Rhodium Plating 101

Never heard of rhodium? You're not alone. Get to know this metal and learn why rhodium plating can be a great choice for your jewelry.

Rhodium Basics

Rhodium comes from the platinum family of metal. Similar to platinum, this durable metal contains a similar color as well as super strength. To boot, rhodium is prized for its resistance to corrosion and oxidation. You may notice a higher price tag with this metal, given its beauty and resilience.

Rhodium Plating Makes White Gold White

All gold is yellow. Rose gold is created when copper is added to the gold, creating its lovely pink hue. But what is white gold?

White gold is the best of both worlds – gold and rhodium. To create white gold, 10K, 14K or 18K yellow gold is plated with rhodium, creating a bright mirror-like finish.

Eventually, however, the rhodium will wear and the yellow tones of the gold beneath will begin to show. This is why white gold items will eventually need to be re-plated. This is not a defect; it is simply because of wear.

The Benefits of Rhodium Plating

There are hardly any downsides to rhodium platting for your rings and other jewelry. Major benefits include:
  • Enhanced shine
  • Scuff and scratch resistance
  • Protection against tarnishing
  • Desirable white gold/ platinum color
  • Hypoallergenic

As nickel allergies become more prevalent, rhodium has increased even more in popularity due to the fact that it is naturally nickel-free. So, are there any drawbacks? Maintenance is really the only thing you have to keep up with when it comes to rhodium plating. Over time, rhodium will wear off due to the fact that jewelry is dipped in a thin layer to achieve the plating process. On average, you'll want to have rhodium reapplied every couple of years.