10

Dec.

Rhodium Plating; Like Coloring Your Hair, Only for Jewelry!

By Calla Gold

Change that Color

Color Change

Rhodium: Why I Love It

Rhodium plating is a bit like visiting your favorite hair salon.  Have grey?  Get colored.  Bored with your old shade?  Get colored.  In much the same way, rhodium plating can dramatically transform the look of your jewelry.

What is Rhodium?

Rhodium is a rare, naturally occurring member of the platinum group of metals.  It’s extremely hard.  It’s silvery in color and highly reflective.

It’s inert against corrosion and doesn’t react with most chemicals.  These properties make rhodium especially good for plating.

Yellow Gold and Diamond Heart Pendant

Yellow Gold and Diamond Heart Pendant

Rhodium Plating: What is It?

Jewelry plating—including rhodium plating—is essentially covering one metal surface with a very thin layer of another.  This is done using electrolysis.

In this process the item to be plated is dipped in a liquid solution containing the plating metal.  When an electric current is added to the mix, the tiny suspended particles of plating metal bond to the surface of the immersed piece of jewelry.

White Gold Heart Pendant with  Antique Diamonds

Rhodium Plating Makes it Look White Gold Like Magic!

Rhodium Plating: Why I Love It

Rhodium is often used to plate white gold jewelry.  Because of the very bright and shiny nature of rhodium, it gives white gold a nice “pop.”

Rhodiumed rings look whiter and brighter.  Like washing with Tide!  More often than not, white gold pieces of jewelry you see in jewelry stores have been rhodium plated.  It’s the final step in lots of white gold jewelry.  Again, it gives pieces the “pop” and “zing” that we like and come to expect.

Likewise, silver jewelry is frequently rhodium plated.  Not only does this add shine and sparkle to the piece, but it helps in resisting tarnishing.

As you can imagine, rhodium plating is a relatively inexpensive way to turn a yellow gold piece of jewelry into a white gold piece of jewelry.  It can be as easy as getting your hair done at the salon!

Graciela’s Heart (A Heart-Warming Tale)

At a client’s house one day, I asked if she had any jewelry she no longer wore.  “Oh yes!” she said immediately. A minute later she came back with a box full of jewelry that for one reason or another, hadn’t seen the light of day in very long time.

The first item she pulled out of the box was yellow gold and diamond ring.  I could tell by just the look in her eyes and the way she looked it, that the ring had a great deal of sentimental value.

Sure enough, she told me she had received the ¾ domed diamond heart ring from her husband.  The center stone was surrounded by many smaller diamonds.  She really wanted to wear the ring and I could tell she loved both of them a lot—her husband and the ring.

I looked closely at the piece of jewelry wringing her heart.  The ring was almost pretty…but not quite!  The problem with the piece was that there was too much yellow gold showing between the diamonds.  Adding to the problem were prongs that looked just a bit too big and out of proportion.  I suspected that the jeweler that made the ring was new to his craft. Me…I’ve been around awhile.  I knew what to do!

After explaining all about rhodium plating, I took the ring with me.  Graciela was very excited.

A week later I sat next to Graciela on her living room couch.  If she was excited when I took the ring, she was now excited and hopeful and animated all rolled up into one.  She was like a little kid on Christmas morning.

I handed her the bag with her name on it.  She eagerly reached inside and pulled out the little package.  Her smile couldn’t have been wider.

Hurriedly, she unwrapped the “new” ring.  Then gasping, she asked, “Did you remake a whole other ring?”

“Nope,” I said.  “I just rhodium plated it.”

“I love it!” she squealed slipping it onto her finger and holding it admiringly out at arm’s length.  Graciela was utterly thrilled.

“That’s the magic of rhodium,” I said.

The rhodium plating had whitened all the prongs and the metal area between the gemstones.  The diamonds looked twice as bright against the shiny, reflective surface of the rhodium.  It really did look like a new ring.

What about You?

Do you have jewelry like Graciela’s?  Jewelry that hasn’t seen daylight in years?  Jewelry that looks dated?  Out of style?  Not quite right?  Dull, scratched, and a slightly faded?

A little rhodium plating is all it might take to transform your old jewelry into something new and exciting.  This Santa Barbara Jeweler says that a touch of rhodium is all it might take for you to love your jewelry all over again!

What’s My Motto?

“Wear It Don’t Warehouse It!”

Calla Gold

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89 Responses to “Rhodium Plating; Like Coloring Your Hair, Only for Jewelry!”

Michelle December 10th, 2010 at 2:55 pm


Calla,
Love this article! Very informative and it’s made me think about jewelry I have that might need some ‘updating’!
Thanks for posting this!

