Rhodium plating is commonly used in jewelry to enhance the durability of metals like silver and white gold. It provides them with a smooth finish that is beautiful and shiny and diamond rings, in particular, benefit greatly from rhodium plating because it enhances the brilliance of the diamond, making it extremely attractive.
Rhodium is a precious element that is rare and more expensive than gold. It is silver-hued, highly reflective and also harder than gold, so it is very durable. It will not tarnish or corrode but is a brittle metal, so it cannot be easily shaped or formed, and this is why pure rhodium cannot be made into jewelry. It can crack or break on its own, but when it is used to plate other jewelry, it will enhance the durability of the metal, and this is why it is very popular in this field.
Rhodium plating will not only increase the durability of a piece of jewelry, it will also increase its luster and light reflection as well. A rhodium plated piece of jewelry will be more scratch resistant because it is a hard metal, and this is generally used on silver-hued metals like white gold, palladium or silver. Professional jewelers will plate the piece of jewelry with the ideal thickness, and this aspect will vary based on the piece. Rings and other jewelry items that are exposed to rough wear will have a different thickness requirement than earrings and pendants as they are more sheltered.
Rhodium plated jewelry is very safe to wear and is hypoallergenic, so you will not experience any skin reactions. Rhodium does not contain any allergens like nickel, and if you have a piece of jewelry that is causing you skin reactions, having it rhodium plated will actually help eliminate this problem. In order for a piece of jewelry to be plated, it needs to first be thoroughly cleaned because all of the contaminants must be removed. Dirt will not allow the plating to hold, and distilled water, steam cleaning and electro cleaning are just some of the ways the piece can be cleaned before it is dipped into the rhodium solution. A positive electrical charge will then be used to fuse the rhodium onto the base metal, and the process generally takes about an hour and a half to complete.
Rhodium plating can wear off over time, and if this happens, it will need to be replated. Jewelry will suffer wear and tear with exposure, and a ring should be replated every 12 to 18 months, although this will vary depending on the condition of the piece and the thickness of the plating. The colour of the base metal will also make a difference, as will the body chemistry of the wearer, so different elements will affect how quickly the plating wears off.
If you need more information regarding rhodium plated jewelry, the experts at Leduc Goldsmith can help. We will answer all of your questions and will help you find the perfect piece of jewelry, so contact us today!