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topic 47402

Imitation rhodium coating vs. silver plating for jewelry

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I am curious I have purchased "fake" jewelry from stores before. But which of the two metal types constitutes "fake". How does each tarnish, how long does each last, which will turn your skin green if any, how long does it take each of these coatings to wear off? etc. I want to know which is better. Would 2 microns of plating for the brass be enough? Is one layer of imitation rhodium enough? Any thoughts please help.

Brass base metal with imitation rhodium coating vs. brass base metal with silver plating

Danielle Rosario
researcher - Rosemount, Minnesota


You will not get the same thickness or quality from any two batches that "el cheapo" sells in the USA. Even some jewelry sold in what used to be fine shops is now junk. Be aware that no two people get the same use out of any two "identical" pieces bought at the same time. Use and body chemistry makes the difference.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

January 24, 2008

Do you happen to know what the "el cheapo" jewelry is made out of? Thanks!

Danielle Rosario
researcher - Rosemount, Minnesota

January 26, 2008

I don't think you are comparing apples to apples. If rhodium was used on cheap jewelry, the mfg. will be out of business in no time because of its astronomical cost. Sorry to sound so elementary, but rhodium is generally used in fine jewelry, such as a coating over white gold. It is sometimes used over sterling silver, but you will pay for it! There is junk jewelry and fine jewelry. In junk jewelry the base metal is usually white metal aka "pot metal". An alloy of zinc, tin, bismuth, cadmium and a few other metals. This alloy is very cheap compared to gold, which of course is used in fine jewelry. There is no reason to plate up brass on jewelry. When the top coat plating wears off, what are you left with? Talk about green fingers! There are nickel-free plating alternatives today as well as imitation rhodium solutions that work very well.

Mark Baker
process engineer - Syracuse, New York

March 18, 2009

why silver plating is recommended as pre treatment before rhodium for sterling silver products. Will it not tarnish?

Ravi Chandavarkar Ravi Chandavarkar
plating shop employee - Mumbai, India

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