The jewelry world is full of countless brands, each purporting to be high-quality, unique, fashionable, worthy of your attention, and somehow also very affordable. Some do manage to tick all of those boxes, however, and it’s always fascinating to see just how they have managed to do it.
Enter Missoma Jewelry.
You may have heard about this brand from the many online influencers singing its praises or you may have even seen Missoma pieces on the hands of British Royalty, including Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. So, a quick browsing of their website may leave you surprised at how affordable most of their pieces actually are and how good their shipping and refund policies are too.
To find out how it all works, and whether you should shop at Missoma, let’s go into our full Missoma Jewelry review.
What is Missoma Jewelry?
Missoma is a fairly new UK jewelry brand established in 2008 by Marissa Horden and her mother Michelle and sister Sophie. The name Missoma comes from an amalgamation of the first two letters of each of their names – Michelle, Sophie, Marrisa.
The brand was created with the explicit purpose of utilizing gold vermeil jewelry to its absolute best in order to create jewelry pieces that are both gorgeous and high-quality, as well as quite affordable. That, together with the numerous very creative and ingenious designs the trio has been coming up with for years is why Missoma has managed to become so successful.
If you’re just now hearing about gold vermeil, however – or if you’ve only been hearing negatives about it before – let’s take a quick look at what makes it special and why it has helped Missoma jewelry so much.
What is gold vermeil?
You may have heard some people bad-mouthing vermeil because “it’s just gold plating and gold plating isn’t durable.” And that is true – vermeil is a type of gold plating, meaning that the base of the jewelry pieces isn’t made out of gold and there is only a single thin layer of gold on top of that non-gold base.
A lot of people see gold-plated jewelry as kind of a “fake gold jewelry.” That can be seen as accurate if the retailer hasn’t disclosed that the piece is gold-plated. Missoma Jewelry makes it no secret that their jewelry is made out of gold vermeil, however, and are not only upfront about it but even use it as a selling point.
To see why Missoma’s use of vermeil is largely seen as a pro rather than a con, let’s check out the difference between vermeil and regular gold plating:
- Standard gold-plated jewelry uses brass or copper as its base – these are good and durable metals but have quite low overall value. Vermeil, on the other hand, uses sterling silver instead of brass or copper. Sterling silver – while not as valuable and expensive as pure gold – is held in much higher regard than brass and copper, hence why vermeil is seen as more valuable than regular gold plating.
- Another key difference is that the gold plating in vermeil is much thicker than in regular gold-plated jewelry – 2.5 microns (one 10 thousand of an inch) for vermeil compared to 0.175 microns (one 7 millionths of an inch) for regular gold plating. While both of these numbers can seem pretty low, the difference between 2.5 and 0.175 microns cannot be understated.
With these two key points out of the way, it should be clear why vermeil isn’t “just gold plating”. It’s also worth noting that the quality of the materials can still make a difference – vermeil can be made with 10K gold and with 18K gold – both would be vermeil but one is considerably better and more valuable than the other. In Missoma’s case, they use 18K gold for their vermeil.
As a consequence of that, Missoma Jewelry is technically demi-fine jewelry rather than fine jewelry – the latter label is reserved for jewelry that’s made entirely of precious metals and precious gemstones, which doesn’t include vermeil and gold platings in general.
This “demi-fine” label can be seen as a major drawback but is also what makes Missoma so unique and valued – because Marissa Horden and her family have managed to use this type of gold plating to make jewelry that’s as high-quality, as well-designed, and as gorgeous as possible, while also keeping it much more affordable than all its fine jewelry competitors.
Besides, while Missoma is first and foremost famous for its gold vermeil, the brand also has solid gold and gold plating options too, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Pros and Cons of Missoma Jewelry
To further illustrate the above point, let’s list the main pros and cons of Missoma.
