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topic 11286

Rhodiumized Gold


Ed. note; This is an interesting thread, and only one of many. Before you get too confused, you might want to start with our FAQ on Rhodium Plating and White Gold to get an overall understanding :-)

 

I was told the engagement ring for my girlfriend was 'rhodiumized' over yellow gold I wanted white gold.....Is this what I want? or is this a quick fix to make it Look like white gold.....I'm very weary of purchasing since I wanted white gold.... Please explain to me what this process is and how it effects what I really want (white gold).

Thanks,

Robert Scott
- Trumbull, Connecticut


 

Rhodium plating is an accepted part of white gold jewelry these days, but the base metal should be white gold rather than yellow gold. Do a search of this site for dozens of replies to your questions.

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


 

Hi Robert,

The term you are using probably refers to a layer of rhodium electroplated over gold (yellow). I would return the ring and replace it with a setting made of solid white gold. From my viewpoint, the long term durability of rhodium plated rings are not acceptable. Overtime usually (less than 2 years) you will need to replace the rhodium plating, which will wear away on the leading wear edges of the ring. This is especially true on the edges of the ring's band where constant contact with objects during the course of everyday wear occur. Most jewelers do a good job pointing that fact out. Unfortunately, most customers usually don't hear or remember that "due care rhodium disclosure" after the sale is over.

There are numerous designs either in nickel based white gold or palladium based white gold available to you. Please bear in mind that even if you purchase a white gold ring from a reputable jeweler, the ring will probably still be plated with a thin layer (.05 to .15 microns) of rhodium to enhance its brightness. This is common industry practice and is quite legal. The primary reason for this is to enhance the product. As a plated finish, Rhodium is "whiter" than white gold (reflects light waves about 75-80% versus 60-65% for white gold). As a result the rhodium plating is more reflective and appears brighter visually than non-plated white gold. After the rhodium wears away, the white gold setting (depending on the alloy content)will appear as a "grayish-white" color, however, it is still quite pleasing visually when repolished. At that point you can decide to have it replated with rhodium or leave it 'au natural".

You might try checking with the Hoover and Strong company. They have a large selection of both nickel based and palladium based white gold settings (No, I have no affiliation with them other than as a satisfied customer).

Hope this helps!

David Vinson
Metal Arts Specialties - Leonard, Michigan


 

I have a pendant that I want to turn into white gold. The jeweler I asked about it to said they do a process called rhodium plating. Is that not white gold? Also they said it doesn't last forever. How long will it last for and how much should this process normal range in cost?

Jackie
student - Chicago, Illinois, USA


 

I recently purchased an engagement ring in white gold, and within 1 month the gold color has shown through. it was recommended that I rhodium plate the ring to bring back the chrome looking finish. Will this process work and will it be a permanent fix to the problem ?

Scott Romanov
jewelry plating - Lakeland, Florida, USA



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