Rhodium plated jewelry - rhodium plated silver
Rhodium plating is the process of coating gold or silver with a thin layer of rhodium. Rhodium plating is the best method of silver surface finishing, widely used by the best brands and the best producers. It incredibly increases the quality, appearance, aesthetics, and durability of silver jewelry. Precious and semi-precious stones surrounded by shiny rhodium-plated silver have much better light reflectance. Rhodium-plated silver is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also has high hardness and chemical resistance. The rhodium layer is professionally made of high-quality branded materials, which permanently protect silver jewelry against tarnishing, discoloration, and scratches. This significantly extends the original appearance and makes it easier to keep jewelry clean. Rhodium-plated rings benefit from these properties in particular, as they are well protected against scratches. Rhodium-plated earrings and rhodium-plated pendants are not as exposed to abrasion, therefore we guarantee their original appearance for a very long time.
What is rhodium-plated silver - Rhodium-plated quality
In order to prepare silver jewelry for rhodium plating, it should be subjected to a modern, multi-stage process of polishing and hardening. Without a perfectly prepared surface, all its defects will become visible after plating - discoloration, scratches, and a semi-matte texture will become visible. Silver of unknown origin processed in primitive foundries and manually polished is not suitable for rhodium plating. This explains why low-budget Asian and Indian jewelry is not rhodium-plated.
Rhodium plating jewelry
Artipol plates with rhodium and gold using only the best German materials and technologies of the "Jentner" company. We apply rhodium through the galvanic method using direct current. The intensity of the current and the duration of its operation while maintaining the right amount of rhodium in the plating bath (about 1.5-2 grams per liter) determines the amount of rhodium that is applied and its durability. The quality of rhodium plating is also guaranteed by the use of the best rhodium baths, Jentner JE88, which guarantees purity and the absence of contaminating metals which cause allergies. The JE88 rhodium bath deposits a shiny, brilliant white, very hard, and abrasion-resistant rhodium layer, this is preferred for decorative coatings in the jewelry industry. Rhodium should be applied in a galvanic process using a direct current of very carefully calculated intensity - 4 Ampere-minutes per square decimeter (4 Amin/dm2).
Our studio uses an increased standard of 5 Amin/dm² to rhodium-plate our designs. This results in less cleaning problems and more satisfied customers. Artipol produces entire collections of jewelry with natural stones, which are displayed in seasonal and tourist shops under the commission system. Jewelry is exposed to contact with customers and bad weather conditions, and only a very good quality of rhodium plating keeps our jewelry clean. The quality and color of rhodium-plated jewelry depends on the professionalism, hygiene, and cleanliness of the plating process. Sloppy cleaning, bad degreasing, and poorly selected parameters quickly leads to contamination of the JE88 bath and instead of a white shiny surface, the jewelry will be gray, dark with stains.
In case of any problems, even after many years, our workshop will immediately improve the rhodium or gold plating.
In countries where there are no restrictive standards regarding the quality of precious metals, rhodium plating may be used to mask the poor quality, purity, and composition of precious metals. Silver of unknown origin, repeatedly melted, unrefined, contaminated with nickel and other unknown impurities, can be galvanized with a layer of pure silver 999, polished, stamped with 925 (this does not guarantee anything), and then plated with rhodium. The 999 pure silver layer is very soft, therefore will wear off quickly, customers may be convinced that the rhodium plated silver caused an allergic reaction. An allergy to European silver and gold is very rare, most often it is an allergy to nickel present in silver of unknown origin. After the rhodium layer is wiped off, the nickel ions come into contact with the skin and cause an allergic reaction in approximately 20% of the population. This can cause customers to think they are allergic to silver. Sloppy cleaning, bad degreasing, and poorly selected parameters quickly lead to contamination of the JE88 bath, where instead of a white shiny surface, the jewelry will be gray, dark with stains. In this case, the rhodium bath is only suitable for a costly refining. A common practice in the production of low-cost Asian jewelry is to brighten or replenish the used rhodium by adding nickel to the rhodium bath. Using cheap rhodium baths from unknown companies guarantees problems with quality and allergies.
Rhodium is more expensive than gold and platinum, the rhodium-plating process should take 2 minutes, but after a dozen or so seconds the jewelry already looks rhodium-plated. Visually, it is impossible to determine, therefore, dishonest manufacturers often plate for less than 2 minutes. A dishonest manufacturer probably also saves on the composition and purity of silver.
This type of dishonesty is often found even on large online sales platforms or with sellers in countries where European standards are not respected. Therefore, jewelry must have a hallmark stamped on it, which determines its origin.
Rhodium (RH) is a precious metal from the platinum group with a silvery metallic color, its name comes from the Greek word "rhodon" and means rose. This metal is much more expensive than gold and even platinum, which is why rhodium-plated jewelry is more expensive. Rhodium exhibits a very reflective surface, reflecting 73 - 75% of light. As a result, it is very shiny and has a noble light silvery color. Its most important feature is its resistance to chemical agents, it does not oxidize in the air, thanks to which, it does not blacken and maintains a beautiful gloss. At the same time, rhodium is a very hard metal, resistant to abrasion.