Dr. Lynn K. Jones December 14th, 2010 at 7:31 pm


I just met a woman who was showing off her heirloom engagement ring. When I commented that it looked like it was in great condition for an heirloom, she explained to me that she had just had it Rhodium plated. I had no idea what she was talking about, but now I do! Thanks for an informative and interesting blog post.
Lynn
http://www.lynnkjones.com

Randi Earl September 21st, 2011 at 6:58 pm


This is a great article!! Super informative and easy to understand for us “non-jewlery” people! I’m so happy we went with rhodium plating for my engagement ring… you’re right in that it’s really shiny and bright! Thanks again for all your help!

Calla Gold September 21st, 2011 at 9:39 pm


Lynn, that is so cool that you heard about it before reading about it. I’m always more interested in learning if there is some connection with what I’m learning. I’m glad you found it interesting! Calla

Calla Gold September 21st, 2011 at 9:40 pm


Randi, thank you for letting me know that it was understandable. Non-Jewelry types are exactly who I want to talk to. I used to be one myself. Once I learned all
about this fascinating stuff I wanted to share it so people knew about it and could play more excellently with jewelry. Calla

Tonya January 15th, 2012 at 10:44 am


Good blogging!

Calla Gold January 16th, 2012 at 6:37 pm


Thanks Tonya!

Shannon July 21st, 2012 at 5:31 pm


Calla Gold,
Can you tell me about how much this rhodium plating costs? And do the stones have to be removed before the ring is dipped? I have a yellow gold ring with a lot of baguettes that I would love to change to a white gold color and I have no idea if it’s feasible b/c of the number of baguettes and stones.
I doubt I can afford for it to be completely taken apart and reset. And how often must a ring be redipped?
Does the rhodium wear off quickly?

Calla Gold July 22nd, 2012 at 6:42 am


Hello Shannon,
Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your questions. The cost varies based on how much prep work I need to do on the metal to clean and polish it to prepare it to accept the rhodium treatment. Also I often mask off the gemstones with wax which then has to be removed afterwards carefully so as not to disturb the rhodium treatment on the metal.
I’d like you to email me at calla@callagold.com a couple of images of your ring. I’ll then happily email you an estimate for getting your ring done.
Regarding how long it lasts that all depends on the person wearing it. Generally the first part that starts to show the underlying yellow gold is the bottom of the ring shank by the palm of your hand.
I had a very acidic guy, by that I mean he had an acidic acid mantle. A doctor explained to me that we all have moisture from our body on our skin created by our body. It’s different than sweat. Each person’s natural moisture on the skin has their own unique PH measurement. One of my guy clients lost his rhodium in some areas in six months. I was baffled because that was really fast. I then found out that when he wears watches the batteries die within months.
Upon asking my doctor friend about this he explained that my male client had a very acidic moisture level on his skin. My doctor further predicted that my friend’s skin turned black under his ring when he ate marinara sauce which brings out an acidic reaction. My client was blown away by this revelation. Because his skin did sometimes go black and had recently when he’d eaten tomato sauce.
So he ended up buying a white gold band, understanding that he was not a good candidate for rhodium treatment.
So him aside I usually recommend that you consider for a daily wear ring redoing your rhodium treatment yearly. Not everyone needs to however, that’s just my recommendation.
If you live in the Santa Barbara area, I’d be happy to come and see your ring and estimate your cost then. Rings with no gemstones average about $30.00 or so for treatment.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Shannon July 24th, 2012 at 8:52 pm


Thank you for your response. I am not near the Santa Barbara area, but I really appreciate the information. I spoke to a local jeweler yesterday about having my ring plated and we are considering just plating the setting and leaving the band yellow. I would love to have it ALL plated, though, and if the cost is less than $75 to do it yearly I think I might do the whole thing anyway. Thanks again for your personal reply :-)

Calla Gold July 25th, 2012 at 6:25 am


Shannon,
I’m glad you found a local jeweler to help you with your rhodium plating. I have rhodium plated many yellow gold wedding rings entirely. This has worked better for women’s rings than men’s. I think women wear their daily rings in a kinder and gentler way.
Your Jeweler may be timid about doing the whole ring, but if that is what you really want, it is possible, others have gone before you and done it. So I say rhodium that ring, all the way.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Shannon August 13th, 2012 at 6:43 pm


My ring is being done this week, I can’t wait to see it. We settled on just doing the setting for now, since I have a very wide setting and you can’t really see my band except from the underneath, and the band’s plating will wear faster we just decided to forgo it. And if the 2-tone look just looks “off” then I’ll go ahead and have the band done as well later. Thank you for all your information.

