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Rhodium plating of silver rings Q&A's



⇦ (tip: readers rarely show much interest in abstract questions, but people's actual situations usually prompt responses)   smiley face

Q. Hi everyone;
I had a question about silver ring plating.
Can any coating (other than nickel) be used under rhodium?
Thank you.

morteza mosafa
- iran, isfahan
March 9, 2022



"Electroplating of the Lesser-known precious Metals: Rhodium, Ruthenium, Iridium, Rhenium, Osmium"
by Terry Jones

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

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A. Hi Morteza. To reduce nickel allergies white bronze is widely used as a bright underlayer on jewelry in place of nickel. You can search the site for dozens of threads about white bronze plating, which goes under many trade names and traditional names. Alternately, palladium plating can be used.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
March 2022




⇩ Closely related postings, oldest first ⇩



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
redsky
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
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
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
supporting advertiser
Albuquerque, New Mexico
redsky
2002




Multiple threads were merged: please forgive repetition, chronology errors, or disrespect towards other postings [they weren't on the same page] :-)



Rhodium plating directly on silver

Q. I would like to know of any and all known pros and cons of plating Rhodium directly on top of Silver (without Nickel).

Sam Obermeister
Plating - Brooklyn, New York
2004



simultaneous replies

A. H,

Yes you can plate rhodium directly on silver without any problem.

Dipen Pattni
Dipen Pattni
jeweler/goldsmith - Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
2004


A. Silver contamination in a rhodium plating bath will lead to darkened and/or streaked deposits at concentration levels below 5 milligrams per liter.

Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating
supporting advertiser
Albuquerque, New Mexico
redsky
2004



A. Without the barrier of nickel, cobalt, gold, etc, the silver will migrate right thru the cracks in the rhodium and show as a tarnish on top of the rhodium, not the first day but a few days later.

robert probert
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina
probertbanner
2004


A. Hello Neil & Robert,

You both are right that silver will make Rh bath weaker after few days, but I've seen that in 925 silver jewelry there is plating of rhodium and they are not doing nickel undercoat, that silver jewelry is coming from Italy, China, many other places. That rhodium is like flash plating so I have tried to remove by buffing and if it is nickel then I can know after putting in 30% HCl acid it'll be like copper color.

Dipen Pattni
Dipen Pattni
jeweler/goldsmith - Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
2004



A. Hi. One more point that Neil has brought up in other discussions which may be applicable for you is that you cannot chemically remove rhodium that is plated directly onto silver, but with a nickel underplate you at least have some shot at it by dissolving the nickel.

Regards,

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




Nickel Detection

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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
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
2005




Multiple threads were merged: please forgive repetition, chronology errors, or disrespect towards other postings [they weren't on the same page] :-)



Having trouble rhodium plating silver jewelry

2006

Q. I just started to plate silver jewelry with rhodium, the result is not shining at all.
I use 2.5V room temperature degreasing.
rising water
and plating in td rhodium 2g/l in room temperature, 2.5V,
I tried to plate from 10 sec to 1 min, the result is same.
Can you please show me my mistake.
Thank you.

Kristina
Finest Junction - Thailand



simultaneous replies

A. Hello Kristina,
The rhodium plate is reflective of the substrate metal, so the silver should be polished and bright before going into rhodium. Your Rh metal concentration is within range and I assume your sulfuric acid concentration is as well. The voltage you are using seems too low. Try boosting the voltage up to 4 or 5 volts, that should help you. Thirty (30) seconds immersion time should be sufficient. Good Luck!

Mark Baker
process engineer - Malone, New York
2006



A. Use 4V and make it 60 to 120 seconds plating time.

Good luck,

Dipen Pattni
Dipen Pattni
jeweler/goldsmith - Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
2006




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, Tennessee, United States
2007



Rhodium Plating Solution
on
Amazon

(affil links)

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
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
2007




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 15, 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
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
September 2014



Rainbow Ring
on
Amazon

(affil links)

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 6, 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 offers a rating of 4 stars on that ring, based on 89 reviews by owners of it ... those reviews will certainly reveal more than our guesses based on a photograph :-)

Best of luck with it.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
November 2014



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 1, 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
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
May 2015




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

Helen Smith
- Somerset New Jersey USA
October 7, 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
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
October 2017



! When my husband and children wear any type metal, be it silver or gold, that has been coated with rhodium; the piece of jewelry turns black. And if they handle any of my rhodium plated jewelry, my jewelry turns black. Their skin is not affected; just the jewelry. I am very careful to watch for jewelry with the rhodium plating, before I buy.

Debbie Nicol
- Scherr, West Virginia USA
March 25, 2018




Level alloy

May 22, 2020

Q. Layered plating on silver jewelry
1-Acidic copper
2-white bronze
3-Palladium
4-Rhodium
Is this the secret of silver plating in Thailand?
Thank you for helping me.

Amir javid
- Mashhad,iran


May 2020

A. Hi Amir. I don't know if "Level alloy" has any special meaning to you or others, but it doesn't anything to me. I am not familiar with the jewelry trade so "the secret of silver plating in Thailand" means nothing to be either :-)

Are you implying that rhodium plated silver jewelry from Thailand is special in some way -- much higher quality than jewelry from anywhere else? much less expensive than jewelry from anywhere else?

Please introduce yourself and your situation and what motivates your question because I am not able to read between the lines to feel that I actually understand your question.

In addition to what you can read on this page, a youtube video from Stuller asserts that silver rings are first nickel plated or, to avoid nickel allergy they are palladium plated, and then rhodium plated ...




Regards,

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


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