Rhodium plating or ‘dipping’ is done over yellow gold or white gold to make an item white. On occasion rhodium plating is also done over silver to prevent tarnishing.
What is Rhodium?
Rhodium is a rare, pure white metal that is a member of the platinum family. It is highly reflective, extra hard and resists tarnishing. This makes it a perfect choice for plating jewelry to protect it as well as making the item bright white. Rhodium plating, also referred to as “dipping” is most often used for white gold. Pure gold is yellow in color, while white gold is a mixture of pure gold and white alloy metals. However, it is just like adding mile to orange juice- it stays pale yellow, never fully turning white. Virtually all white gold is rhodium plated to give it a bright white finish.
How Long Does it Last?
The length of time that rhodium lasts depends on what the item is subjected to. Chemicals, perfumes, hair spray and even personal body chemistry can “eat away” at the plating. Plating tends to wear most quickly on rings, because rings get more wear and tear than earrings or necklaces. Rhodium plating can last anywhere from 1 year to 5 years depending on how the item is cared for.
Can I Plate or Dip my Yellow Gold Ring?
While this is possible, we never recommend it. When even the tiniest amount of rhodium begins to wear off, you will start to see the bright yellow gold shining through. Your rings will spend more time in the shop being plated, and you will spend more money in the long run. We strongly suggest re-mounting your stones into white gold or platinum up front, for your long term benefit. If you do decide to have your yellow gold ring plated there will be a small fee to engrave the inside of your ring “Yellow.” When you bring your rings in for cleanings this marking will let us know that we cannot buff or polish it. On the contrary, rhodium plating yellow gold earrings or pendants will last much longer.
How Do You Rhodium Plate?
We must first clean out any dirt and debris from the item, then we must remove any previous rhodium and buff out any deep scratches. After this we polish all surfaces and then rhodium plate your item. Because a thin layer of metal must be removed each time we rhodium, it is important not to do too often.
How much does Rhodium plating cost?
Please bring in the item so we can evaluate it. Prices start at $35.00
*No guarantee on plating