Rhodium Plating White gold Jewelry is a popular choice, especially for engagement and wedding rings. However, white gold is not naturally white but rather a yellowish colour. People typically plate white gold with rhodium to achieve the desired white colour. In this article, we’ll delve into rhodium plating, discussing what it is and how to do it.
- What is Rhodium Plating?
- How is Rhodium Plating Done?
- Why is Rhodium Plated On White Gold?
- Advantages of Rhodium Plating
- How Long Does Rhodium Plating Last?
- How to Care for Rhodium Plated Jewelry
- Is it possible to remove Rhodium plating?
- How Much Does Rhodium Plating Cost?
- How to Choose Between Rhodium and Platinum
What is Rhodium Plating?
This is a process of coating a metal with a thin layer of rhodium. This is a rare and expensive metal that belongs to the platinum group of metals. People commonly use rhodium to enhance the appearance of white gold jewelry and make it more durable.
How is White Gold Rhodium Plating Done?
The process of white gold rhodium plating involves several steps:
- Cleaning: The jewelry is thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt, oils, or residue that may affect the plating process. It must be grease free.
- Polishing: The jewelry is polished to remove any scratches or marks on the surface. This will also make it nice and shiny.
- Electroplating: The jewelry is immersed in a rhodium plating solution. An electric current is passed through the solution to deposit a layer of rhodium on the surface of the white gold or other metal.
- Drying and Finishing: The jewelry is dried and polished to give it a shiny, smooth finish.
Why is Rhodium Used for White Gold Plating?
Rhodium is a highly reflective and durable metal that is resistant to corrosion and tarnishing. When applied to white gold, rhodium provides a bright, white, and reflective surface that looks similar to platinum. Rhodium also provides a layer of protection against scratches and wear, making white gold jewelry more durable and long-lasting.
Advantages of White Gold Rhodium Plating
There are several advantages to white gold rhodium plating, including:
- Enhanced Appearance: Rhodium plating gives white gold a bright, white, and reflective surface that enhances the overall appearance of the jewelry.
- Durability: Rhodium provides a layer of protection against scratches and wear, making white gold jewelry more durable and long-lasting.
- Cost-Effective: White gold is generally less expensive than platinum, making it a more affordable option for those wanting the look of it.
- Versatility: The ease of rhodium plating makes white gold versatile and suitable for use in various jewelry designs.
5. How Long Does Rhodium Plating Last?
The frequency of use, the plating thickness, and the level of care that the jewelry receives are factors that can affect the lifespan of white gold rhodium plating. On average, rhodium plating can last anywhere from six months to two years. Over time, the plating will wear off, revealing the natural colour of the white gold underneath.
6. How to Care for White Gold Rhodium Plated Jewelry
To extend the lifespan of rhodium-plated jewelry, it’s important to care for it properly. Here are some tips:
- Avoid exposure to chemicals, such as chlorine that can damage the plating.
- Remove jewelry before swimming or bathing.
- Store jewelry in a dry, cool place to prevent tarnishing.
- Clean jewelry regularly with a soft cloth and mild soap.
7. Is it possible to remove Rhodium Plating?
You can remove white gold rhodium plating, but it can be difficult and costly, particularly if the plating has been applied several times. A professional plating company or jeweler needs to remove the plating and restore the original white gold surface, so you’ll need to send the jewelry to them.
8. How Much Does White Gold Rhodium Plating Cost?
The cost of white gold rhodium plating can vary depending on several factors, such as the size and complexity of the jewelry. It is probably the most expensive metal on the planet. The average cost can range from £35 to £100 per item.
9. How to Choose Between Rhodium and Platinum
When choosing between Rhodium and platinum, there are several factors to consider, such as budget, durability, and personal style. Manufacturers often prefer white gold over platinum due to its lower cost and ability to achieve a similar appearance through rhodium plating. However, platinum is denser and more durable, making it a better option for those who want a long-lasting piece of jewelry.
People often use white gold rhodium plating to improve the appearance and durability of white gold jewelry. While it has its advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to care for rhodium plated jewelry properly to extend its lifespan. When choosing between white gold and platinum, it’s important to consider personal style and budget, as well as the durability and maintenance of each option.
How Much to Rhodium Plate a Ring in the UK
Rhodium plating is a popular option for rejuvenating the look of your white gold, silver, or other metal jewelry. If you’re based in the UK and are considering this service, you’re likely asking: how much to rhodium plate a ring in the UK?
Prices can vary based on several factors like location, platers or jeweler’s reputation, and the complexity of the job. However, to give you a general idea:
- Basic Rhodium Plating: Prices typically start at around £30-£50 per ring.
- High-End Services: For more specialised or intricate designs, expect to pay up to £100 or more.
- Cleaning and Polishing: Some jewelers and plater’s might charge extra for preparing the ring for plating, usually around £5-£25.
- Gemstone Protection: If your ring has gemstones, additional care might be required, adding to the cost.
How Often Should You Re-Plate?
Rhodium plating usually lasts between 6 to 24 months, depending on wear and tear. So factor in the recurring cost if you intend to maintain the look long-term.
When budgeting for how much to rhodium plate a ring in the UK, consider not only the basic cost but also any additional services you may require.
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