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"Allergic to Silver -- will Rhodium Plating It Help?"

November 20, 2016

Q. I am allergic to silver; would a rhodium plated item make it possible to wear these items?

Trish Workman
BUYER - Golden Valley, Arizona USA

November 21, 2016

A. Yes Trish it would. Just keep in mind that a rhodium finish will be brighter than silver. Rhodium is a much harder metal so it would last longer and will not tarnish.

Mark Baker
Process Engineering - Phoenix, Arizona USA

November 22, 2016

Q. Does that mean I shouldn't have an allergic reaction to those items?

Trish Workman [returning]
- Golden Valley, Arizona USA

November 2016

A. Hi Trish. I think Mark has told you what he can. There are some metals, like nickel, to which a large percentage of the population is allergic. If we can plate them or coat them such that skin and sweat don't make contact with that metal, the allergy problem is usually solved.

But when a few people report more exotic allergies, like allergy to silver, it's hard for anyone to assure them that they will not find themselves allergic to some other metal like rhodium. I don't know how sure you are that you are allergic to silver (repeated allergy tests by a dermatologist vs. just anecdotally getting itchy from certain jewelry), but apparently not all such itches are metal allergies. If you're not sure, please see letter 33777, "Boiling Rings in Peroxide and Vinegar Stops Rash".


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
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