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Sensitivity to Rhodium plated Jewelry

     

September 4, 2008

I was just curious as to the effects of rhodium on skin. Ie... turning the skin green, etc. I have very sensitive skin, and am interested in purchasing a set from my jeweler, however, the set is 24K gold, and rhodium plated. Just wondering if I should purchase it, or purchase a wholly gold set.
Thanks!

Ashley McCormick
buyer - Belton, Texas

September 5, 2008

Hi, Ashley. I seriously doubt that a ring set is 24K gold -- it would be soft like putty and couldn't be polished to a shine. Further, pure gold is yellow, so 24K gold is always yellow, whereas you seem to be talking about white (Rhodium is white). If you don't care about the color, yellow gold in as high a karat as available is probably less allergenic than white gold or rhodium plated gold. Platinum may be less allergenic than anything, and it is white.

Regards,

Ted Mooney   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


September 11, 2008

Your sensitivity is most likely nickel and it is quite common. Usually, a higher karat gold, 18K, for yellow gold will help however, even this may have some copper in it, and this may also be a problem. If you like white color, then Platinum is the best, however, it is very expensive at the present time. An alternative for white gold is to have a jeweler custom make a white gold item with Palladium as the alloy with the yellow gold. this will make the gold white, but without the nickel. If you explain this allergy to to jeweler, he or she can usually find one of the newer alloys that don't use any nickel. Your best choice is to find a custom jeweler who can tailor the alloy to what may work best for you.

Jeff Salmon
clocksmith/restorer - Monterey, California

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