Rhodium plating for white gold

You are certainly about to buy a gold ring, but the description of it leaves you skeptical.

What is the rhodium-plated gold that makes up the ring on which you flashed?

Do not panic, it's simple.

bague en or blanc rhodié

White gold rhodium ring, from the vivalatina's engagement ring collection

Rhodium is a precious metal, even more expensive than gold; and rhodium-plating is the operation of plating a thin layer of rhodium on another metal (gold or silver jewelry).

Your rhodium plated gold is gold with a rhodium plating.

Why to we plate gold with rhodium ?

Rhodium is a white metal with a high hiding power that is unalterable, just like gold.

In addition, for a very long time, and even today, most white gold alloys were not perfectly white, so we used to cover them with a layer of rhodium so to give them a whiter white glow than a white gold alloy.

The rhodium is unalterable (just like gold) it is stainless and does not tarnish.

bague or blanc non rhodiée

Polished white gold ring that has not been rhodium plated yet

However, the rhodium layer has a limited life (about 18 months), given its small thickness and shocks and friction suffered by the jewel. It is therefore necessary to renew from time to time the rhodium plating of your jewel.

What is the cost of such a rhodium plating?

The cost depends on the thickness of the plating which usually varies between 1 and 5 microns. You will find the detail in this article.

It takes from 3 to 12 euros of rhodium during a plating, and also consider the costs of service with taxes, all varying from one jeweler to another.

The price is obviously a function of the thickness, the price of the rhodium and the jeweler's fees. It usually varies between 25 euros for a small jewel to 60 euros for a jewel with pearls or stones.

How is done the rhodium plating ?

Rhoding is done by electrolysis.

The rhodium-plated ring or jewel is placed in contact with a solution containing rhodium phosphate and an electric current is passed through which the metal ions can hang on the gold of the ring.

Rhodium and black gold

You may have heard about black gold.

Although there is no gold alloy giving it a black color, a white gold jewel can be plated with black stained rhodium. So much so that the jewel in gold has a black color, given by the plating of black rhodium.

black gold ring for men

Men wedding ring black gold and white gold from vivalatina's collection

Of course, the slightest scratch of the coating will be very visible, unlike a white gold ring, for which the color of gold is gray / white under the rhodium layer.

 

More information :

 

January 02, 2018 by nicolas tranchant
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