Calla Gold August 13th, 2012 at 7:47 pm


Shannon,
Thank you for telling me about your ring. I think you’ll find that the rhodium will hold onto the setting a lot better and long than on a shiny plain band.
I’m not saying not to rhodium your band ring sometime in the future, just to know that bands seems to hold rhodium plating for the shortest duration.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Sue October 28th, 2012 at 8:46 pm


Hello Calla Gold Jewelry I have a question for you. Can Rhodium plating be done on metals other than silver and gold?

Calla Gold October 29th, 2012 at 6:27 am


Hello Sue,
Yes rhodium plating is also frequently used on platinum. It heightens the white tone of platinum and gives that shiny surface that helps platinum resist going dull so quickly on a daily wear ring.
I’ve also rhodium plated a few costume jewelry pieces. There are more steps involved, but the base metals I was working with allowed the rhodium plating. Not all metals are suitable for rhodium plating.
Do you have a particular piece of jewelry you’re considering rhodium treatment for?
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Eileen Deery December 2nd, 2012 at 9:35 am


I have a large gold plated ring over silver
that I would like replated as the gold is
wearing off. I do not want a change in the
design just replated. Can I mail it to you?
and approximately how much? I will call you
Monday

Calla Gold December 2nd, 2012 at 10:48 am


Eileen,
You can definitely mail it to me. I’m just about to mail two different plating jobs, a gold plating and a rhodium plating to a client in Rhode Island who found me on my blog.
I look forward to your call!
Your New Personal Jeweler,
Calla
805-963-4157

Magan March 17th, 2013 at 10:32 am


I sell fashion jewelry but I LOVE fine jewelry too. Do you do black rhodium plating as well? I have an older yellow gold ring with some diamonds channel set that I never wear anymore and have thought it would be so new and trendy looking in black as a right hand ring.

Calla Gold March 17th, 2013 at 4:31 pm


Hi Magan,
I do black rhodium a lot. I just took a set of four stacking rings that my client wasn’t wearing. I black rhodiumed all four and they just look more up to date and edgy. I’d love to help you with your yellow gold diamond ring and its updated look.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Rhodium Plating March 21st, 2013 at 3:24 am


Calla Gold,
I am from Alexandria Plating. We are on the Aerospace side of plating. I have just been searching for information online about plating for jewelry to see what the conversation is like.
I’ve looked on and off for a long time and your Jewelry Without Walls Blog is the best I have found till now.
I also really like your gold plating blog with the picture of the gold plated Porsche. I like your tell it to the layman style. Other more technical blogs do discuss plating, but in a technical way that your clients without a degree wouldn’t get.
Thanks for telling jewelry admirers about rhodium plating. It is a great invention!
Al

Calla Gold March 23rd, 2013 at 6:13 am


Hello Al,
It’s fun to be read by someone in the industry of plating. I appreciate your response. I am firmly in the camp of jewelers who love to use rhodium plating!
Jeweler Without Walls,
Calla

Tracey M. April 9th, 2013 at 9:29 am


Hi Calla Gold, I have a friend who is a Jeweler in Australia. He told me that they passed a law that if a ring is plated, rhodium or otherwise it has to be disclosed at the time of purchase in writing and verbally.
I guess some people were upset when their white gold rings started looking a tinge goldish.
That’s great that you are up-front about it. It seems that it makes everything look better.
Do you recommend rhodium plating on platinum? I have a platinum ring and it doesn’t get yellow tinged, more grey tinged.

Calla Gold April 10th, 2013 at 6:05 am


Tracey,
Thank you for sharing the law about rhodium plating and other plating in Australia. Evidently rhodium plating for platinum rings on the East Coast is more of a thing than out west, but we are asked regularly to rhodium plate daily wear rings.
It really does make them look shiny and white. Thank you for asking!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Elizabeth May 1st, 2013 at 9:39 am


Hi, Calla!
I have a question about rhodium plating where engraving is involved. My husband and I wear his grandparents heirloom rings (they are white gold) and they are engraved with his grandparents names and wedding dates on the inside. Do you know if it is possible to have them dipped or would it ruin the engraving? We would sure like to have them spruced up but have never done it for fear of it affecting the interior engraving (which is, of course, part of their charm). Thanks for the info in advance!

Elizabeth

Calla Gold May 1st, 2013 at 3:15 pm


Elizabeth,
Your question is an excellent one. I have been asked many times if gold plating or rhodium plating will fill in the engraving and make it unreadable.
Happily rhodium plating will not hurt the old engraving inside your wedding rings. So you are good to go to rhodium plate your pretty rings from your grandparents.
They will look so spruced up you’ll love it.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Diddy July 20th, 2013 at 3:06 pm


Few Questions.

1.) A jeweler said to me he didn’t recommend plating yellow gold, because if the yellow gold ring was scratched, the yellow would show through, and look messy. Any truth to this?

