What is Rhodium Plating and Reason to have it on your Jewellery?
Do you own a piece of white gold, silver or platinum jewellery? If yes, chances are that your jewellery has already been plated with rhodium metal. Being 10 to 25 times more expensive than gold, rhodium is extremely durable, highly reflective and a rare transition metal. Applying a thin coat of rhodium on your jewellery will make it shinier and more resistant to scratching. Here is an insightful guide on rhodium plating and its benefits.
What is Rhodium Plating?
Rhodium Plating, also referred to as rhodium flashing or rhodium dip, is a process that involves applying a thin layer of rhodium to a piece of jewellery to prevent it from tarnishing. This maximises the resilience of the jewellery from scratches and adds a reflective, elegant touch to it. While rhodium plating is commonly used for white gold jewellery, silver, platinum and other precious jewelleries can also undergo this process.
What is involved in Rhodium Plating?
The first step involved in the rhodium plating process is to thoroughly clean the jewellery. Even the smallest scrap of dirt could prevent the rhodium coating from sticking to it. This is why some jewellers consider using an electro-cleaning process to clean the jewellery. The method involves polishing the jewellery to eliminate visible scratches, placing it in an ultrasonic unit, power steaming the jewellery piece and rinsing it in an electro-cleaning base. Once cleaned, a positive electrical charge is used to blend the rhodium onto the base metal.
How Long Does Rhodium Plating Last?
Most shoppers deem that rhodium plating is permanent. This is merely a misconception, and like other metals, rhodium ring also suffers from wear and tear with exposure. Typically, the jewellery has to be re-plated every 12 to 18 months. However, this can vary based on the following factors
- Wear and tear the jewellery piece sustains
- Colour of the base metal
- Thickness of the plating
- Body condition of the wearer
What are the Benefits of Rhodium Plating?
- Rhodium Plating increases the overall appearance, luster and reflectivity of the underlying metal base.
- As rhodium is more durable, it provides added protection to the metal base, making it less susceptible to damage and corrosion.
- Rhodium is hypoallergenic. As it is free from nickel and other harmful materials, it does not aggravate skin allergies in the wearer.
If you would like to polish and rhodium-plate your jewellery pieces, you can count on Diamond Story. Let’s help restore the sparkle of your dull jewellery. For any questions you may have, give us a call on 03 9642 3649.