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Solid rhodium rings? Why or why not

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Q. Hi Everyone,

I'm in a fairly well paid job and my girlfriend and I have discussed the group of platinum metals as she has a reaction to nearly everything. I've started my research and looked at Rhodium but this way looks massively expensive and not possible to look at anything here in the South West of England. What is Iridium like? Its properties look very inert and is it available out in the UK For general purchase as a ring (Engagement, Wedding bands)?

Geoff Hacker
- England
July 15, 2009

Rolex Rhodium Dial

(affil links)

A. Re: Rhodium and Palladium jewelry, HSN not too long ago sold palladium jewelry, unfortunately I guess when those in the 'jewelry-know' found out about it, it sold out rather quickly.
I'd also like to purchase some rhodium and palladium pieces myself (price aside), and believe that if there is a 'large enough push' for these 'metals', that eventually they just might become available on a more readily available scale (with perhaps even a drop in the prices).

Jeanne Myers
- Brooklyn, New York
December 3, 2009

A. Yes Obama did get his wife a rhodium ring- this was well publicized at the time he was elected, Amy. I have a rhodium Rolex [affil links] watch and it is the most beautiful, stunning watch I have ever seen. When I bought it I didn't even know quite the value of rhodium but I liked the look. btw just the face is rhodium. The band is stainless steel.

Lin leon
- austin, Texas
August 14, 2010

A. I read that pure iridium jewelry is the latest trend. One of the hardest metals known (doesn't scratch), doesn't oxidize (tarnish) and common acids do not affect it all. Denser (heavier) than platinum but about one third the cost per troy ounce. However the cost of a platinum ring and an identical iridium ring are about the same due to the difficulty in working with iridium. A company called American Elements sells iridium rings.

Kim Kercso
- Vancouver, BC Canada
September 2, 2010

A. Hi, I have succeeded in making beautiful rings out of solid rhodium. We will shortly begin marketing gorgeous wedding bands, engagement rings, and other styles made from 90% rhodium, 10% platinum.

I have made rings out of .999 fine rhodium, but I found that alloying it with 10% platinum results in a better, more durable product.

Eitan Cohen
- Brooklyn, New York, United States
September 18, 2010

Q. Hi guys

Have been looking for a pair of wedding bands too, and while we had nearly frozen upon Rhodium-plated white gold, we got to know that the plating wears easily and would require loads of maintenance...Now we are looking for a ring that is very durable, without being as expensive as solid Platinum + Palladium...and we don't want yellow gold :( do we have a way out!

Zumi Bhadri
- Bombay, India
October 5, 2010

A. One of the above posts made a very good point. From what I've also researched about rhodium, it is too brittle to use as a ring. VERY poor malleability, and would almost certainly crack if it were sized up or down. Even mounting a stone would probably crack the mounting itself, and hitting the ring on something that would otherwise bend gold, would probably crack your rhodium ring. I think the properties of the metal more than the price dictates why making a ring out of solid rhodium isn't common practice. I'm sure there are people out there who wouldn't bat an eye about the price if they really wanted one.

Michael Rodriguez
- Blythe, California USA
November 18, 2010

A. Rhodium is ideal for jewelry. It is highly reflective (which is why it is used to plate platinum jewelry and accent gold jewelry), it is inert, it is stronger than any of the other precious metal, and it is terribly rare and therefore desirable for value reasons. It's just taking the public a long time to come along.

John volker
- watertown, New York, usa
December 21, 2010

Q. So how does one KNOW he has a rhodium ring (or other piece of jewelry)? Lacking any hallmarks or other obvious clues, how would one test the jewelry to determine if it's pure (or majority) rhodium? Thanks for any insight, and also for this helpful and interesting blog.

Ward Angles
- Arcata, California, USA
June 12, 2011

thumbs down signIf Rhodium is not malleable, I do not care how nice of the color it is, to me, is the "other Chrome" as far as I am concerned.

