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Black Rhodium Plating


Q. We are marketers of pgm and have had an enquiry about black Rhodium plating.

Can anyone advise how to Black Rhodium Plate jewellery? What products/processes are required?


Neill Swan
- UK


A. There are proprietary products for Black Rhodium. Turn to the big suppliers. I know you can find it in UK.

Sara Michaeli
    chemical process supplier


A. We are building this kind of equipment for plating Jewellery, but are You sure about "Black" Rhodium? Or it is Ruthenium ?


Lino Zorzi
- Romano d'Ezz. (VI) Italy


A. There are a couple of informative patents on the subject:

US 441 6742
US 448 6513

These give reasonable details at the level of patent information.

Nahum Finkelstein
- Haifa Israel

November 5, 2008

Q. I just spoke to a plating shop that no longer offers black rhodium plating (even though it's still on their website) because it did not hold up to wear -- they too are looking for an answer. However everyone at the N.Y. JA show who showed it swore it would hold up very well. What gives?

Eve Alfille
- Evanston, Illinois

November 20, 2008

A. Hi, Eve. I am not a jeweler but I have fielded hundreds of complaints on this site about (white) rhodium plated rings turning yellow, and I suspect the issue is about the same: Rhodium plating is millionths of an inch thick. If it is plated onto a substrate that is the same color, and/or if the plating is on recessed low-wear areas, I suspect it's fine. If it's plated onto a high-wear area of a different color metal, it can't possibly look good for long.


pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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