White metals are becoming more and more popular for wedding and engagement rings more questions are coming in about the timelessness of rhodium plated gold and platinum plated gold, how long it will last and when it will need replacement. The answers really depend on the rings and how they’re crafted. For the most part, white gold is combined with rhodium to create rhodium plated gold because it gives off the desirable white look that platinum plated gold provides. Almost all white gold jewelry has rhodium plating in various degrees of white color.
The variables of these various degrees of rhodium will determine the longevity of your jewelry and when you will need to replace the plating for your ring. In general rhodium plating on a brand new ring should last anywhere from five months to a year before the wear and tear is noticeable. While rhodium prices have skyrocketed to over $6000 an ounce, a rhodium polishing, plating and cleaning will only take around thirty to fifty dollars.
Rhodium plated gold is simply used to imitate platinum plated gold. The bright sparkly white shine that comes from platinum, with the strength of white gold is what’s achieved with this combination. Rhodium alone is far too expensive to be used alone, and it is also too brittle to be used as a ring. Therefore a rhodium finish is preferred on white gold. Most rhodium finishes that are done right will last at least 5 months and often can go a year without noticeable issues. If shortcuts are taken and few cleaning steps are used the rhodium finish could fade in as little as a month! Make sure you find a reputable jeweler that can provide a quality rhodium cleaning, plating and give a look of the more expensive platinum plated gold.
As with any jewelry, the finish and replacement will depend on the item. If the ring has gold or any two tone areas of the ring, these will need to be masked with something before the cleaning, polishing and finish process can take place. Most of the time this can be done with a simple material like fingernail polish. This is essential for the
well-being of the jewelry. After all, you don’t want to be plating and polishing the gold parts of your jewelry with rhodium plated gold! Make sure your gold is not plated white to look like platinum plated gold in the polishing process. The Rhodium plated gold that is replaced during the plating process is at a microscopic level, only a few microns thick. It doesn’t take much of that stuff to get the shine effect it provides. And this will wear off eventually to every ring that is applied to no matter what metal. In general, most of the replacement takes place at the bottom of the ring. The top area of the ring, with the engravings and diamonds rarely takes the punishment that the bottom portion of the ring takes.