Ted Shngerson
Self - Brooklyn, New York, USA
November 8, 2011



Hi, one choice is to buy a tungsten carbide ring, not expensive but extremely hard.... it has a very nice polish and is one of the strongest metals known on earth. 5x harder than steel & 3x than titanium.... :)

manwel spiteri
October 20, 2010

! One thing that was brought to my attention about tungsten rings and may apply to rhodium: hardness. The ring is so hard that if there is any chance of catching your finger in some object, there is no way to cut the ring off the finger. One jeweler whom I was just chatting with said his chain realized the potential liability and stopped selling tungsten rings. I am not sure if this applies to Rhodium. Firemen as it turns out have nothing they can use to cut tungsten off a finger, except to take off the finger. I know a lot of young kids are using less expensive metals for their rings but they should be aware of the potential risks, especially if they work in a field like mechanics, etc.

R. Goodrich
- Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA
December 26, 2011

Ring Cutter

(affil links)

thumbs up sign Thanks, R., profit motive aside, jewelers will probably always suggest precious metal rings because they better suit their sense of art & aesthetics -- but I think your jeweler is either thinking of quainter times or spreading urban legend. Battery powered cutters with abrasive diamond disks are available, they're much harder than any metal, and will cut through tungsten or rhodium with little difficulty.

Carbide, ceramic, and stone rings are brittle and usually pretty easily broken off with vise grips if necessary.

I am certainly not suggesting that mechanics & electricians should wear rings at work -- I stopped wearing my wedding ring when I started doing electrical work; but my son is a fireman for a dozen years, working on the accident extraction team, and found "...except to take off the finger" rather amusing. He assures me that firemen don't amputate fingers. If anyone finds a published source for this concern, please correct me. Thanks!


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

A. I always wondered about bismuth, or alloys of it. It's an odd metal like the above. And I must say, rhodium has the luster of polished cast iron.

I haven't heard you guys mention yttrium or zirconium. Zirconium is stablised by yttrium in jewelry application.

But for god's sake, do your homework before acting on this one! I certainly would advise that you forget about making a ring out of something that is rare and unnatural in earths crust. If it doesn't occur in nature much at all, then you have no tolerance to it as a human. It could cause cancer or worse. Skin is semi permeable.
And as for toxic, silver is. It just doesn't enter the body as it is nearly inert. Though, it's compounds that are able to enter the body, are very poisonous, like silver nitrate. So, I'm not sure about worrying about toxic metal compounds from inert metals. Ask yourself why you want to make it, and why someone else hasn't.

Dan Percival
- Derby, UK
May 2, 2012

Q. Most of the rhodium plated items I know I've seen, I haven't liked. They look incredibly shiny and cheap to me. I have several high quality platinum pieces of jewelry and love the way those look. Why am I seeing such a difference? What about ruthenium? I've heard of that but haven't seen it. I grew up around only platinum and 18-24 kt yellow gold. Is there just a slightly visible difference that only some can see? Thanks.

Liz Perkinson
- Elk City, Oklahoma
June 25, 2012

A. Hi Liz. It's a matter of taste, and tastes vary. Yes, rhodium is incredibly shiny, the most reflective metal (actually raw silver is more reflective but it tarnishes), and some people like how it makes diamonds look bigger and brighter. Some people don't like it. It's all good :-)


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

Q. Ok so now that the price is down, is there still a reason Rhodium can't become a useful precious metal in jewelry? It looks like the comments go 50-50 as to its suitability. Looks like toxicity has been ruled out. So as a mix even to cut the total cost? Just checked and its spot price is below gold and platinum.

Nate Bayer
- Northglenn, Colorado, USA
September 4, 2012

A. Wow! Either the world economy really is going to crash and everybody is hoarding gold, or this is the opportunity of a lifetime to buy rhodium. It was 12X as expensive as gold just a year or two ago ($12,000/oz.), and today it's 2/3 the price of gold ($1150/oz.)?!

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

Q. About finishing Rhodium rings: The melting point is only a few hundred degrees higher than platinum -- not so bad on a small scale with eye protection.
About malleability: I prefer pure Platinum because it can be bent and bent and bent. Pure gold is pretty good, and pure Silver needs constant annealing. I'm confident I can make Rhodium bands without bending, and if annealing is required for resizing, then ...
Question: How does Rhodium fit in the malleability scale of Platinum through Silver? So far the reference to malleability has been vague.
I make all my jewelry by hand, and I've found that some files are not as equal as other files, and that Rhodium is hard.
Question: Where can I find fine files that can work Rhodium? I'm trying to avoid testing my files on Quartz to see who wins.

