Most people know about Rhodium Plating but don’t always know why it is used and how long Rhodium plating lasts on Engagement Rings.
Here we are answering a few commonly asked question about Rhodium Plating.
1.) WHAT IS RHODIUM PLATING.
Rhodium plating is part of the family of Platinum, which means they are also a precious metal – considered the rarest and most valuable precious metal in the world. Rhodium is a silver-white metallic element that is highly reflective and resistant to corrosion.
Rhodium is also a very brittle metal, meaning rhodium plating alone can’t be used for manufacturing an Engagement Ring, Rhodium can easily crack and break, almost like glass.
However, Rhodium is prefect for plating jewelry. When plating jewelry with Rhodium, it enhances the durability of the metal which is plated with Rhodium.
2.) Is it necessary to plate my Engagement Ring?
Rhodium Plating is used to enhance the durability, luster and light reflection of a piece of jewelry. Because Rhodium is such a hard metal, when an item is plated/coated with Rhodium, the piece will be more scratch resistant. Rhodium plating is used to get a more white finish that we all love, it also enhances the shine and brilliance of diamonds and moissanites.
Basically, Rhodium plating is a coating that enhances the entire look and durability of your Engagement Ring
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether to Rhodium plate or not.
3.) Is Rhodium plated Engagement Rings safe to wear?
ABSOLUTELY! Rhodium plating is hypoallergenic, you won’t get skin reactions by wearing your Rhodium Plated Engagement Ring. Rhodium plating does not contain any allergens such as nickel.
TIP: If you have a piece of jewelry that causes skin reactions, its then a good idea to get the piece Rhodium Plated.
Please note that, metals such as Gold often contains Nickel, meaning that if the Rhodium Plating on the item wears off and your skin gets into contact with the metal underneath the Rhodium Plating, it may cause you to get skin irritations again.
4.) What is the process of getting my Engagement Ring Rhodium Plated?
Rhodium is plated using an electroplating process. For an Engagement Ring to be Rhodium Plated, it must first be thoroughly cleaned for the reason that if there is any dirt left on the Engagement ring, the rhodium plating will not hold.
Distilled water, steam cleaning and electro cleaning are some ways that the item is cleaned before it is dipped into the rhodium solution. A positive electrical charge is then used to fuse the rhodium onto the base metal. Care must be taken, because if the electric current is too high, the rhodium plating will turn black. The process takes roughly around an hour and a half to be completed.
5.) How long does Rhodium Plating lasts?
Many people believe that Rhodium Plating is permanent, which is not entirely true. While it is a permanent metal, when used to plate an Engagement Ring, if suffers wear and tear with exposure.
Rhodium Plating wear off over time and the Engagement Ring needs to be re-rhodium plated every now and then.
At Ralph Jacobs, we require that if you have a ring that is Rhodium Plated, it needs to be re-rhodium plated ever 6 months for warranty purposes.
Everyday wear and tear such as keeping your ring on when using household chemicals or even bodily sweat may and can affect the Rhodium plating.
6.)Will Rhodium Plating my Engagement Ring affect the Moissanites?
Because Moissanites are high up in the Mohs scale (9.5) and Diamonds (10), nothing will happen when Rhodium Plating your Diamond or Moissanite Engagement Ring.
Other softer gem stones such as pearls, opals and treated or heavily included rubies and emeralds can be damaged during the process. These gemstones, and many others, are not able to cope with the sulfuric acids and heat in the electroplating solutions and their surfaces can be damaged, becoming spotty and studded.
7.) How can I make the Rhodium Plating on my Engagement Ring last longer?
Rhodium Plating in not a permanent solution, its bound to wear off over time and depending on how you wear and care for your Engagement Ring.
There are some things you can do to make it last as long as possible.
– Avoid rubbing the rhodium plating on your ring. For example, constantly washing your hands can wear it off quicker.
– Avoid exposing your jewelry to harsh chemicals such as household cleaning products. Always take off your jewelry when dealing with chemicals or wear rubber gloves to protect your rings.
– Take your jewelry off when swimming in heavily chlorinated swimming pools as the chlorine can damage the plating.
– Perfumes and cosmetics can also affect rhodium plating. Avoid contact with these and wipe away any residue if it does come into contact.
8.)What is the cost of Rhodium Plating?
Because rhodium is very rare and expensive, plating is somewhat costly. Re-plating a white gold ring can cost around R400.00, but prices vary based on the quality of the rhodium, the jeweler’s skills and the size of the jewelry.
9.)How do I know if my jewelery is Rhodium Plated?
All white gold rings are Rhodium Plated for the reason that the natural colour of White Gold is Yellowish. It is a legal requirement that the retailer discloses whether your piece of jewelry has been rhodium plated or not.