White Gold & Rhodium Plating – do you or don’t you??

Did you know that many jewellers rhodium plate white gold?

Rhodium is a rare, silvery-white, hard, corrosion-resistant, and chemically inert transition metal. It is a noble metal and a member of the platinum group. In my mind this raises the question, if you’re going to rhodium plate white gold, why not just buy platinum? Surely if you buy white gold, it should be for the beauty of the white gold itself?

White gold (as with all gold used in jewellery making) is an alloy – gold is a yellow coloured metal.  9 carat gold contains 27.5% gold, and white gold will be alloyed with silver, platinum, paladium or other white metals which is what gives you that white colour – due to the higher % of other metals used in a 9 carat alloy a good quality 9 carat white gold will have a really good white colour.  Be aware that your metal will tarnish, and buffing with a good quality polishing cloth will bring it back to ghat lovely white.

18 carat gold contains 75% gold, and is again alloyed with other white metals to give you a white gold – as the % of yellow gold is higher its never going to be quite as bright white as 9 carat, however, in my opinion this has a lovely steely hue which has its own charater, and if kept polished (again use a good quality polishing cloth for this) will retain that lovely colour.

If you plate your metal (which is a personal choice), you will need to keep having that plating refresed on a regular basis to keep your jewellery looking its best.

So the question is do you plate or don’t you?