2.) This may be a silly question, but is there a reason white gold just can’t be re dipped in white gold?

3.) Our wedding is coming up, and we want our new wedding bands to sparkle. If we get our wedding bands to be rhodium plated when we buy them, will it make a visual difference? Or is all new white gold jewelry rhodium plated, and I’m just being redundant?

I like this information Calla Gold Jewelry!

Calla Gold July 20th, 2013 at 3:46 pm


Hello Diddy,
Thank you for your questions. Sometimes the best information is in the back and forth comments.

1) I frequently rhodium plate yellow gold pieces to give them the white metal look that my client wants so much. A wedding ring that will be worn daily will no doubt need to be re-rhodium plated more frequently than an occasionally worn one. If you are choosing plain high polished yellow gold bands, the rhodium having no textures or variety in pattern to stick to, will wear off more quickly. I do not recommend rhodium plating on daily wear high polished yellow gold bands.

2) White gold isn’t all that white, which is why we rhodium plate all of our white gold custom made jewelry. White gold starts out from the mine or pit as a yellowy, orangy and at times slightly greenish metal. With the addition of other white metals to alloy the gold for strength and white color, gold becomes white gold. If you put for example a 14kt white gold ring with no rhodium on it next to a rhodium plated 14kt white gold ring you could see the difference in hue. The rhodium plated piece of jewelry will look a bit whiter. Because gold and rhodium have an affinity for each other and it has a superior whiteness and shininess, rhodium is the best practice solution for jewelry designers in plating.

3) I do not know what color of gold your wedding rings are. If they are white gold and have been rhodium plated and not worn then use them as they are. However for your fiance, have her engagement ring cleaned and rhodiumed to have it looking its best on your wedding day.

I hope this answers your questions!

Pro-Rhodium Plating Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Kelly August 2nd, 2013 at 9:04 am


Calla,

What a great article. I so appreciate your advice for having my ring rhodium plated to help with a skin allergy I have developed from my white gold wedding/engagement ring. My husband will be so glad that I am “married” again. Can’t wait to have this done to my ring!

Calla Gold August 2nd, 2013 at 6:22 pm


Hi Kelly,
Skin allergies can crop up annoyingly after years of no problems. I’ve seen it before and am as baffled as you are.
I look forward to seeing your ring rhodium plated to see if that gets you successfully back in your wedding ring.
When there is a skin sensitivity issue with your daily wear ring I recommend a couple of things.
1. Thoroughly dry your finger and ring after hand washing before putting your ring back on. Sometimes your skin becomes hypersensitive to soaps and detergents and when the dampness mixed with the hand cleaner is allowed to stay near the skin it can cause redness and or blistering.
2. When your ring has been immersed in water wipe out the inside of it extra well before putting it back on so any residual dirt, oil, fragrance etc is not held next to your skin by your ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Tracy August 20th, 2013 at 7:04 pm


Calla,

Thanks so much for sharing all this information. I have just recently heard about rhodium plating.

I just googled “can pearl rings be rhodium plated” and found your site. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find an answer to this question. Would you be able to answer for me?

I have a ton of gold jewelry that I no longer where because it’s gold and I only wear sterling silver, platinum or white gold now. I’m hoping my pearl rings and be rhodium plated!

Thanks for any information!

Calla Gold August 20th, 2013 at 9:11 pm


Hi Tracy,
I can indeed rhodium plate your pearl ring. I can as we say “mask off” your pearl to protect it. Or Remove it gently do the rhodium plating and re-glue your pearl. Each ring is dealt with on a case by case basis.
I have rhodium plated tons of different yellow gold pieces of jewelry. Sometimes I’ll say,
“this is a crap shoot and I’m not sure how it’ll come out. Feel like rolling the dice?” They always say yes and mostly the projects come out great. Occasionally the rhodium doesn’t want to adhere to some weird texture. So I’ll know by looking at it how it’ll probably do.
Call me!
805-963-4157
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Greg Ferris August 26th, 2013 at 2:13 pm


Hi Calla,

I had a replica Super Bowl championship ring made in China. The base metal is copper and it was dipped in something to give it a white gold appearance (I’m guessing it might be nickel). Needless to say, after just a few wears, the copper is starting to show through the top of the ring. The ring is quite ornate (filled with CZs and other blue stones). Is this a candidate for rhodium plating?

Many thanks,
Greg

Calla Gold August 26th, 2013 at 7:06 pm


Hi Greg,
Your ring may indeed be a candidate for rhodium plating. It would need to be a heavy plating, not a quick flash. And if it didn’t have a layer of nickel plated already that would help it last longer.
Plate it nickel and then rhodium plate on top of that. I’ve done that technique frequently in the past and had success with it.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Pamela Meltzer October 4th, 2013 at 4:54 pm


I have many 18″ light weight sterling silver chain necklaces that have tarnished terribly due to humidity. I have tried and tried to polish them, dip them, and they cannot be cleaned. In some cases the only tarnish is the area not covered by a gift box.

