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Article: Why Rhodium-Plated Jewelry Is The Perfect Choice

Rhodium-Plated Bracelet Jewelry  Is The Perfect Choice
Jewelry

Why Rhodium-Plated Jewelry Is The Perfect Choice

If you like silver jewelry, you've often heard about various terms such as 925 silver, gilded silver, sterling, or rhodium-plated silver.

Rhodium-plated silver refers to silver covered with a thin layer of rhodium. This plating makes silver look better giving it a more intense shine and enhancing its resistance to scratches, corrosion, and tarnishing.

Rhodium, an extremely hard and high-reflectance metal, makes rhodium-plated silver a popular choice in jewelry.

Rhodium is considered the rarest and most valuable precious metal in the world, well above gold or silver. Its name comes from the Greek word "rhodon", meaning rose, named for the rose-red color of its salts.
Christian Dior Paris Couture Crystal Collar Necklace Jewelry
Photo: Christian Dior Paris Couture 1961 Crystal Collar Necklace (Source: dsfantiquejewelry.com)

What Does Rhodium-Plated Silver Mean?

If we were to define rhodium-plated silver, it is silver covered with a very thin layer of rhodium.

Rhodium is often used in the jewelry industry, where it is applied as a coating on silver jewelry or other metals to enhance their shine and durability. Due to its resistance to corrosion and oxidation, rhodium-plated silver will not blacken or tarnish as easily as pure silver or unplated sterling silver. This plating process helps protect the jewelry against scratches and other types of wear.

Without rhodium plating, the surface of classic silver jewelry can oxidize in the air and in contact with the skin.

You have probably noticed this phenomenon on silver necklaces or other accessories made from this metal. Over time, they can become dull, acquiring a blackened, spotty appearance.

Rhodium protects the silver and makes it shinier and whiter, highlighting the brilliance of a silver bracelet, for example. Therefore, if you want to enjoy your jewelry for a longer time, choosing rhodium-plated accessories is an excellent option.

Why Wear Rhodium-Plated Silver Jewelry?

Now that you know what 925 rhodium-plated silver means and its main properties, it is time to learn about all its benefits.

Choosing rhodium-plated silver jewelry comes with a series of advantages, making them a popular option for many people.

Whether you are looking for silver earrings or silver rings, here are some main reasons why you should choose rhodium-plated ones:

Enhanced Beauty

Rhodium gives jewelry a shiny and reflective appearance, similar to platinum or white gold. This extra shine makes silver jewelry appear more expensive and elegant.

Scratch Resistance

Rhodium is an extremely hard metal, which means that a layer of rhodium can help protect jewelry from scratches and wear, keeping it looking new for a longer period.

Increased Protection Against Corrosion  

Silver oxidizes and can tarnish when exposed to air and chemicals, but rhodium plating prevents these reactions, keeping the jewelry shiny and stain-free for a longer time.

Hypoallergenic

Rhodium is hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies to other metals used in jewelry, such as nickel.

Maintenance

Due to its resistance to corrosion and tarnishing, rhodium-plated silver jewelry requires less maintenance compared to unplated silver. They do not need to be cleaned or polished as frequently to maintain their shine.

Rhodium-plated silver jewelry is also appreciated for their resemblance to more expensive precious metals.

They offer a more affordable option for those who want a luxurious design without the associated cost of gold or platinum. Additionally, these accessories provide versatility, being able to be worn with a variety of outfits, from casual to formal, being elegant and refined.
Marcel Boucher 1960’s Rhodium Plated Green Cabochon Glass Crystal Bracelet Jewelry
Marcel Boucher 1960’s Rhodium Plated Green Cabochon Glass Crystal Bracelet (Source: dsfantiquejewelry.com)

About Rodhium
Rhodium, the rarest of the platinum group metals, is found at concentrations of up to one part per 200 million in the Earth's crust, as stated by Chemistry Libretexts.

It has a lower density and a higher melting point compared to platinum. According to Lenntech, rhodium remains unaffected by air and water up to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit (600 degrees Celsius).

The element was discovered in 1803 by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston, soon after he had identified palladium. Wollaston extracted rhodium from a piece of platinum ore sourced from South America.

Rhodium typically occurs alongside platinum deposits and is primarily obtained through the mining and refining of platinum.

In conclusion, rhodium-plated silver represents an elegant innovation in the world of jewelry, offering a sophisticated solution for those looking for durable and tarnish-resistant accessories.

Rhodium plating significantly extends the life of silver jewelry, maintaining its initial beauty for a longer period. Thus, rhodium-plated silver becomes an excellent choice for those who want jewelry with a luxurious appearance and increased resistance.
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