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topic 13825

How to strip / remove rhodium plating from silver


A discussion started in 2007 but continuing through 2019

2007

Q. I have a sterling silver ring w/ cubic zirconiums. This ring has a heavy rhodium plate which has been very difficult to remove. I am one of those people who like the patina of silver, so therefore I would like to have the rhodium removed. Can you advise the best way to have this done? I work for a jeweler, and the craftsperson is not clear as to the best, safest way to proceed to achieve the results I would like. Which if I have not been perfectly clear is a Sterling Silver patina without a rhodium covering. Thank you, Deep in Rhodium.

Carole Field
Admin at a Jewelry store - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA


 

Q. Is there any way to remove rhodium plating from silver jewelry?

Cheryl Adelman
- Sarasota, Florida


 

A. If the rhodium is plated directly over the silver it cannot be removed with chemicals; but if the rhodium is on a nickel underplate you may be able to strip the nickel from under the rhodium. It takes a long time in the nickel stripper to do this.

Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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June 23, 2010 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I have a highly detailed 200 year old antique sterling silver item that has been rhodium plated. Is it possible to remove the rhodium without damaging the item in any way? Mechanical removal such as polishing with an abrasive is not an option.

Virginia Seys
collector - London, England


June 30, 2010

A. Since rhodium is not soluble in most any chemical, mechanical removal is about your only option.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA


July 6, 2010

A. Try acidified rhodium sulphate solution and electrolytic etching process(object = anode). You can probably use very diluted solution (1-2 g rhodium sulphate/1 lit water+few drops of sulphuric acid). All rhodium salts are very, very expensive! Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia



March 15, 2019

Q. I've read the comments about how to remove black rhodium from sterling silver. And I'm hoping that things have advanced since some of these older answers were posted as far back as 2003

I have a sterling silver chain which is black rhodium plated AND I would like to have the black rhodium removed. Additionally, it is important to know that the chain also has London Blue topaz "station" jewels affixed along the chain.

Please help me learn of a way to return this chain to the sterling silver finish beneath.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, in advance. Kelly

Kelly Haney
- Destin, Florida USA


March 2019

A. Hi Kelly. You can probably plate bright silvery rhodium onto the black rhodium, but it won't look good for long when bright plating wears and the black starts showing through.

Neil has advised us that the only hope for chemically stripping the rhodium would hinge on whether there is a nickel underlayer which can be attacked.

Can you list it for sale and look for the same thing in silver color?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



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