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Can Chrome plating be used for jewelry decoration?

Q. I have seen some Black Chrome that had a wonderful smokey finish to it and was wondering why it has not yet been used for accents on jewelry? Is there a problem with such an application? And can a Black Chrome setup be used in a small scale operation as this?

Kenneth Alan Hintz
- Bangkok Thailand

A. I don't see a serious problem with this if it's on the outside, not in skin contact, and agree that it could be an interesting finish. But chrome is not much used for jewelry for a couple of reasons. First, it requires an underlayer of something, usually nickel plating, and a lot of people are allergic to nickel (white bronze is used instead of nickel for nickel-free jewelry). Second, it's probably not particularly corrosion resistant in a case where it's frequently exposed to wet salty sweat.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. Did you consider a black rhodium [adv: black rhodium plating solution on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] which can be applied through a deep bath or by pen?

Sam Obermeister
- Brooklyn, New York

Q. I have a bracelet I love, that was sold to me under some false pretenses and now it starting to rust in places. Is it possible to have the bracelet plated and still have it be able to move around or will the chrome turn the whole thing into one big hard piece of chrome?
Unless its WAAAAY cost prohibitive, I am very interested in having this done if anyone out there does this kind of work.
Thanks in advance!

Kip Caven
- Jackson, Mississippi, USA
May 17, 2013

A. Hi Kip. Plating will not turn most link-type bracelets into a single hard chunk; but please email a picture to for posting because I suppose there could be issues if the bracelet were an almost cloth-like band.

Only steel can rust, and jewelry is not usually made of steel; it is questionable whether steel jewelry will be satisfactory with any plating. Jewelry is not normally chrome plated either; but rhodium plating (which is extremely shiny and chrome-like) isn't uncommon. Again a picture may help because you may have a brass or nickel-silver bracelet with rhodium plating. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
May 17, 2013

Q. Hi Ted- Thank you for your response-this is a bracelet I LOVE


When I got it, man it was SHINY and now its really let me down- I don't know if you can do anything with it but I sure would love to have a shiny bracelet again if its affordable! Thanks!

Kip Caven
- Jackson, Mississippi, USA
May 17, 2013

A. Hi. It looks like it's made of brass or bronze and was silver plated. But if it was really "SHINY" like chrome, then it was probably rhodium plated.

It looks like there may be tiny steel springs and roll pins in those links, so it may be necessary to either disassemble it or brush plate it. If a local jeweller can't silver plate or rhodium plate it for you, see the banner at the bottom of the page for plating shops specializing in jewelry plating.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
May 22, 2013

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