Can this be rhodium plated and will it enable me to use these necklaces?

Calla Gold October 5th, 2013 at 10:27 am


Hello Pamela,
I do believe that rhodium plating may be your best option. I had a sad case of the bride who’d stored all of her bridesmaids gifts in cute little gift boxes for months. She was about ready to get married and looked in one of the gift boxes and the sterling silver chains were black. She tried cleaner and dip it and they still looked bad. (The foam backing in some gift boxes has sulfur in it which is an active oxidizer of silver.)
She called me in desperation. I dropped everything and polished the crap out of them on my polishing wheel. And they got shiny, but still dark. So I rhodium plated them and thankfully they looked white. I told her to let the gift recipients that one day they’d need to be rhodium plating. She was grateful and so was I to save the day.
Calla Gold

Steffan November 2nd, 2013 at 8:15 pm


Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted
to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your articles. This info on rhodium plating is great.

Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
that cover the same topics? Thanks for your time!
Steffan

Calla Gold November 3rd, 2013 at 6:24 pm


Hi Steffan,
I’d recommend checking out the wonderful date on the MJSA website mjsa.com. Manufacturors, Jewelers and Suppliers of America. Their website is great and they run a fantastic forum on LinkedIn.
Jeweler Calla

Terri November 9th, 2013 at 12:33 pm


I just purchased a cool (and large) new ring, that I believe is heavy brass, with copper plating (I was told it was solid copper, but I don’t think it is). But the artist did not do a thorough job of copper plating, so there are a couple of areas where the brass is showing through. It has a large labradorite stone, which will need to be masked. (I can send you a photo, if you like)

Do you by chance do heavy copper plating, and if so, what approximately is the cost?

Thank you,

Terri

Calla Gold November 9th, 2013 at 2:02 pm


Hi Terri,
In your situation I recommend rose gold plating. It has a lot of copper in it and a tad more pink in it. It is slower to show the tarnish.
Does that help?
Calla Gold

Alyssa November 12th, 2013 at 10:29 pm


Hi calla, I emailed you months ago, but plans changed when I had gotten pregnant. My fiancé rushed to put something on my finger and went out and bought both the engagement ring and wedding band for me. I however think I have time to get something customized for him in time for the small ceremony in February. He really likes black rhodium plating, and I was wondering if this wore off easily? If so would more coats help, and if so will it cost more? My ideal ring for him costs a lot, but I’m wondering how much I can do with just a little. My ideal ring for him is white gold in rhodium black plating with very small diamonds going diagnally across it. I don’t have a lot to work with and was almost considering silver.

Calla Gold November 13th, 2013 at 9:13 am


Hi Alyssa,
It’s nice to hear from you again. I’m pleased that you have your rings!
Black rhodium works best when it goes with hand engraving or some form of high low design. If I black rhodium plate on plain smooth gold, it will not adhere over the long haul. Adding more doesn’t really change the basic fact that it wears off.
If you go with silver go with the special alloys like Continuum Silver or others that are extra strong. Then have your jeweler use oxidation on them.
I recently did a white gold man’s band ring with a center insert of Continuum Silver which I oxidized. It doesn’t oxidize black, more of a dark grey, but oxidation hangs on a bit better to silver, than black rhodium on gold, because it creates a chemical reaction with the metal and goes a bit deeper.
If you are setting diamonds you’ll find that gold prongs last longer than silver prongs. So that would be something to consider.
I hope this information answers your question and helps you.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Ruthie November 13th, 2013 at 5:58 pm


Attractive idea. I just stumbled upon your blog and in fact enjoyed your account of rhodium plating.
Any way I will be subscribing to your posts. R

Calla Gold November 13th, 2013 at 6:06 pm


Hi Ruthie,
I’m pretty excited about rhodium plating too!
Calla

Susan November 21st, 2013 at 8:46 am


Just learned about Rhodium plating. Due to allergies I need to do this with several pairs of earrings. What is the approximate cost of plating an earring post?
On the East Coast, otherwise I’d come to your store!
sk

Calla Gold November 21st, 2013 at 8:55 pm


Hi Susan,
We usually plate the whole earring rather than just posts. It generally costs $20 to $30 for simple rhodium plating of a small item like a ring or pair of earrings.
People have been shipping me items to rhodium or gold plate regularly.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Susan November 26th, 2013 at 7:43 am


Thanks Calla, that’s not a bad price.
I will consider shipping them.
Susan

Calla Gold November 26th, 2013 at 9:20 pm


Hi Susan,
I look forward to hearing from you!
Calla

Georgette Reader December 31st, 2013 at 8:55 am


I stumbled upon your website while looking for some Sapphire information. I love love love it! Such a wealth of information! My rhodium 2-cents worth…
I only wear white metals, and I am always anxious for my rhodium to wear off. I’ve recently begun asking my jeweler not to bother with it after a repair. I love the faint yellow tint that shows through white gold, and silver is so beautifully white on its own, rhodium plating looks to me like sterling is ashamed to be sterling. Just my opinion and what works for me, but still soaking up every word you write.