Luke Jadamec
- Canaan, Maine
November 19, 2012

A. I have been able to cast Rhodium rings but it is extremely difficult. The most challenging part is melting the metal as the extra 300 °C puts it beyond most Induction Melters. For Jewelers, Rhodium is so hard it takes about 12 new saw blades to cut through the sprue. RH is a beautiful, extreme white hard metal but is much too brittle for prongs. Several small movements of the metal will cause the prongs to break. In refining of PGM group, the usual results are baby powder fine powders or sponge. The melting temp. (2200 °C) is beyond most torches and the pressure involved will skater the expensive powder. Melting fine powders is very difficult for most commercial Induction Melters and continued efforts usually results in a fried Induction Melter as the powder is too fine to absorb the radiation and results with the energy returning back into the machine. From experience, this can be a very expensive experiment.

Also, Rhodium is not a very friendly alloying material. It does not mix well with other metals. Again, another expensive experiment. However, I have had some success but it goes well beyond normal jewelry manufacturing methods. About the only use that I can see is for plain jewelry such as wedding bands. Rethinking my methods and have not given up my experiments.

Dan Dement
Stone Oak Jewelers - San Antonio, Texas
May 26, 2013

thumbs up signIt's a great question, I have sought for Rhodium wedding and engagement rings to no avail and ended up settling for platinum despite not being price sensitive -- just did not seem to be accessible. As I was living in Singapore at the time I had to get the platinum in from Hong Kong and very few Traditional Indians work with that so was a challenge in itself.

What I have learnt through my work and mining engineering background is that Rhodium is very illiquid as a commodity, hence the price spikes in history, it's a byproduct of other rare earth mineral mining and not the driver. The biggest users are of course for car catalytic converters, but its still a minor for them; you try forward hedging Rhodium and see the difficulties mostly for security -- it's a buy now and lease transaction. You can see why commercial jewelers would not want to sit on inventory, or take fixed price orders on future supply, but I can't understand why there is not more of a niche market for the price insensitive. Hats off to the mails I read where people succeeded in getting what they wanted.

Alistair Jones
- Basel, Basel Stadt, Switzerland
September 3, 2013

Q. Out of all metals that have been talked about, which one is the worst toxic for skin?

Liz Otero
- Lutz, Florida, USA
September 30, 2013

A. Hi Liz. I don't think any precious metal is bad for skin, but white gold rings often have a lot of nickel in them (nickel is not a precious metal) and lots of people are allergic to it. I heard a spokeswoman from Avon say that an estimated 40% of young women have acquired a nickel allergy (perhaps because piercings are so common today?).
Luck & Regards,

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

Do you like free internet sites like
If internet users don't join the fight for net neutrality, our days are numbered. Do you think Comcast/NBC vs. is a fair fight? :-)

Q. First off I would like to thank all those that have added their professional opinion and expertise. I am looking to see if someone can point me in the right direction to make my a highly customized ring.

I have just started my search in finding someone who is skilled in metallurgy in the great state of Maine. Because Rhodium seems to be very specific to a small group of followers it doesn't seem like anybody mainstream would seem to be able to work with this metal. As Metallurgy is such an interesting subject, one that I would love to know a little more about. I would like to know if anyone could direct me in the right direction. I'm hoping to find "mom and pop" shops since Maine is a small community of specialized workers.

After reading most of this tread I definitely feel like I understand the process better, now I would like to talk to someone about the exact process and figure out a way to achieve my end goal, getting my wife a ring made in Rhodium.

Thank you all for your time. :)

Solomon Nethers
- Augusta, Maine USA
January 16, 2014

simultaneous replies

A. Hello Solomon,
As you may know rhodium is very expensive in its pure form. Secondly rhodium is very hard to fabricate because of it's extreme hardness. It is not very malleable. There are rings made of platinum, which today would also be very expensive. Would you consider a white gold ring plated with rhodium? This combination seems to be the norm in fine jewelry. Most reputable jewelers can point you in the right direction as far as design and the rhodium plating.

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Malone, New York, USA

A. Soloman, this is maybe a silly question, but have you tried to see if you could get the rhodium melted down and the mixture of platinum at a good steel works furnace as they are made into bars in the first place

Jimmy Dodger
- Glasgow, Scotland


A. Solomon,
I checked the current price for platinum = $1442.00 per troy oz. Rhodium is at $1050.00 per troy. Source = Johnson Matthey platinum group daily metal pricing.

