a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When an electric current is introduced, a thin layer of gold attaches to the metal. This tends to be very thin which is why it tends to wear off!

Gold-filled (also called gold overlay) confuses people simply because of the term. These items are not actually “filled” with gold! They are made of a base metal (usually brass or copper) covered by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process which creates a thick coat of gold. The gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total weight. It is usually made with 14k gold and it is hard wearing. Gold filled is 50 to 100,000 times thicker than regular gold plating, and about 17 to 25,000 times thicker than heavy gold electroplate. With reasonable care it will not flake or peel thus lasting as long as solid gold jewelry. It is also safe for most people with sensitive skin! We have a large selection of gold-filled jewelry!

Vermeil, pronounced “vermay” and also known as silver gilt, is sterling silver that has been coated with a heavy layer of gold. To be considered vermeil, the gold must also be at least 10-carat and be at least 1.5 micrometers thick. Most vermeil is plated with 14k gold or higher. It is a good alternative for people with allergy to normal, plated jewelry items. The biggest difference between vermeil and gold-filled is in the thickness of the gold (thicker than gold plated) and the base metal used. We also have a large selection of vermeil!

Still have questions? Email us at or like us on Facebook!

How many peas in YOUR pod?

Just in time for Mother’s Day – Peapod Jewelry to represent how many children a Mother has in her “pod”. Available for 1-6 children, or “peas” and starting at $105! We have the sterling silver with white pearls now in stock. They are also available for special order with the colored birth-pearls of the children! Sterling silver or gold, earrings or necklaces, these make WONDERFUL gifts for Mom this year. Made by a local artist, Ronna Lugosch of Edgecomb, ME.

Featured in Maine Magazine’s 2012 Wedding Issue!

Two of D. Cole’s more popular style rings are featured in this years Maine Magazine Wedding Issue! Included are a Platinum diamond engagement ring and a 14kw brushed wedding band with millgrain detail. Check it out:

After the holidays, wedding planning has picked back up for couples and what better timing than for Maine Magazine’s Wedding Issue to appear! A lot of people are thinking of proposing around Valentine’s Day as well – it’s only 1 week until Valentine’s Day! We are happy to show a small sampling of what D. Cole has to offer for engagement/commitment rings and wedding bands through such a great resourceful magazine. Check out

What is Moissanite?

Get to know Moissanite (moys-uh-nite):


Moissanite: Ever heard of it?  Maybe you’ve heard it described as, “man-made diamonds” or “lab created stone”. That’s partly true. But not 100%. It’s a stone made of a mineral called silicon carbide believed to have been carried to Earth in a meteorite 50,000 years ago in trace amounts; silicon carbide has now been created in a painstaking laboratory process and then hand faceted by gem cutters. With excellent hardness and superior toughness, Moissanite is more durable than diamond and an optimal choice for jewelry that will truly endure.
We now have a selection of some of our most popular ring settings set with moissanites! They are absolutely stunning and the price can’t be beat!

Creation: Gem-quality moissanite is not available in nature. Said in another way, natural moissanite crystals are so scarce and minute that if it wasn’t created it would not be available for jewelry use. Through advanced technology and patented processes to synthesize it, the characteristics of the original mineral, silicon carbide, are recreated. here for a more in depth description/photos of how they are created!

Durability: Diamond is the hardest substance known to mankind, ranked as 10 on Moh’s hardness scale but moissanite is the second hardest jewel at 9 ¼. It outranks Diamond in overall toughness because its atomic structure does not have a direction of cleavage like diamond does. It can also withstand exposure to chemicals and temperature. It has a higher vaporization temperature than diamond.

History: In 1893, Nobel Prize-winning French scientist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered minute quantities of a new mineral, natural silicon carbide. The mineral was located in an ancient meteorite found in the Diablo Canyon in Arizona. Later named “moissanite” in honor of Dr. Moissan, this mineral’s supply was too limited for jewelry use.

More than a century later, Cree developed a process for producing large, single crystals of moissanite. In 1995, a master diamond cutter observed samples of the silicon carbide crystals and suggested to the founders of Charles & Colvard th­at, if properly cut, the crystals could make a beautiful jewel. Charles & Colvard recognized the mineral’s potential. They also realized that in order for the moissanite jewels to be used, they would have to be manufactured — there is essentially no natural supply for this stone. In 1995, Charles & Colvard partnered with Cree (a NC-based R&D lab) to develop larger gemstones for Charles & Colvard to use in the Cree colorless development program. In conjunction with Cree, Charles & Colvard is the exclusive worldwide manufacturer and marketer of lab-created moissanite gemstones.