Calla Gold December 31st, 2013 at 9:00 am


Hi Georgette,
Thanks for giving me your opinion of rhodium. That’s interesting that you are turning away from it. I have clients that tell me, “don’t rhodium my ring.” It’s usually a price consideration.
I especially like sterling that has some oxidation and some bright areas that really show off detailed design elements.
I love that you are soaking up the information and letting me know your opinions.
Thanks Georgette!
Jeweler Calla

Laura February 4th, 2014 at 4:47 am


Hi, is it possible to gold plate a platinum ring? I’m reading a lot about making metals look less yellow but I have platinum rings that I’d like to look like yellow gold as I’m not sure platinum suits me.

Calla Gold February 4th, 2014 at 9:56 pm


Hi Laura,
Just like some of my clients trying out the white gold look by rhodium plating their yellow gold, you can go the other way. I will say that it is easier to get a pleasing white color when rhodium plating than yellow gold plating. There are many hues and I find that saying making it soft yellow and not too orangy is easier said than done. The yellow gold plating hues are a bit unpredictable. I do gold plating a lot but I always let people know it will look a bit brighter initially.
Platinum will take gold plating.
I hope this helps.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

lisa February 5th, 2014 at 5:02 am


Hi, Can I have a stainless steel ring dipped in rhodium? it’s a double leaf ring and the band part is thin. I just wanted to know if this could be done because the stainless steel is a little too dull for me. thanks.

Calla Gold February 5th, 2014 at 6:46 am


Hi Lisa,
I cannot rhodium plate over stainless steel. You might try having it buffed and chrome plated. That gives it a very bright shine. I do not do chrome plating.
Good luck.
Plating jeweler,
Calla Gold

Jay February 17th, 2014 at 10:26 am


Hello,

I recently had a bracelet made it is sterling silver with 14k gold accents. Would you be able to do the rhodium plating on the item without affecting the 14k?

You mentioned in one of your answers to a post that you mask gemstones to plate the metal, would this be applicable for my piece?

Thanks

Calla Gold February 17th, 2014 at 10:44 am


Hi Jay,
Yes I can rhodium plate the white parts of your silver bracelet without covering the gold sections with rhodium. As you noticed in the comments section I can mask off the gold parts like gems.
It sounds like a pretty bracelet. I’d love to work on it.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Jay February 17th, 2014 at 12:32 pm


Thanks for the asap response.

Can I send you pictures of the bracelet so you can get an idea of the item?

Your email address is?

Thanks

Calla Gold February 17th, 2014 at 1:50 pm


Hi Jay,
I emailed you my email address. I look forward to helping you with your rhodium project!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Louis February 18th, 2014 at 10:23 am


Hi,

Thanks for all of the information on rhodium plating. I recently purchased a sterling silver necklace with rhodium finish. Can this be engraved? I’m worried that the finish might flake off around the engraving.

Calla Gold February 18th, 2014 at 10:55 am


Hello Louis,
I’m going to get a bit technical on you here. If it is a normal rhodium plated piece, you should be able to have your engraving done with no problem.
Some manufacturer’s use a process where they nickel plate first and then rhodium plate. If this process is used you may get a noticeable peeling look on one or more letters.
There is no way your store selling your silver piece will know the secret finishing techniques their supplier uses. Let your engraver know that you don’t know what the finish is other than it is rhodium. If the engraving does scrape up a finish you’ll probably need to have it gently polished afterwards which may or may not effect the finish.
It’s worth a try because chances are there will be no problem. And it is fixable if there is a problem. The only down side is that you’ll pay for any extra steps.
Hope that helps,
Calla Gold

Millie March 3rd, 2014 at 9:55 pm


How is the plating done? Are the stones removed? I have a cubic zirconia tennis bracelet in yellow gold, would like it rhodium plated. Also a bracelet with a lot of stones, how is that done? If you can send me your email, I will send a pic of my ring and bracelet.

