Frequently asked questions about Rhodium Plating

31 January 2024

Frequently asked questions about Rhodium Plating

Rhodium plating is commonly used in the jewellery world. However, most people don’t know why it’s used or what it does for your jewellery. Here at Nettletons, Jewellery cleaning is important to us! Carry on reading to learn what you need to know about rhodium plating.

workshop rhodium plating

What is Rhodium plating?
Rhodium is a metal that’s part of the platinum family. As white gold tends to lose its brightness over time and goes back to its original colour due to exposure and daily wear, a rhodium plating acts as a protective layer and shields the metal from getting tarnished. Getting this done adds brightness to your jewellery and ensures it lasts as long as possible.

Is Rhodium plating necessary?
If you have a white gold jewellery item, rhodium plating is a highly useful investment. Gold naturally is yellow colour, and to turn it white, alloys are added to the gold which have a natural white colour. This doesn’t turn the whole item bright white, so rhodium plating is required to give it the bright white finish we all know so well. Getting this done on a regular basis restores the brightness of the white gold and gives the jewellery a new, bright white, shiny look. It offers the benefit of more durability and a beautiful finish that renews the overall appearance of your items.

How often should Rhodium plating be done?
Even though rhodium is a hard and robust metal which ensures your jewellery is less likely to get scratched or damaged, it doesn’t last forever! If you wear your jewellery on a daily basis, for example your wedding ring, the plating can wear away in as little as 4-6 months. Other items worn less often can keep the plating for up to ten years. So how often your jewellery should be re-rhodium plated depends on how often you wear it and if it’s exposed to everyday activities.

Is Rhodium plating safe to wear?
Absolutely! Rhodium is not toxic and completely safe to wear for most people. It’s actually the recommended choice for people with new piercings, sensitive skin, and young children. Due to rhodium being nickel-free, it doesn’t irritate the skin at all. However, if you do have a history of sensitive skin or allergies, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before getting your jewellery rhodium plated, just to be safe!

How do you know when your jewellery needs Rhodium plating?
Only white gold jewellery can be rhodium plated, and it’s easy to tell when it needs doing. Parts of your piece may look tarnished tired or have a slight yellow colour coming through.

 

rhodium plating before and after