Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at 5:52 pm by Debbie
There are two types of plating. Rhodium plating or dipping (discussed below) is done over yellow gold or white gold to make an item white. Rhodium plating is also done over silver on occasion to prevent tarnishing. The rhodium plating cost is $60 for a ring, and larger items are by quote.
Plating can be done over other metals, including costume jewelry and jewelry that was previously plated. Plating costs begin at $100 for small items like rings or small pendants. Larger items are per quote, but most plating costs are about $125 - $300. Plating over costume or plated jewelry
The cost for either type of plating depends upon the size, condition and intricacy of the piece, because each piece is cleaned, polished and sometimes restored before plating.
Rhodium Plating or "Dipping"
Rhodium is white, highly reflective, extra hard and resists tarnishing. All of this makes it a perfect choice for plating yellow or white gold jewelry to protect it and make it bright white.
Rhodium plating, also called ‘dipping,’ is used most often for white gold. White gold is yellow gold with alloys (different metals) added to it to make it white. But it is akin to adding milk to orange juice—it stays pale yellow, never getting fully white. So virtually all white gold is rhodium plated.
A recent trend is to rhodium plate silver jewelry. Since rhodium resists tarnishing, you won’t have to polish this jewelry! Also, for those that have allergic reactions to silver, this creates a barrier, protecting your skin from the silver.
Rhodium Plating Doesn’t Last Forever
How fast rhodium plating wears off depends upon how hard you are on your jewelry, your body chemistry and the type of jewelry that is rhodium plated. For example, plating will wear off most quickly on rings, compared to bracelets, earrings and necklaces, because rings touch and hit surfaces more. You’ll know your rhodium plating is wearing off when you notice the back of your ring looking a bit dull, and tinges of yellow on the tips of your prongs.
Rhodium plating lasts an average of 3 – 5 years on a ring you wear daily, although the length of time can be much shorter or longer. On the other hand, you may never need to rhodium plate your necklaces and earrings again!
Can I Plate or Dip my Yellow Gold Ring ?
Certainly you can, but we don’t recommend it. When the rhodium wears off just a tiny bit, you’ll see the bright yellow underneath. After the frustration of time and money spent in plating and replating, you might wish that you had chosen to remake your ring in white metal (such as white gold , platinum or silver). On the other hand, dipping yellow gold earrings or a necklace will last much longer. You can also replate a plated item (one that is not made out of gold).
How much does dipping or rhodium plating cost?
Fox Fine Jewelry will clean, polish and rhodium plate your ring for $60 each. We’ll give you a quote for larger pieces of jewelry.
Fun Trivia Questions
1. The price of rhodium was $9,746 per ounce in June 2008 when the bubble burst. How low did it go and how fast? Answer
2. Rhodium had its moment of fame in 1979 when history’s best selling musician received a rhodium plated disc? Answer
3. Rhodium is used for shiny things, like jewelry and ______? Answer