Calla Gold March 4th, 2014 at 9:19 pm


Hi Millie,
The best description is that it is like your jewelry goes into a bathtub with an electrode attached to it. Then an electrode is put in the water and microscopic awesomeness occurs and molecules of metal adhere to your jewelry.
I do not need to remove your gems.
I’ve privately sent you my email. I look forward to seeing your pictures.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Elaine April 11th, 2014 at 6:31 pm


Does rhodium plating decrease the value of the gold ring. I have a yellow gold ring that I am thinking of plating. What about platinum plating? What is the cost for platinum compared to rhodium plating?

Calla Gold April 12th, 2014 at 6:14 am


Hello Elaine,
Thank you for asking me about platinum plating. Rhodium is in the platinum metals group, so it is a relative of platinum. It is much finer molecularly, which is why it is chosen for plating purposes. Rhodium is actually more expensive by weight than platinum. Because rhodium has the tiny molecules, is very white and yet hard, it is the best choice I and other jewelers go to when plating white gold after manufactury and when a client wants her yellow gold ring to look white.
I do not offer platinum plating, because of the availability of rhodium, which is fantastic. (And I’ve never seen it offered.)
As far as rhodium plating affecting the value of a ring, I cannot speak to that. I have been asked to rhodium plate very old white gold and platinum rings with fine filigree details to give them a more white look and a better shine. These inherited rings looked so much better when rhodium plated. Whether it affected their value I do not know. However it made them more attractive and wearable from a beauty perspective.
I do not know of a price or availability of platinum for plating.
Many of my clients who prefer white metal to yellow, yet have yellow wedding rings, have me rhodium plate them and are very happy with the result.
If you were to sell your yellow gold ring and it had rhodium white on it, you’d have to say it is yellow gold with white rhodium plating on it. You could not say it is white gold. Although rhodium slowly wears off and needs to be re-plated from time to time, it is not easy to remove.
One client of mine rhodium plated a diamond tennis bracelet about five years ago. Her sister really wanted it and only wears yellow gold. With all the nooks and crannies I could not polish it all off, so I gold plated it yellow gold and it looks fine.
I hope this answers your questions Elaine!
Your Educating Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Samantha May 11th, 2014 at 9:59 am


I was wondering if its possible to rhodium plate a ring that isn’t real. I have a ring that was purchased for me from a dear friend who recently passed away. It’s not real, it was sterling silver plated, but I really want it to be rhodium plated so that it stops turning my finger green. Is there any way to do this?

Calla Gold May 11th, 2014 at 4:54 pm


Dear Samantha,
I have successfully rhodium plated many costume pieces of jewelry. So there is a good chance this could work!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Lauren May 22nd, 2014 at 2:20 pm


Thanks for all of the great info. I have a CZ eternity band and 3 stone set that I typically wear when I travel (it’s looser on my finger than my wedding set and I don’t want to lose the real thing) – can I have both of the CZ rings plated? I’ve searched online about plating eternity bands and can’t find any information in them. Also – what would the cost be to plate both of the rings? I’m just tired of them turning my finger green after an hour of wear (and the copper look comes through on the prongs after a while). Thanks!

Calla Gold May 23rd, 2014 at 5:57 am


Hi Lauren,
I have rhodium plated cz jewelry in the past successfully. I’m having to guess the price on rhodium plating your two rings. The preparation is a key part of the successful plating process. I do not know what the base metal of your rings is. My educated guess for plating both of your costume cz rings is around $100.00.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Amy May 23rd, 2014 at 9:40 am


I was wondering if you knew if rhodium plated rings could be engraved?

Calla Gold May 23rd, 2014 at 10:04 am


Hi Amy,
Rhodium plated rings can be engraved. I have done it. Sometimes it is a good idea to re-rhodium after intricate engraving and it still shows very well.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Lori May 28th, 2014 at 10:46 am


Hi!

I have had items Rhodium plated to refresh them and have even had yellow gold items plated to get that white gold look…..but now i have a vintage watchband that i need restored to it yellow gold finish…..is it possible to gold plate yellow gold jewelry, much like you rhodium plate?

Calla Gold May 28th, 2014 at 5:38 pm


Hi Lori,
Items can be gold plated. Watch bands aren’t gold plated like jewelry. They use a vacuum deposition method that is way technical and is only done in large batches. So you can have your watchband gold plated, but it will not last like a normal watchband’s finish would.
Hope that answers your question.
Calla Gold

Michelle Holt June 19th, 2014 at 3:42 pm


Hi, Calla-

I saw this article and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! I have a piece of costume jewelry that was very expensive, but the yellow gold on the back is wearing off. I would love to have it rhodium plated.

If I send you a photo, would it be possible to get an estimate? I live in Oklahoma but could ship the ring to you if it’s something you’d be willing and able to do.

