RhodiumIs an extremely rare metal that is found during the mining process of other metals, such as platinum, Rhodium is too brittle and expensive to be made into rings by itself. What it's great at however, is putting bright white, protective finish on other metals. Through the process of electro-plating, a very thin layer of rhodium is applied to a piece of metal jewelry. Plate too long and the piece will become dark, too little and the the jewelry will be light or spotty. The frequency that you will need to have your white gold Rhodium plated is dependent upon your lifestyle and preference. Frequency of hand washing, chemical exposure, friction, and how often jewelry is worn are the largest determiners of when the next plating will be necessary.
|Preference will always be #1 though. I have seen rings that were plated every year, and others that have made it twenty plus years without so much as a cleaning. For pristine white, shiny rings, then every 6-12 months may be best. If your ring is made more delicately, then I would recommend waiting 18-24 months between polish and Rhodium. Cleaning between Rhodium plating is also perfectly safe and recommended. The best way to see if your ring could use a new plating, is to come into Dan Martin Jewelers and hold your white gold ring next to one of our new white gold pieces. The difference may be shocking!! Our Refurb services will bring your ring, no matter what age, back to the same bright white finish as the pieces you see in our cases.
Why is Rhodium needed?
Pure gold out of the ground is yellow. There is no such thing as white or rose gold in nature.
This being said, 14k white gold and 14k yellow gold each have the same amount of gold in them. They are each 585 parts gold out of 1,000.
The difference is that they are mixed with different alloys. Each color of gold will be mixed with the alloys required to achieve the uniformity needed to make the metal not only look its best color, but also able to be crafted and repaired.
Even after this process is completed, the white gold will have a slight tint of yellow in the metal due gold still being a yellow metal originally.
A thin layer of Rhodium helps white gold keep a silver like shine.
At Dan Martin Jewelers, we also Rhodium plate our silver pieces as well. This helps give the silver jewelry a layer of protection against tarnish. Silver tarnishing can be controlled without Rhodium by using anti-tarnish paper, special cleaners, and storing silver jewelry properly.
In the real world though, jewelry can be left out, exposed to different chemicals, stored in a hurry, or just not worn for periods of time. For these reasons, Rhodium makes a great jewelry protectant for silver, and a beauty enhancer for white gold.