Features
Rhodium, atomic number 45 on the periodic table, is a rare metal that is colored silver-white. Rhodium is 10 times more expensive than gold, which begs the question of why rhodium is used merely for plating instead of as a foundational metal for a piece of jewelry. The answer to that lies in another prominent characteristic of the element–the fact that it is extremely brittle.

Features
Rhodium, atomic number 45 on the periodic table, is a rare metal that is colored silver-white. Rhodium is 10 times more expensive than gold, which begs the question of why rhodium is used merely for plating instead of as a foundational metal for a piece of jewelry. The answer to that lies in another prominent characteristic of the element–the fact that it is extremely brittle.

Purpose
The most common purpose of rhodium plating is to augment a piece of "white" gold jewelry to enhance the coloring and provide an added layer of protection against damage. The reason rhodium is so often paired with white gold is simple: White gold does not exist in fact. White gold is nothing more than gold mixed with another metal that has a white cast (usually silver, palladium or nickel). This results in a slightly yellow tint to the final product. As the buyer of white gold is looking for a brighter sheen, rhodium is used as a plating material to add that extra shine.

Advantages
Prior to rhodium plating, the piece of gold or silver jewelry is coated with a layer of nickel which shields the metal from the sulfuric acid in the rhodium bath. Thereafter, the jewelry is dipped into the rhodium solutions and allowed to solidify. It is then polished to make it ready for sale. The item has to undergo rhodium plating every two to ten years, depending on the use of the jewelry.

The re-plating time depends on the on the thickness of the plating and standards subscribed to by the manufacturers during the electroplating process. However, getting the jewelry re-plated is never a thing to bother as any jewelry manufacturer will be willing to do it for you.

Rhodium plated jewelry items are remarkably bright. In fact, rhodium plating is known for eye-catching shine and bright white look. When white gold jewelry is rhodium plated, it improves surprisingly in appearance. In fact, white gold jewelry will look lusterless sans the rhodium plating.

Rhodium plating enhances the longevity of jewelry dramatically. It makes the jewelry resistant to wear and tear, protecting it from scratches. It also makes jewelry virtually tarnish-proof making it attractive for years. In fact, white gold jewelry in its original form looks grayish. Rhodium plating makes it look bright white, enhancing its appearance. On the other hand sterling silver jewelry is just too soft. Rhodium plating endows it with hardness, making it scratch-resistant. What is more sterling silver jewelry is very raw in its original form. Rhodium plating lends it a polished look.

An advantage of rhodium is that it is hypoallergenic, so you can rest assured that your fingers won't turn green because of it. Many a people are allergic to pure gold or silver. They can use jewelry coated with rhodium so that they don't develop any allergy. When gold is alloyed with nickel, it can be allergenic to some users. In response, many refiners and manufacturers are now offering jewelry with rhodium plating.

The metal rhodium is known to have been first used in the 1930's to plate silver jewelry to give it a shiny look. With technological advances, rhodium plating became more accessible to use with other kind of jewelry. Rhodium plating fashion jewelry has become very popular these days, thanks to the advantages it provides over the un-plated jewelry. And you need not even visit the market for buying it. You can get quality rhodium plated jewelry online sitting in the comfort of your home. The times have definitely changed a lot. What has not changed is the steady demand of ‘rhodiumized' jewelry.

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