Thanks!
Michelle

Calla Gold June 19th, 2014 at 8:37 pm


Hello Michelle,
Thanks for finding my rhodium plating post. I’m glad it answered your need. Please do send me a photo. I’ll privately email my email. I’ll be happy to estimate helping you and people ship me things from all over the US to plate.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Sarah July 24th, 2014 at 9:09 am


Hi Calla,
I, like several people, have two rings that mean very much to me, but that are not “real”. I believe they’re probably a copper base, and have some sort of silver plating, possibly nickel. Could I e-mail you pictures and get a quote on rhodium plating? I’d have to mail in the rings if we decided to go this route with them. I’m having trouble finding some place local that wants to deal with non-precious jewelry. It’s precious to me! Thanks!

Calla Gold July 28th, 2014 at 10:11 am


Sarah,
I’m delighted to bid rhodium plating your rings for you. Thank you for reaching out to me.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Jinnah Basheer July 29th, 2014 at 2:11 pm


Hello sharon I am in south africa I would like to know about a silver dip that they use in syria for costume jewelry, often they dip the diamante sets in and it has a shine again how and where can I get this dipi

Calla Gold July 29th, 2014 at 3:36 pm


Hello Jinnah,
Thank you for writing. My expertise is in rhodium plating and I’m not sure of the ‘dip’ used in Syria.
Calla Gold

Sue August 5th, 2014 at 10:47 am


Hi, I’ve purchased some rings from QVC that are in need of re-rhodium plating. They are all sterling silver with cz’s. Two are Judith Ripka rings and the other is Tacori. I cannot find a jeweler or silversmith in my area who will do it. They claim they must be nickel plated prior to rhodium plated and they do not do nickel plating. Is this true? Can you give me a ballpark price for all three rings? And are you able to buff out all the scratches as well as steam and polish the cz’s?
Thank you!

Calla Gold August 6th, 2014 at 7:30 am


Hello Sue,
It is true that some jewelry must be nickel plated before rhodium is applied. In many cases however this is not necessary. I do offer nickel/rhodium plating if it is needed. Without seeing your rings it’s hard to give you a realistic price. By seeing them I do not mean a photo. I need to inspect them, the stones, the settings, etc.
Part of the cost of plating is the preparation for plating, the cleaning, buffing and masking off (covering up) items that need to not be in contact with the plating solution.
During the prep work the scratches will be buffed off and the CZs steamed and cleaned as much as possible. In cases where stones are glue set there is additional cost to re-glue. The easiest rhodium-only charge for a ring is about $40.00 to $50.00.
I hope this is some help to you Sue.
Rhodium Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Sue August 6th, 2014 at 11:08 am


Very helpful! Thanks for the response. :)

Calla Gold August 7th, 2014 at 9:15 am


Sue,
You are most welcome!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Alison August 13th, 2014 at 7:46 am


I have found a lovely pearl and sterling silver with 18k yellow gold plating (ew!) bracelet that I would love to have rhodium plated. Can you please send me your email so I could get an estimate for this work? Thanks so much!

Calla Gold August 13th, 2014 at 8:33 am


Hi Alison,
My email is calla@callagold.com. I’d like to see a few pictures of different angles of your bracelet so I can give you a proper bid.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Sara September 13th, 2014 at 6:54 am


I had my 14k gold ring rhodium plated and it’s in the process of getting dull. Is there any way of getting the gold color back faster?

Calla Gold September 13th, 2014 at 6:58 am


Dear Sarah,
I’m guessing you have a yellow gold ring that you decided to rhodium white. Is that right? To get the yellow color underneath back it is necessary to polish the surfaces of your ring to remove the rhodium. That is not too hard to do with the easy to reach smooth areas. It is more challenging in areas that can’t be easily polished because of intricate details.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Sarah Kelly September 28th, 2014 at 9:33 am


Hi I have a question from the UK which I hope you can help with I have a wedding band which is yellow gold with diamonds set in, the edges of the ring are raised in silver as to help avoiding the gold getting scratched. I do wear the ring every day and I would prefer it to be white gold as my eternity ring is. Would this be a good ring to get plated because of the edges being thicker to reduce the wear? Hope this makes sense!

Calla Gold September 29th, 2014 at 8:43 am


Hi Sarah,
I’d say that if your want the overall look of white gold or platinum, your two tone ring would be a good candidate for rhodium plating. The raised edges may make the plating last longer on your ring than on the average ring that is rhodium plated.
Good luck with your ring!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Rebecca Snyder September 29th, 2014 at 11:02 am


Can I get ur info pls? I would like to have a couple rings done.

Calla Gold September 29th, 2014 at 8:29 pm


Hi Rebecca,
My email address is calla@callagold.com and my number at the office is 805-963-4157.
I’d love to hear about your rings and ideas.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

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