The Mystery of Rhodium Plating October 4, 2015 23:39 1 Comment

Though few jewelers carry it, Just Class Jewelry is happy to share that they only sell rhodium plated jewelry. Discovered in 1803 by English chemist, William Hyde Wollaston, Rhodium is one of the rarest and most valuable precious metals and rhodium plated jewelry is becoming highly sought after.

What is rhodium? Rhodium is a silvery-white, hard, durable, chemically inert metal. It has a high reflectance and is a noble metal that is resistant to corrosion and typically does not form an oxide, even when heated. It very closely resembles the most precious of metals platinum but is much more affordable.  

What is rhodium plating? Rhodium plating is a metal deposition process. Due to its bright and hard finish, rhodium plated jewelry affords a durable and exceptionally shiny result which can enhance the appearance and longevity of your jewelry and means pieces with a rhodium finish also do not require frequent polishing.

What is black rhodium? Black rhodium results in a dark finish via a chemical process transforming the color of the metal. Black rhodium is primarily used in jewelry making.

What are the primary uses of rhodium? Rhodium is most often used in jewelry and decorations. Rhodium plated silver and black rhodium are two of the most common uses of the metal in jewelry.

Does rhodium tarnish? Rhodium is frequently used in coating sterling silver to protect it from tarnishing. The only way to dissolve rhodium is with sulfuric acid.

Will rhodium plated jewelry last forever? Though a rhodium finish means a longer lifespan for your jewelry it does not mean it will last an eternity. There are a number of factors that will contribute to the longevity of your rhodium jewelry including amount of wear, original thickness of the plating, the quality of the plating, the color of the underlying gold used, and even individual body chemistry.

How can I prolong the life of my rhodium plated jewelry? If you want to guarantee long-term wear of your rhodium jewelry it is very important that you clean it with a mixture of mild liquid shampoo and a little water. Never use chemical cleaners on jewelry with rhodium plating. Also, do not use polishing cloths that are typically used to polish gold and silver jewelry. Instead use non-abrasive, lint-free, streak-free, microfiber cloths. Finally store your rhodium jewelry in a protective box when not being worn. Follow these precautions and you will be able to enjoy your beautiful rhodium plated jewelry for years to come.

Rhodium costs approximately six times as much as gold by weight and some of the most expensive consumer items in the world are made from this precious metal. Though it’s one of the world’s rarest and most expensive metals, rhodium plating is typically more affordable than platinum and it protects the underlying metal from scratches, tarnishes, and discolor. For these reasons, Just Class Jewelry is proud to carry only rhodium plated jewelry for our consumers to shop including bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. View some of our beautiful rhodium jewelry pieces below and visit or stop in our Gold Coast studio located at 1050 N State Street to make a purchase.







Resources: Wikepedia

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