Rhodium, a chemical element generally obtained commercially from platinum or nickel ores as a by product of the extraction of nickel and copper from their respective ores, has the chemical symbol Rh and the atomic number 45, in the periodic table. Discovered in 1803 by the British scientist, William H Wollaston, it is often utilised as an alloying agent to harden platinum.
Also, rhodium is frequently used to electroplate jewellery and interestingly even more frequently, as the catalyst in catalytic converters for cars with around 85% of the world rhodium production being used in this way. The idea behind rhodium electroplating, or rhodium flashing as it is known usually within the jewellery business, is to try to enhance the reflectivity of the ring in order to make the diamonds appear more brilliant and more reflective. This may well work initially, but do beware that the rhodium plating will tire and wear off over time and will then need to be reapplied. This will be most noticeable on the portions of the ring which receive the most wear and which will then start to look pale yellow in colour instead of the bright white which it should be.
It is an industry standard procedure to rhodium-plate white gold rings and wedding bands because the ‘white’ of white gold is not a pure white (read more). THe rings are electroplated with a thin rhodium layer in an attempt to improve their general optical impression and it is also sometimes used on sterling silver to help to reduce tarnishing as rhodium is known to resist corrosion by the atmosphere at room temperature. When applied, the rhodium plating leaves a temporary protective coating of about the thickness of a micron on standard white gold, but at almost twice the price of platinum and three to four times the cost of gold, rhodium is a very expensive and rare metal.
We manufacture mainly in platinum, however we do make in 18ct. white gold and that requires rhodium plating, but we do strongly recommend the selection of firstly platinum and secondly palladium over rhodium plating.
Especially when there is a better way at DiamondGeezer.com!