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Malone, New York USA
January 21, 2014

thumbs up signThanks Mark. There ya go, folks, if you paid $10,000 per ounce for rhodium 7 years ago and it's worth $1050 now, you're not very happy.


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

!! I recently found a mint in Canada that produces Rhodium bullion and Rhodium coinage as well. I believe the markup is 20% whereas gold is less then 10% markup. I've seen their stock and it's beautiful! As well, this is the only mint in the world at this time that deals with this metal in a solid 9999.0 fine. They are supplied by Africa. As low as prices are now, I can't think of a more exciting investment? With China and North South Korea making their mark in the automotive industry at this time with great success! Surely there will be a need for millions of catalytic convertors in our near future! I can't see this metal selling much cheaper in the future. And I'll take it as a indicator when the US President spends $30,000.00 for his wife's wedding ring during its peak? I'm willing to bet he's not so stupid to make such an investment and take such a loss with all his advisors? I've read Rhodium could go as high as 20,000.00 an OZ in our near future. Good luck with your investing. ;)

Chet Creslaw
American Gypsy Fabricator - Southfield Michigan USA
January 27, 2015

Hi Everyone

A few years ago I posted on this site. I made 2 pure wedding rings and they were the first in the UK. I also posted I would not do them again as it was very difficult to cast due to high melting point. I had the 2 rings hall marked and the customer is still very happy with their rings. I have been working with Rhodium for a while now and have come up with a great way to cast the metal, I use Platinum as a alloy and this now gives me a perfect cast and finish. The platinum also gives the Rhodium a luxurious weight as it more dense.


Here is a picture of my latest cast and will send you all a finished pic in the next week or so.

Neil Garnett [returning]
- London, UK
January 26, 2015

Want a pure rhodium engagement ring made!

RFQ: I am looking for a pure rhodium engagement ring to be made. I saw Neil's post about casting as a Platinum alloy and I am interested to hear back from anyone working with pure Rhodium or Rhodium alloys.


Rebecca Lowe
- Hertfordshire, UK
August 12, 2016

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)


We produce pure .999 rhodium rings. They are strong, hard, durable and beautiful. Best,

Paul Kiesow
Custom Solid Rhodium Wedding Bands - Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
February 2, 2017

Q. Rhodium is used mainly as a commercial catalyzer, in fact most buyers want to buy it in its powdered (sponge form). Once reduced to metal bars it has little value other than the bragging rights of saying "I own a bar." Rhodium also has a melting point almost twice that of platinum and the the finished metal is very brittle unless alloyed with another metal. Most jewelers hate working with platinum because alone it is much harder than gold or silver. The really exotic metals in the platinum metals group like iridium, osmium, palladium, ruthenium (maybe least on the list) and rhodium a giant "B" word to work with. Most goldsmiths hate working with silver because one needs a hotter torch (and it's more work). By the time one gets to rhodium, temps are needed that require an oxy-acetylene torch. Most jewelers consider that level of heat of heat out of their comfort level. Forget the price of the rhodium metal. Labor to fool with will cost twice the metal's price to produce a ring that could crack or break apart the first time you bang it against something. Do not let arrogance and the need to prove your wealth disprove good taste.

Also as electric cars become more efficient and affordable, 100 years from now when catalytic converters are no longer needed, Rhodium will probably be of less value than aluminum. There are rarer metals than rhodium. Californium is 27 million dollars a gram, Why not make a ring from it? Just store it for three years in a lead safe first, lol.

- Fort Branch, Indiana United States
May 8, 2018

Want to make 80-20 alloy of gold and rhodium

I would like to know what would happen with a 80% gold mixture with 20% rhodium?

I was thinking of making a gold chain between 18k and 22k, but I don't want to use silver or platinum. I was looking on the internet for an answer if anyone has done this before, or if it was even a good idea. That is how I found this site.

What would be the benefits and drawbacks of using rhodium in the melting process while making gold jewelry?

Sam Zachuth
- Staten Island, New York, United States
November 23, 2018

A. Hi Sam. I'm no metallurgist and it's been 50 years since I took my only metallurgy course -- but the thing is, you can't make alloys by mixing molten metals in any arbitrary percentage you desire. Those two metals are only miscible in each other up to a very low percentage (much like you can dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a quart of water, but you can't dissolve 5 pounds).

