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topic 17345

Q&A's on Rhodium plating of silver rings


A discussion started in 2002 & continuing through 2017

(2002)

Q. I purchased a ring and it is described like this: 2 interlocking rhodium over sterling silver bands, with 2 diamond baguettes on each, joined by an emerald-cut diamond.

I am not expecting it to last forever, but I do expect to not have it turn my finger green, which is my main concern. So my actual question is Will sterling silver plated with Rhodium turn my finger green?

A. H. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Plainfield, Illinois, USA


(2002)

A. Rhodium and silver do not have green corrosion products.

Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating

supporting advertiser
Albuquerque, New Mexico
red sky banner ad


(2002)

A. I don't think it's necessary to nickel plate silver before the rhodium plating, but it is possible for there to be nickel plating on the silver before rhodium plating, right, Neil?

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


(2002)

A. Good point Ted, yes that is a common practice, so then a green result is possible.

Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating
Albuquerque, New Mexico


Nickel Detection plus Nickel-guard Coating

(2005)

Q. Okay, so in follow-up, from what I understand, a ring that has been plated with nickel before rhodium plating has the potential to turn a person's finger green.

Does this only happen when the Rhodium finish has worn away? If so this can be easily prevented with regular re-plating, right? Or does the nickel potentially turn your finger green regardless of the Rhodium plating?

Somayeh F [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- OC, California


(2005)

A. Rhodium is a stressed and brittle "dried mudflat" plating, and quite thin. If, in fact, the particular item in question does include a layer of nickel plating, yes, I guess it could turn a finger green. Please see our FAQs which include a great presentation by Artisan Plating on the subject of rhodium plating. I think the better answer is there should be no nickel plating. Thanks.

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


(2007)

Q. The details on the ring said:

Silver CRYSTAL 3.5 Carat Cubic Zirconia ROUND Ring

Rhodium Plated Ring

Our quality Rhodium plated jewelry will make the difference. Get the Look of Real Genuine Precious Stone Jewelry at a fraction of the Cost. Elegant Cubic Zirconia Jewelry.

Textured Rhodium band with 10 mm prong set Round Cubic Zicronia in center with 1 square and 4 round Cubic Zirconia's on each side.

Should I worry about the ring turning my finger green or any other color or will I be okay?

Amber Chevelle Bowman
consumer - Chattanooga, Tennesee, United States


(2007)

A. Rhodium is a precious metal often ten times as costly as gold; the rhodium itself will not turn your finger green or any other color, Amber. But it is a thin and porous coating only a few millionths of an inch thick, and you haven't told us (perhaps you haven't been told yourself) what the ring is made of. If it's silver you should be okay. If not, and if it hasn't been claimed to be gold, it probably is copper and nickel and I think you may have a problem.

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



September 15, 2014

Q. I purchased the cutest sterling silver mother of pearl ring. Immediately got a number of compliments on it. However, half way through the day my finger turned dark everywhere that the ring was touching. I contacted the merchant who said that they used rhodium plating on it. Do others have this problem? I've always been sensitive, but nothing like this.

M Hubbard
- Mesa, Arizona Maricopa


September 2014

A. Hi M. Rhodium is a precious metal like platinum and gold and would not cause any such discoloration or irritation. I would suspect nickel; you can test for it.

Regards,

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


Rainbow Ring

November 6, 2014

Q. I want to buy this ring and want to know if it's good for the price and whether the ring will last for long and not tarnish even if I put it in water ... I've pasted the link =>

A Noorani
- Maharashtra,Mumbai,India


November 2014

A. Hi Noorani. Even precious metal rings should not be worn in the water -- certainly not rhodium plated sterling silver rings.

Thanks for your vote of confidence in this site, but as of today Amazon has 19 reviews of that ring by actual owners of it, and those reviews can certainly reveal more than our guesses based on a photograph :-)

Best of luck with it.

Regards,

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


May 1, 2015

Q. I purchased a sterling silver ring and it us turning my finger green. The manufacturer said it's because of the rhodium. How likely is that?

Melissa villano
- folcroft Pennsylvania, America.


May 2015

thumbs up signHi Melissa. No point in Neil Bell or myself answering because we've already said that rhodium is a precious metal that does not corrode like that, but agreed that there could be nickel plating between the silver base and the rhodium plating, and that could turn green. I think it's obvious that that's a bad idea though.

Regards,

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



October 7, 2017

Q. So if there is no nickel it will not turn black or green?

Helen Smith
- Somerset New Jersey USA


October 2017

A. Hi Helen. Right ... neither silver nor rhodium ought to turn green. But silver can turn black ... and the reason for the rhodium plating is to deter that.

Regards,

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



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