What is Rhodium?

Rhodium is a rare and precious element that can be 10 to 25 times more expensive than gold. Rhodium is a silver-like metal that is known for being very light. Rhodium is a member of the platinum group of metals and is silver-hued, highly reflective and it has very high corrosion resistance and is also known to be very shiny. It is harder than gold and is highly durable. Some estimates state that it reflects as much as 80% of the light that hits its surface.

Rhodium is very rare as it is never found as a single mineral. Rather, it is cultivated in very small quantities within nickel and platinum ores. Rhodium has been used as a coating for jewellery and silverware since the 1930s. It was also used as a plating for cigarette lighters and writing instruments during that time.

It is not as popular as other precious metals, hence has an unbelievably high demand. The metal has in the past been valued at five times the price of gold, coming only second to diamond. It is an excellent metal that is used especially in plating jewellery because of its very reflective properties.

Is Rhodium Jewellery safe to wear?

Absolutely, Rhodium is non-toxic and completely safe as rhodium plating is hypoallergenic, you won't get skin reactions by wearing rhodium plated jewellery. It actually guards against other metals alloyed with nickel to keep your skin safe. It’s the recommended option for sensitive skin, babies, and new piercings. Because rhodium is nickel-free, it does not irritate skin or leave behind skin rashes. 

Why is jewellery rhodium plated?

Rhodium plated jewellery adds an extra layer of protection to the jewellery and gives a brighter white shade than sterling silver, white gold, or platinum. Realistically, jewellery cannot be crafted from solid rhodium because, despite its strength, rhodium is brittle.

A layer of rhodium plating must be just the right thickness to keep it from cracking. 75-1.0 microns is considered to be nearly perfect. Any thinner and the metal underneath would show; any thicker and the coating would crack. That perfect layer of rhodium can enhance the appearance, quality, and longevity of the jewellery.    

What does Rhodium Plated mean?

Rhodium plated means jewellery made from a base metal of gold, silver, or other alloy that is coated in a thin layer of rhodium for extra strength and luster. Jewellery plated in rhodium is shinier and more durable than other metals. Rhodium plating does not scratch, dent, or corrode and retains its luster.

How long Does Rhodium Plating Last?

Because it is just plating it will wear off over time, however there are different factors that can affect how long rhodium plating lasts. Depending on how often you wear the piece of jewellery and how much wear and tear it gets it may need to be re-applied every couple of years. 

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