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All about Rhodium Plating

Stephen Alan's Jewellers - The Jewellery Blog

You might have heard about Rhodium Plating, if you’re really into your jewellery, jewellery design and jewellery making processes, or if you’ve checked out our jewellery repairs and alterations section on our website, where we offer it as part of a jewellery polishing service.


But, what is Rhodium Plating? What is Rhodium, how do jewellers use it, and why? To answer these questions and more about Rhodium and Rhodium Plating, we’ve created this short article for the Stephen Alan’s Jewellery Blog, ‘All about Rhodium Plating’.


If you find the article informative and helpful, as it’s designed to be, we’d love it if you gave it a share to let others find out more about Rhodium Plating. Or, if you’re looking for a Rhodium Plating specialist in Leighton Buzzard, or Bedfordshire, don’t hesitate in getting in touch.


What is Rhodium?

First things first – Rhodium is a by-product of mining platinum, copper or nickel. It’s white-silver in colour, highly-reflective, and only exists in tiny amounts within nickel or platinum ore. Rhodium is also hypoallergenic, a property we’ll cover further down the article.


Why don’t most people know about Rhodium?


The answer to this question is, Rhodium is really rare. And to put that into perspective, only 20 tons of Rhodium is mined worldwide each year, a rarity that gives it a price tag of around £11,868.59 per ounce, in comparison to gold which in 2022 is around £1,400 per ounce.


Is it safe to wear Rhodium plated jewellery?


Yes! Rhodium plated jewellery is amongst the safest jewellery to wear, for a variety of reasons, two of which include:


  • Rhodium doesn’t easily oxidise or corrode: This means Rhodium Plated Jewellery won’t leave any unattractive green marks around your fingers or neck, or react in other ways to your skin.

  • Rhodium is Hypoallergenic: As Rhodium is Nickel-Free it’s totally hypoallergenic, meaning it’s safe for most people to wear without risking a reaction.

Can I buy pure rhodium jewellery?

No, and there are a three good reasons -


For a start, the price would make it too expensive for most people, especially when you think Rhodium is often (taking price fluctuations into consideration) ten times the price of gold.


The second reason is because of its rarity, Rhodium’s almost impossible to buy in large amounts, especially as the motor industry gets in first, to use the stock for components in catalytic converters.


The third reason you can’t buy pure rhodium jewellery is that as a metal, Rhodium is just too brittle to be made into whole pieces of jewellery. Although, as a plating it enhances the durability of the jewellery it plates.


Does Rhodium plating make jewellery stronger?


Yes! Rhodium Plating is a tough, durable plating that should protect the jewellery for up to seven years, depending on how you wear the jewellery, and how you treat your jewellery in general, whether we’re talking a rhodium plated ring, bracelet or necklace.


To find out if your rhodium plated jewellery needs re-plating, carefully inspect it to see if the original colour of the jewellery is showing through, especially around the gemstone setting, as rhodium plating can sometimes be burned off during the process of setting or the resetting of a stone.


Why should I get my jewellery Rhodium Plated?


The key reasons for getting your jewellery rhodium plated by a jeweller skilled in rhodium plating are:


  • Rhodium plating hides imperfections: All jewellery will have natural imperfections, whether dents, scuffs or scratches, all of which can be hidden beneath a coating of rhodium.

  • Rhodium plating protects your jewellery: As Rhodium is one of the hardest metals, once the your jewellery has been plated, the rhodium will help protect it from further scratches and scuffs etc.

  • Rhodium plating makes your jewellery look fantastic: It’s difficult to deny, but once your jeweller has polished and rhodium plated your jewellery, it will have a much more startling, whitish, silvery sparkle with fewer imperfections.

  • Rhodium is hypoallergenic: As we’ve already mentioned, Rhodium is hypoallergenic, so if you’re giving a piece of rhodium-plated jewellery to someone with sensitive skin, you can be sure it won’t cause a allergic reaction.


How is Rhodium Plating done?


Speak to any good jeweller and they’ll tell that most people assume Rhodium Plating is a simple process of dipping the piece in Rhodium. Although dipping is the basic process, it’s what the jeweller does with the piece before dipping that makes all the difference.

Check out the video below to see what happens before a piece of jewellery is rhodium plated.

Is Rhodium Plating worth it?


Definitely! By getting your jewellery rhodium plated, you’re not only improving the appearance of the piece, you’re also making it more durable and scratch resistant, and helping it to last longer, especially if it’s a piece you wear all the time.


Looking for a rhodium plating specialist?


If you have a piece of jewellery you’d like to be rhodium plated, contact Stephen Alan’s Jewellers, either using our handy online form, by email at info@stephenalansjewellers.co.uk or by phone on 01525 373177 to speak to one of our rhodium plating experts.




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