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Is rhodium plating magnetic?


I am curious to know if rhodium plating is magnetic, We had a customer come in with a piece from another store & wanted a magnet....He said that he believed the other store sold him a piece that was not 925 sterling even though it was stamped as such. I notice that it was a rhodium plated piece & the magnet did pick up on it. Things we had that were 925,but not plated did not pick up. Other pieces we had that are rhodium plated also picked up. Could you clarify this for me?

Thank you,

Hope Cyr
Retailer of sterling silver jewelry - Bristol, Virginia


In the Rhodium plating process, 925 Sterling Silver is given a nickel underplate prior to Rhodium plating. The nickel is magnetic and causes the magnetic attraction. The Rhodium is not magnetic.

Jim Sivertsen
refining & alloys - Alden, N.Y., USA

August 5, 2010

Now that you know about rhodium plating on sterling causing it to be magnetic, perhaps you can be as fortunate as I was: a dealer gave me a handful of sterling chains because they were magnetic - even after I explained about the magnetic quality of rhodium. He stated that "A customer saw the chain being pulled to the steel ring sizer and refused to believe it was sterling."
Honesty IS the best way to go.

Irene vanEepoel
- Bradenton, Florida USA

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