What Does Rhodium Plating Cost?

What Does Rhodium Plating Cost?

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Typically, Rhodium plating can cost anywhere from $50 to $130 for a ring. However, the cost of the plating depends on the article of jewelry. If the piece is bigger, more Rhodium is required, and thus, the price will be a lot more. The cost of Rhodium plating also depends on the thickness of the plating.

Rhodium is applied to many white gold pieces to maintain some of their shine over time. The cost of the Rhodium also depends on how well your jeweler can plate the piece and how intricately.

To see the most popular white gold jewelry (the most popular type of jewelry that is rhodium plated) just click here.

Amazon Collection AGS Certified 14k White Gold Diamond with Screw Back and Post Stud Earrings (1/2cttw, J-K Color, I1-I2 Clarity)

What’s so Great About Rhodium Plating?

Rhodium metal is a naturally occurring element. It is rare and silvery-white in color. Its rarity means that it is one of the most expensive metals in the world. The metal has many different applications, so it’s mined so often. The metal is extremely reflective and shiny.

Rhodium plating is specifically important for people who want to own white gold jewelry pieces. Rhodium is also non-reactive, which means that it won’t harm your skin, and you’re less likely to have an electric reaction to it.

Does Rhodium Plating Last Long?

We know that Rhodium plating is used to perfect white gold but does it last for long? The amount of time that the Rhodium will remain on the ring depends on some factors. The most important factors are the thickness of your plating and the frequency of wear that you subject the piece to.

If you’re constantly wearing the ring or chain, the plating will not last quite as long. Thinner platings will also last for a lesser time than normal platings. The quality of the plating also matters. The better the quality of Rhodium, the more likely it is to latch on to the white gold.

DovEggs Solid 14K White Gold 1.25CTW 4mm GH Color Moissanite Engagement Ring Half Eternity Anniversary Wedding Band(9)

Does All My White Gold Need Rhodium Plating?

Rhodium plating is used most often in White Gold. However, not everyone wants to have a shiny finish, and for these folks, white gold in its rawest element will be just fine. However, most people buy white gold because they want a more silvery type of gold. If you’re one of these people, you will need white gold to have rhodium plating. Rhodium protects the white gold, so it doesn’t wear away quite as quickly.

You must also note that white gold is not hypoallergenic, which means that it has got components that can flare any allergies that you may harbor. Most people ensure that their white gold jewelry has Rhodium plating so they won’t have an allergic reaction to their jewelry.

If you’re buying a white gold piece intending to wear it regularly, you may want to get it Rhodium-plated.

What is the Process of Rhodium Plating?

Rhodium plating requires several steps. We have listed these steps below:

  1. The jeweler will polish the piece, so it is bright and shiny.
  2. They will use an ultrasonic to clean the jewelry to a perfect finish.
  3. After completing the last step, they will rinse the jewelry with distilled water.
  4. Using a jeweler’s steamer, they will steam off the jewelry.
  5. They will then follow through with an electro clean. The electro clean involves setting the temperature to 120 degrees F and passing 4 volts for 2 minutes in a stainless beaker. The beaker has the positive lead, and the item being plated has the negative one.
  6. After the electroplating is completed, they will rinse the piece again.
  7. Then they’re going to activate it all over again. This involves temperature at room temp, with no voltage at thirty seconds.
  8. The jeweler will place the piece in another distilled water wash.
  9. They will then plate the piece with Rhodium at room temperature for 20-30 seconds using 4.5 volts. The piece being plated has the negative lead, and the platinized titanium anode has the positive lead.
  10. They will then rinse with distilled water again and then dry it off.

It is a tricky process, so you want to ask or go to someone who has done the process before. Rhodium plating is no joke and often lasts for a long while. Thus, a botched job is just going to cause you unnecessary grief.

DovEggs Solid 14K White Gold Center 2ct 7.5mm G-H-I Color Cushion Cut Created Moissanite Halo Engagement Ring with Accents (7.5)

Does Rhodium Plating Affect Gemstones and Stones?

One of the major questions people have when replating is whether their gemstones will be affected? This question makes sense since no one wants to get Rhodium plating on their diamonds or ruin the sheen of their gemstones.

As we have seen in the process described above, the plating process requires a current running in the metal. Thus, Rhodium cannot be transferred to a gemstone or even diamonds as these pieces do not conduct any electricity.

Can I Rhodium Plate Yellow Gold?

The simple answer is yes; you can plate a yellow gold piece. Sometimes, people don’t want to go through the money, time, or effort to buy a whole new white gold piece to carry out their aesthetic. Rhodium plating their yellow gold could have the same effect as any plating their white gold for all of these people.

You should note that the yellow color might bleed through after a while. You may also have to replace your yellow gold much more often. This method could both be more and less affordable. For example, if you’re doing this for the jewelry you wear once in a while, then you may find that replating is a lot cheaper than buying a white gold piece. However, if you want to make the yellow gold piece into a silvery gold piece that you wear often, then the cost of replating will accumulate and cost you even more.

Final Thoughts

Rhodium plating costs anywhere from $50 – $130. It can also range above and below that range depending on the quality of the Rhodium plating used and the thickness of Rhodium plating needed. Rhodium plating is necessary for most white gold jewelry as it makes the pieces more hypoallergenic.

If you want to elongate the life of your white gold piece, then Rhodium plating is a viable option that you should consider.

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