Rhodium is a silver -colored platinum group metal discovered in 1803, shortly after the discovery of palladium.
It is one of the most expensive materials in the world due to its scarcity and is found in platinum and nickel mines.
Its main characteristics are its difficulty to oxidize, its hardness and its resistance to acids. This precious metal has a Mohs hardness of 6.
Its main use in jewelry with meaningful messages is to bathe other metals to prevent them from oxidizing or scratching easily. In addition, the rhodium plating provides a shine and exquisite finish to the piece.
The rhodium bath consists of immersing the piece in a chemical solution with several grams of rhodium diluted in it, depositing a layer of this metal on the surface of the jewel.
The rhodium plating process consists of two baths to ensure the duration of the piece. On the one hand, a platinum bath to give clarity and hardness to the jewel, and then proceeds to the rhodium bath to finish with the piece in perfect condition.
This process is delicate; it needs a lot of care and ventilation due to the use of powerful chemicals.
Why is white gold jewelry rhodium plate?
In order to explain this, we first need to know where white gold comes from. 18 karat white gold is a mixture of 75% pure gold (24 karat) and 25% palladium and silver. When this mixture is made, the gold is not completely white; it has a yellowish color. That’s where rhodium comes in, to finish off the pure white color and also strengthen the piece against wear.
Any piece can be rhodium plate, but considering the price of the metal, fewer and fewer pieces are rhodium plate.
An example of a type of jewelry for dad who passed away that continues to be rhodium plated is white gold engagement rings or wedding bands.
How long does the rhodium plating last?
Well, this will depend on the piece in question, for example, a ring does not suffer the same friction as earrings. The ring spends more time in contact with other surfaces that scratch and deteriorate the piece. The average length of time is one year.
How to care for rhodium-plated jewelry?
If we want to extend the duration of the rhodium plating, we have to avoid contact of the metal with other damaging surfaces. Take off the ring to put on creams, avoid contact with water as much as possible and if you work with it, take it off so that it does not suffer wear.
Do you have any doubt?
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our customer service, we will be happy to assist you.
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