Understanding White Gold And Rhodium Plating
Posted on 01 July 2016
We receive a lot of questions about white gold and rhodium plating. What is rhodium plating? Why is my white gold ring turning yellow? How often should I have my ring rhodium plated? This post is hopefully going to helpful in your search of choosing the metal best for you and your jewelry.
WHAT IS WHITE GOLD?
The first thing you need to know is that the element gold is only yellow. There is no isotope of gold that is white. So then how do you get white gold? Engagement rings, wedding bands and jewelry are usually made from an alloy of gold plus other metals. The alloys nickel and palladium are the bleaching agents for gold, giving you a whitish look. However in recent years, nickel is being used less frequently for white gold because of the possibility of an allergic reaction.
WHAT IS RHODIUM PLATING?
Rhodium plating is a finish put on all of our white gold fine jewelry pieces. Rhodium is a beautiful reflective white metal that gives your white gold jewelry that dazzling ultra white look. Rhodium holds the distinction of being the world's most expensive precious metal. So why not make rings out of rhodium? A ring made entirely out of rhodium would be very expensive and difficult to work with. Rhodium’s higher melting temperature would pose a risk to gemstones and diamonds that may get burnt when repairing rhodium jewelry.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO RHODIUM PLATE YOUR JEWELRY?
Personally I think rhodium plating is a personal preference. It's a great service you can do for your ring to keep it looking like the first day you got it.
HOW LONG DOES RHODIUM PLATING LAST?
The plating depends on whether you wear the ring constantly, and also what the underlying metal is. The rhodium plating typically lasts the longest on white gold jewelry. You can also have other color golds plated as well like rose gold and yellow gold. Yes, you can get your yellow gold jewelry turned a bright shiny white. However if the piece experiences significant wear, the good appearance may last only a fairly short time even if the rhodium plating quality is good, and almost no time if the plating is poor. Generally rhodium will come off of rings the quickest. Most people will have their white gold rings re-rhodium plated about once a year. If you want your yellow or rose gold rings plated, it could be anywhere from a few months to a year. Everybody is different. Princess Bride Diamonds
HOW LONG DOES THE RHODIUM PLATING PROCESS TAKE AND WHAT IS THE COST?
To rhodium plate your white gold piece can be done the same day, and will take us about an hour to finish. The cost can vary depending on the piece of jewelry. For an engagement ring, or thinner band we charge $35 per piece. For a thicker wedding band that is 6mm and up we charge $45 per ring. Feel free to call us or visit us in store for a no obligation quote on any jewelry you would like rhodium plated.