Rhodium Plating: Five Frequently Asked Questions


Rhodium plating: it’s a curious thing, which, let’s face it, most of us know little about.  What is rhodium plating? Why should I do it? How long does it take? Here are our top five frequently asked questions regarding rhodium plating Ilford people ask us all the time... and the answers, of course!

1.  What is Rhodium Plating?

Rhodium plating is essentially covering one metal surface with a very thin layer of another. Rhodium is a member of the platinum family, and therefore is used to give the silver-white colour of white gold jewellery.

It is applied using a process of electrolysis. Your jewellery will be dipped into a liquid solution containing the rhodium plating. When an electric current is then applied, the rhodium is bonded to the jewellery to be plated.

2.  Why Should I have my Jewellery Rhodium Plated?

If you regularly wear white gold jewellery, chances are that you’ll notice it looking a little yellow over time. This is due to the rhodium plating which gives white gold its silver look wearing down and the yellow gold underneath showing through.

By taking your piece to a jewellery shop offering a rhodium plating service you can prolong the silver look of your white gold and give it a shiny, new lease of life again.

3.  How Often should I have my Pieces Rhodium Plated?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. For example, everyone’s wear and tear is different. If you’re looking to restore a piece which is worn every day, such as an engagement or wedding ring, and you work in a hands-on environment, you may need to re-plate more often than if the piece is worn only occasionally.

As a general rule, you should have white gold pieces which are worn every day rhodium plated about once every two years, but you’ll get to know what’s right for you and your pieces over time.

4.  Will my Stones be Safe when my Piece is Rhodium Plated?

Yes, although you may be puzzled to know how this works, and you wouldn’t be the only one! Because rhodium plating works using a process of electrolysis, the rhodium will only bond with a substance that conducts electricity, i.e. the metal of your ring. So your precious stones will be safe from being covered in a silvery substance!

5.  How Long does Rhodium Plating take?

Again, the length of time needed to carry out rhodium plating will vary from piece to piece, depending on its complexity. Usually it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to have a piece rhodium plated.

Make sure that you use a jeweller that carries out rhodium plating on the premises. Not only will this ensure that your pieces will be safe with no risk of being lost in transit, but you’ll also get your jewellery back quicker, with it literally taking as long as it takes to apply the rhodium plating and polish the piece!

If you have more questions, don’t forget that you can ask the friendly team at EK Jewellers in Ilford, located close to Hainault Station and not far from Barkingside. Jewellers here are on hand to give you a quote and a timescale for the rhodium plating, to bring you back your bling!


Posted on by Ian Tubby.