- Much of Missoma’s jewelry is made with 18K gold vermeil but there are also solid gold fine jewelry options and regular gold-plated jewelry
- Missoma designs are always gorgeous to look at, unorthodox, and unique, as well as very versatile which is a big part of why the brand has become so popular so quickly
- The quality and heft of the jewelry are excellent and indistinguishable from fine jewelry
- Huge selection of a wide variety of jewelry types and accessories
- Missoma Jewelry pieces are quite affordable for their great quality and look
- Missoma has a 100% carbon-neutral footprint
- Most Missoma pieces come with a 2-year warranty and a 60-day free return policy
- Free shipping both in the UK and in Europe, provided a certain budget limit has been reached. Worldwide shipping isn’t free but is quite affordable
- Missoma does shipping to 200 countries and also works with a wide range of international jewelry stockists you can also check out
- Missoma offers frequent discounts, including 10% off for all subscribers of their newsletter
- Even with all of the above, Missoma jewelry is demi-fine and not fine jewelry
- Even though vermeil is much better than regular gold plating, it is still a type of plating and is less durable than solid gold
- As demi-fine jewelry, the chance of it becoming a family heirloom piece is lower
- Missoma can be worn as everyday jewelry and still last for years or even decades, but it will require expert care and maintenance
Is Missoma the right brand for you?
Missoma Jewelry can be said to be the absolute ideal brand for anyone who wants jewelry pieces that are both gorgeous, uniquely designed, and very affordable.
It can be an especially great choice for someone who wants great jewelry pieces for special events (weddings, company events, family reunions, etc.) instead of everyday use. This way, you can largely bypass the main drawback of vermeil/gold platings – the lower durability and the risk of scratching.
If you do want to get a Missoma piece for everyday use, that’s also an option, however, a fine jewelry piece will come with much better durability. In this case, you’d want to take the absolute best possible care for your Missoma piece – never wear it when you sleep, bathe, or work/play with your hands, always clean it regularly and carefully, and so on.
If you are hesitant about getting demi-fine jewelry because it’s not as prestigious as fine jewelry, then it’s understandable if you’d rather stay away from Missoma. Nevertheless, the brand has become so popular and widely admired, that it’s hardly “unprestigious” to wear Missoma – if it’s good enough for the British royal family, it’s good enough for everybody.
This leaves us with the pretty much only factor that’d make Missoma’s vermeil a bad option for somebody – if you’re looking for jewelry that has heirloom and/or investment value.
That’s because, even if you only wear your Missoma piece occasionally and even if you take the best possible care of it, it still won’t have the same longevity as a pure gold fine jewelry piece.
If that last point is a deal-breaker for you, you can also take a look at Missoma’s solid gold collection too. Likewise, if Missoma’s vermeil jewelry isn’t affordable enough for your taste, they have regular gold-plated options too.
FAQs About Missoma
For a bit more insight into Missoma Jewelry, here’s a quick FAQ with some extra things to note:
1. Is Missoma’s gold high quality?
Both Missoma’s vermeil, regular gold platings, and solid gold fine jewelry are made with high-quality 14K or 18K gold. The vermeil and gold platings are always made with 18K gold while for the solid gold pieces, Missoma uses high-quality recycled 14K gold. The vermeil jewelry base is also made with high-quality recycled sterling silver – both of these last two factors help Missoma maintain a 100% carbon-neutral footprint.
2. Is Missoma considered a luxury brand?
While the affordable prices or the “demi-fine” label can fool you at first glance, Missoma is very much considered a luxury brand by any standard. Their products are worn by world-famous celebrities and royalty, their vermeil is of the highest quality, and they also have a solid gold fine jewelry collection if vermeil isn’t your thing.
3. Where is Missoma jewelry made?
The brand is based in the United Kingdom and its jewelry is designed on-location in its Notting Hill HQ in London. After that, the pieces are crafted expertly and responsibly in Thailand and India under fair wage conditions with all 6 factories in India and Thailand certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council.
4. How to clean Missoma’s vermeil to prolong its life?
Maintenance is crucial for all gold-plated jewelry, including vermeil. The first thing to note here is that you need to clean the dust off your jewelry even when it appears clean – that’s because dust can easily lead to minor scratches that can accumulate over time. So, gently wiping your Missoma jewelry with a soft and lint-free cloth or chamois is advisable – even daily if you can.
After that, an occasional wash with lukewarm water, a soft cloth piece, and a mild soap is also a good idea for all types of dirt.
As you can see, there is a lot to like about Missoma Jewelry and quite a few things that make it unique – both positives and negatives. Even if you’ve decided that this isn’t the brand or jewelry type for you, it’s undeniable that Missoma deserves its place in the jewelry world today.
Looking for information on more jewelry brands? Check out our in-depth reviews on Swarovski, Pandora, Gorjana, Kendra, and Mejuri. For information on vintage brands, check out our guides on Coro and Trifari.