Pros and Cons of Rhodium Plating


Some of you have been listening to the Siren’s song of rhodium plating. You are ready to cast aside your well-loved vintage jewelry for the shiny flash of the rhodium. But is this jewelry type really all that it is cracked up to be? Is there a dark side, a hidden underbelly or a caveat that you should know before switching your jewelry preference? Well, in fact, there is.  

The Flash

Plating light metal jewelry with rhodium transforms them from average white-gold pieces to bright and shiny jewels (the heart piece has rhodium plating). The material is a relative of platinum, which is famous for its hardness and bright white-metal look. In addition, rhodium is very shiny. As a result, rhodium plating turns any white gold or silver ring into a flashy, bright and stunningly beautiful piece. 

 

The Repeat  

 

But remember that it is just plating. It is not the material of which the ring, for example, is fashioned. As a mere plating, the rhodium eventually wears off. The more you wear the jewel, the faster this process takes place. There is also the possibility that your sweat will cause the material to break down faster. The only known remedy for this deterioration is a re-plating. This gets costly fast. Typical intervals between re-platings – once the process starts – ranges from two to five or even 10 years (the earrings above have rhodium plating).

 

Going for the Real Thing 

If you desire bright white jewelry, opt for platinum. It is a common misconception that this material is only a recent newcomer to the world of gemstone settings. In fact, it was a favorite among Art Deco artisans. There are several examples that showcase the beauty of these vintage pieces.

1920s Platinum Pinkie Ring with Diamonds

This amazing piece was made in the 1920s. The platinum setting is spectacular and showcases the typical Art Deco geometric patterns. The basic design is that of a three-stone ring. Seven diamonds weigh a combined .15cts and feature the highly desirable European cut.

Platinum Engagement Ring with Diamonds

 

 

Suitable for a marriage proposal, this vintage beauty displays Art Deco design elements as well as Old-European cuts. The center diamond weighs .67cts. It is accentuated by two baguette-cut diamonds that weigh a combined total of .10cts.
We hope to have piqued your interest in real platinum jewelry as opposed to the temporary flash and shine of the rhodium plating. If you have additional questions on the merits of the plating versus the actual platinum setting materials, please call us. We gladly answer your questions and go into further detail.
At Peter Suchy Jewelers we are experts in all types of vintage, estate and antique jewelry. We hope you’ll stop by our showroom located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut.
Or, hop on over to our top-rated PowerSeller eBay storewhere you’ll find all the vintage platinum jewelry you see here. If you find a listing has ended, please email us at info@petersuchyjewelers.com as we may still have the item in stock.
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