Feel free to post any questions you have, or come in and see our selection of moissanite rings. We have some beautiful engagement rings ranging in price from $1,199 -$2,175 …..want a diamond but can’t quite afford what you want? Get a beautiful moissanite that will stand the test of time and wear!

Another GREAT resource is!

Personalized Necklaces designed by YOU!

Ever wanted to put together your own necklace that has personal meaning to you and you alone? Now you can at D. Cole!

Available in sterling silver and vermeil (sterling silver plated with gold) is a large selection of birthstone charms, initials, meaningful symbols and expressions that you can choose to make your own necklace. You can wear just one charm or you can wear multiple charms for a stacked, gathered look.


How it works:

  • choose from all of our charms in silver or vermeil
  • pick out a chain
  • slide the charms on the chain and voila!

For example, if your name was Cara, you could choose the “C” initial, your birthstone charm, and you could add a cute little bird, lotus flower or footprint to finish it off!


All of the sterling silver charms are $34 and all of the vermeil charms are $42. Sterling chains start at $16 and up. Examples of charms include a peace sign, a small cute bird, a lotus flower, expressions like Believe, Love, Mom, Sister, and many more. They make great gifts! There is also a sterling silver bangle that you can slide the charms on as well. Feel free to e-mail us at or comment directly to this post!


Japanese tsunami: be a part of the healing!

Hello all,

When D. Cole heard about the Japanese tsunami, we wanted to know how we could help. That’s when we came across the healing pendant in which 100% of the net proceeds will go to the Japanese tsunami victims and families.

The healing pendants’s three charms represent peace, life, and inner strength. The 24k gold plated and silver dove symbolizes peace and harmony.

The pearl represents regeneration, life, and rebirth, and the amethyst, a healing stone, promotes inner strength.

They are all hung from an adjustable 24k gold plated 16-18″ chain. Each necklace comes with a card defining the symbolic meaning of the pendant. The necklace price is $75.

100% of the proceeds will be donated to Direct Relief International which donates 100% of the funds towards Japan’s relief efforts.

healing pendant

Be a part of the healing! We send our thoughts, prayers, and healing energy to Japan, and hope, together with you, we can do our small part in the rebuilding of lives.

We buy gold!

Do you have any old gold jewelry pieces lying in the bottom of your jewelry box that you never wear? Think about bringing them in to D. Cole…we buy gold!

How does it work:

You bring in any gold/diamond pieces that you are interested in selling or trading for store credit. No appointment necessary.

hands of gold

A jeweler will evaluate and weigh the pieces. If it is something we’re interested in buying we’ll give you a scrap value price and a store credit value. You could walk with a check, the same day or pick something(s) out of our cases!

When we accept gold in trade, it’s a form of recycling because that gold is refined and is used in the manufacturing of new gold pieces here at D. Cole.

We give a significantly higher rate when you are using the gold to purchase a new item then paying cash, which is generally only for the scrap value. Scrap value is all dependent upon the gold market prices of that day.

So come on in and trade for some newer pieces that you will actually wear or simply get a check!

Pandora – Frequently Asked Questions

Pandora FAQs

We were the first local retailer to carry the entire line of Pandora in Maine! It has become unbelievably popular over the last few years. It’s time to start answering some of the most frequently asked questions from our customers. Feel free to post questions you have, that are not answered here.

1.)    “I’m buying a Pandora bracelet as a gift, how do I know what size to get?”

  • This is tricky. Without having a good idea what size wrist they have, you may end up making your best guess. Sizes go from 6.7” up to 9.1”. If we’re unsure we’ll go with the middle size of 7.5”, hope it fits, if it doesn’t then they can come in and we can size them with a full bracelet of beads to get the perfect size! It’s a paperless exchange as long as the bracelet was not worn.

2.)    “How do I clean my bracelet and beads?”

  • Do NOT use liquid silver polish!! It will remove the oxidation treatment to some of the beads and chains that actually look better if you leave them.
  • Do not wear product in pools or hot tubs.
  • Do not store with rubber bands.
  • Polishing cloths are the best option for cleaning, it can be timely, so while you’re watching TV, grab your bracelet and polishing cloth and polish away!
  • We offer free cleaning of bracelets, for really deep cleaning/polishing (items that were exposed to chemicals and foreign agents) there may be a charge or you may need to leave it depending on the condition.

3.)    “What is the difference between clips and spacers?”

