If you are thinking about jewelry, you have probably heard the word “rhodium plating” mentioned frequently. However, are you aware what it is and when it is best used? Here is everything you should know.
What is Rhodium?
First things first. Let’s get rid of what this mysterious rhodium is. Rhodium is a block of platinum, like gold, silver, or platinum, only more costly! In fact, it is the most expensive of all precious metals. How come that?
Well, since it is quite rare in nature, it is only found as a by-product of mining for other metals, such as platinum. Unfortunately, this affects the cost of rhodium rendering it very volatile as its availability is linked to platinum supply and demand.
If You Want To Make Solid Rhodium Jewelry?
As we have said, the cost of rhodium has enormous downs and ups. Sometimes it could skyrocket to ten times the value of gold, usually when platinum is not mined as much due to a drop in demand. Other times, rhodium prices drop much nearer to the cost of platinum or gold.
Due to the complexity of the problem, rhodium is not probably the most stable of investments. Another justification why it is not useful for a lot more than plating is that, when pure, it is brittle rather than very malleable.
Why Is Rhodium So Good?
While rhodium is both very costly and too brittle to create jewelry out of, it creates a fantastic plating material. It is used to cover up imperfections and lend an increased sheen to silver or white gold pieces. Being harder than both silver and gold, it makes a fantastic protective coat that shields jewelry from scratches also.
Among its most significant advantages is that it doesnât tarnish and requires no particular cleaning procedures. Rhodium plating is an excellent recommendation for customers that are allergic to silver also since it shall protect them from direct contact.
When Is Rhodium Plating Not A Good Idea?
Up to now, rhodium plating sounds excellent! Will you want to utilize it for everything? Wouldn’t it make any little bit of jewelry better infinitely? Well, no. There are several cases when rhodium plating does not work well, for various reasons.
Of all first, it is worth considering that a very thin layer of rhodium can be used in plating procedures. Through regular use, this layer comes off, making replating essential every couple of years. With regards to pieces like necklaces or rings that can come in close connection with the skin, the rubbing causes the plating ahead quickly off more.
This results in a dependence on a thicker layer of plating, which, subsequently, changes the color of the piece significantly. Thick layers of plating have a darker color compared to the brilliant silver noticeably, and that may not interest all customers.
Although some customers just like the darker finish of thicker plated pieces, be aware that it is not the dazzlingly bright color of silver. Vintage pieces require an oxidized finish, excluding rhodium plating that is typically very shiny thus. Additionally, it is avoided in high polish silver pieces which are hand-polished during manufacturing.
Closing Thoughts On Rhodium PlatingWhile rhodium plating has its purpose and works great to offset diamonds and cubic zirconia, different lines of products require different finishes. Although it provides a bright shine without tarnish initially, over time, it is costlier for maintenance and contains a darker finish than pure silver.
If cleaning concerns will be the primary reason you are thinking about rhodium plating, be aware that in the event of tarnish, silver is polished to its original condition quickly.