You can use to look for abstracts of insightful articles on the subject of gold-rhodium alloys, but you'll probably have to pay to view the articles. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
November 2018

Q. Thanks a lot Ted, I will try to find something more on this topic by searching academic papers then. However, I guess that would also prompt me to ask. Has anyone here ever had experience in creating gold jewelry by mixing it with rhodium? And if so, could they speak about their experience?

Sam Zachuth [returning]
- Staten Island, New York, United States
December 8, 2018

A. Hi Sam. Your thread is still here and we welcome responses from someone who knows more about the topic than me ... but what I was implying is that from my limited knowledge you cannot melt rhodium and gold together because, except to a very tiny degree, they won't mix. So, assuming I'm not wrong, you are asking people to relate their practical experiences in doing what can't be done :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
December 2018

Hi Sam

Gold/rhodium has been used in jewellery.

You can find some reports of its properties here:

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England
December 9, 2018

Ed. note: See also

September 12, 2019

Q. Rhodium-Gold alloys exist in natural form as Rhodite, so they alloy quite fine I guess.

I have not seen a follow up post on Neil Garnett's progress on the Rhodium rings.
Is he still in here?

I have been working to see if I can make a Rhodium ring as pure as can be made in practical terms.
I have resigned to not finding anyone to do it, and am now trying to find information on how to build my lost wax mold to withstand the temperatures needed.
I have acquired the metal and the stone to be used.
Maybe I even have to invest in an induction system?

Is there anyone here that can point me to where I can find suitable information on HT mold making?

Per Ove Arntsen
- Bergen, Norway

January 12, 2020

A. Hi all,

I'm Chad and have invested in a few pounds of .999 pure rhodium. You can buy rhodium bullion in Pamp bars from companies like Kitco or even, more recently, in 1 oz officially-minted coins (see, e.g.:

As others have indicated, M. Obama, but also Ashton Kutcher each have a rhodium wedding ring/band.

While it is difficult to work with (beyond simple plating) in jewelry due to its high melting point and lack of malleability, it can be done with the right equipment. Whereas rhodium has demonstrated relatively significant price volatility over the years, I would point out that, contrary to popular belief (as has been espoused in this blog in earlier posts), rhodium is mined in its own right for its own value, in addition to its role in platinum mining.

[Ed. note: Thanks Chad. the claim we espoused originated from Theodore Gray's "The Elements", which offers entertaining trivia about all of the elements ... we are happy to concede that it could be in error. Still, the price volatility -- from periodically cheaper than gold to 10-12X the price of gold -- is not challengeable; we've personally monitored 2 such cycles].

South Africa is responsible for having mined about 80 percent of the world's rhodium supply, with Russia accounting for the majority of the remainder and North America the rest.

While I just conceded that rhodium often suffers from non-trivial price volatility, if one is to think of its rarity in terms of relative time, the availability and supply of rhodium within the earth's crust amounts to but one single minute during the span of over 1,900 years! That corresponds with much higher scarcity than any other precious metal, including iridium, ruthenium, palladium, platinum (rhodium is in the same, "platinum," class of metals as these ones), gold, and silver.

Plus, rhodium doesn't corrode or scratch and is naturally lustrous; for these reasons, alone, coupled with its natural rarity (rhodium's price volatility has been exclusively driven by demand, not by the dearth in supply), I personally think it's worth finding the right jeweler and investing in a one-of-a-kind wedding band.

For those of you claiming rhodium is toxic, you are incorrect. Yes, some compounds composed of charged rhodium ion combinations such as rhodium chloride, the salt, can be toxic, but pure rhodium is not at all toxic or carcinogenic!

Alternatively, as one jeweler previously commented, one can much more easily construct a ring made of an alloy of rhodium with another precious metal such as platinum (e.g., in the suggested 80:20 ratio in rhodium's favor).

Hope this information helps!

Chad Fite
- Lafayette, California, United States

thumbs up sign Hi everyone, I recently made a ring from a rhodium flatware I found while surface mining and I just love the metal.

Charles Fubara
- Lagos Nigeria
August 1, 2023

Ed. note: Rhodium plated sterling silver sounds plausible to me; I've never heard of solid rhodium flatware and have a hard time believing it exists. Then again I don't claim that just because I haven't heard of something it can't exist :-)

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