  • It’s easy to get these mixed up! The clips actually open on a hinge the same way the clasp does. The clip goes over the two threaded pieces on the bracelet. They stop beads from traveling over and into the three different sections. They work well when you have a few beads that you don’t want to collect in one section by the end of the day. (Tip: If beads travel up onto the threaded section near the clasp and make it hard for you to undo the clasp, you can put a clip on the regular part of the bracelet (right next to the end of course) and it will stop beads from traveling onto it.)
  • Spacers are very small thinner beads that do not thread onto the bracelet. They look nice with one spacer in between each bead. Some people only get a couple, some people don’t use them at all, and some people put them every other bead. It depends on the look you’re going for.

4.)    “What are retired beads?”

  • Pandora occasionally “retires” beads. This means they are no longer making them so when you see a retired bead that you like…GET IT. We won’t be getting in any more.

5.)    “I’ve had my bracelet for a little while and with added beads it doesn’t fit well anymore, what can I do?”

  • Usually, you’d have to buy a new bracelet if your previous one is really worn. Once in awhile we’ll have worn bracelets that we may be able to swap it with, but it’s totally dependent on what we have and NEVER a guarantee. We try to accommodate you as much as possible.

6.)    “What can I do once my bracelet is full, am I done?”

  • This is a personal decision. You can certainly keep buying beads for your bracelet, the more the merrier! You can make many more combinations and coordinate colors to outfits. Many people buy multiple bracelets, they look really nice stacked. Or you could purchase a Pandora necklace or leather bracelet for another platform for your beads.

♥Blog written by Lindsey Cole

Will you be my Valentine?

Ready or not! Here come’s the February tradition we celebrate in earnest – Valentine’s Day. I know, it’s  a few weeks away, so why start promoting for it now? Just like their are last minute shoppers their are also early shoppers! You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm.

Here are some reasons to shop early for Valentine’s Day:

1. Supply – A lot of retail shops often have limited supply of Valentine’s specific items that go fast as the 14th gets closer. (But of course, you don’t have to buy Valentine’s Day specific pieces such as hearts and red jewelry!)

2. Peace of Mind – Have the satisfaction of knowing you don’t have to run around on the 13th or 14th searching through picked over cards or gifts!

3. Budgeting – Shopping early can give you an idea of what is available and what you could spend. We offer layaway, which works great this time of year, to take a few extra days or weeks to slowly pay off the jewelry.

We have dedicated an entire case to hold Valentine’s Day related jewelry pieces. Let me show you:

Pandora is brimming with love and heart beads, including new enamel ones! Start your special someone with a bracelet or add to one; we are the only full Pandora dealer in Maine that is locally owned and have carried it the longest (Support Buy local ). And don’t forget to check out our Tips for Men section on our website for those of you that aren’t sure what to get.

The Old Port has everything you need! Grab a card across the street at The Paper Patch, chocolates on Fore Street from Old Port Candy Co., and a lovely new piece of jewelry as a lasting sign of your love.

Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

PS – Don’t be shy, tell us what you think of our blog, comment on something you liked, tell us something you’d like us to blog about!

The Holiday Season has arrived at D. Cole!

Gobble, gobble…hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We have been very busy preparing the store for the 2010 holiday season. Take a peek:

This is our favorite time of year, we get to see so many of our returning customers and the Old Port is festive and cheerful. We’ve been preparing our cases and they are stocked FULL of new merchandise.

Gift ideas at D. Cole that we recommend most:

  • Sets of matching earrings and necklaces
  • The butterfly wing pieces
  • Pandora beads, especially the new holiday ones
  • Family jewelry – children’s initials, phrases, and birthstones
  • You can NEVER go wrong with a nice pair of diamond earrings

We don’t work on commission so there is no pressure shopping at D. Cole and our store policy is if you purchase something that your loved one just doesn’t LOVE, she can swap it for something she DOES love or receive a store credit.

DON’T FORGET: we are having our annual Wish List Party on Friday, December 3rd from 5-8PM. It’s such a fun night of low pressure, relaxed shopping for YOURSELF! Fill out a wish list, leave it with us and loved ones can come in and know exactly what you want. We are ALSO giving away FREE gift bags this year to the first 40 wish lists that are filled out. Local businesses such as Nomia, Tavecchias, Old Port Candy, Coastal Popcorn Co. and Mornings and Paris are taking part this year and contributing to these wonderful gift bags.

MEN: Check out our Tips for Men page that gives you pointers on how to prepare and shop for jewelry for your loved one.

There are a lot of winter festivities going on in the Old Port that D. Cole takes part in. The Shop for a Cause Day, Window Walk, Twelve Days of Christmas, Merry Madness…click here for more details.

We also have new hours in December. We are open on Sundays in December and nights on Fridays and Saturdays. Check our website or our Facebook page for updated hours each week.

Can’t wait to see everyone! Happy shopping :)