What is rhodium in jewelry?: Characteristics and benefits

The great value of jewelry lies in the fact that, despite being small pieces that are part of your image, they have the power to make you shine, without forgetting the important sentimental value that a piece could have. The brightness, purity and neatness in each jewel make them special and unique , for this reason rhodium is a factor that gives a special image and durability to the pieces.

If you do not know what rhodium is and its relevance in jewelry , in this article we will give you a complete guide, you will know its characteristics, benefits and importance in jewelry pieces. Stay until the end and discover the role of rhodium in the world of jewelry.

What is rhodium?

Hard, white and silvery metal, from the family of theplatinoids, which was discovered in 1803 by the British physicist and chemist, William Wollaston. Rhodium is symbolized on the periodic table as "Rh," which comes from the Greek word rhodon, meaning pink. But despite the fact that it means pink, when rhodium-plated, the jewels obtain a bright silver color, giving them a characteristic tone and shine.

Something that makes rhodium such a special element is that it is only found in small amounts attached to platinum or nickel, in addition to the fact that an average of 20 tons are extracted annually, which is why it is known as the most expensive metal, since it costs six times more than gold by weight.

What is rhodium used for?

Rhodium is used in the automotive industry to reduce toxic emissions, but its main use is in the jewelry industry. Rhodium jewelry is mostly used to give jewelry a shiny, beautiful and eye-catching finish.

One of the reasons why it is considered a very special material is because it solves many details that parts usually have due to time and corrosion. Rhodium jewelry manages to renew and make your favorite silver rings, earrings or bracelets have more life , like our Vicari collection.

Benefits of rhodium in jewelry

The pieces tend to dull due to time and with wear, the silver can turn yellow or green tones. By combining rhodium with silver, you cause your rings, earrings, bracelets or any piece of jewelry to maintain an impeccable and brilliant shine over the years.

That is the magic of rhodium, it maintains the shine and delays the unpleasant aging process of the jewel. For this reason, rhodium is widely used in fine jewelry to achieve high-quality and long-lasting finishes, such as our beautiful Mexican-inspired necklaces.

Here we share some of the main benefits that you will obtain, if you decide to acquire rhodium-plated jewelry:

  • Rhodium adds extra shine.
  • Protects the pieces from daily abuse.
  • It does not cause skin reactions, because it is a hypoallergenic jewel .
  • Makes the pieces stronger.
  • Produces a high quality finish.
  • Increases the value of the piece.
  • does not rust
  • does not corrode
  • It gives a second life to the pieces.
  • Does not scratch

What is Rhodium plating?

A rhodium bath is an immersion electrolysis technique for high-quality finishes in jewelry , that is, a procedure by which a layer of rhodium is deposited on metal pieces by means of a controlled direct current.

The best pieces of jewelry usually have a rhodium-plated finish, but do you know: What is rhodium plating and what is it for? Below we explain what this common technique in jewelry consists of, which we carry out in each of our Vicari pieces.

Rhodium plating process

In more technical terms, it consists of immersing a gold or silver jewel in a chemical solution that contains small amounts of the metal. These solutions have several grams of diluted rhodium inside them, and through an electrolytic process, a layer of rhodium adheres to the surface of the piece that has been immersed in the rhodium bath. With this process it is endowed with a glossier and better quality finish.

Why wear rhodium jewelry?

Some of the best jewelry has gone through a rhodium plating process, so you may be surprised to learn that the vast majority of silver and white gold jewelry has received a rhodium plating.

It is necessary to know that white gold and silver are not pure metals, but alloys. For example, the 925 silver finish refers to those pieces that are 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. It has been called that because if it were divided into a thousand parts, 925 parts would be pure silver.

This is the most used silver numbering in the world of jewelry , thanks to the fact that the alloy created is stronger, as is the case with all our exclusive pieces.

Recommended amounts of rhodium

The effectiveness of rhodium will depend on the amount used. To have a good result, it is recommended that the rhodium plated pieces of jewelry have a thickness of 0.75 to 1.0 microns. With that amount it will be enough to protect the jewels from any wear.

5 Reasons to Wear Rhodium Jewelry

In jewelry, rhodium is a very precious and desired material for many people, thanks to the fact that it does not oxidize, corrode or cause a dermatological reaction, as we saw previously. All this makes it a perfect mineral to use. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider rhodium jewelry very valuable.

1- Jewelry with low risk of producing allergic reactions

Rhodium is so compatible when it comes to wearing it, that it does not produce dermatological reactions, thanks to its anti-allergic properties, for this reason its use is recommended for people who suffer from reactions due to contact of silver with the skin, that is, By acquiring this type of jewelry, you will have a hypoallergenic jewel.

2- Pieces of high quality jewelry

The perfect jewels are achieved thanks to the help of rhodium and all its aforementioned benefits, as it manages to provide high-quality finishes, thanks to its excellent shine and durability over the years.

3- Fire resistance

Rhodium is a very resistant and durable material , it is enough to know that rhodium is very resistant when melted, that is, the melting point of rhodium in jewelry is around 3,567 ° F (1,964 ° C) compared to gold, which melts at 1,948° F (1,064° C). This is clear evidence of the resistance of rhodium.

4- Unique pieces

It must be remembered that rhodium is an extremely rare and difficult material to obtain, because as we mentioned before, only 20 tons are extracted each year, due to the fact that it is found in small quantities attached to platinum and nickel. It is sometimes used as an alternative to gold and silver in jewelry, but is not common due to its price. Some of the most expensive jewelry in the world is made from rhodium.

5- You will have pieces bathed with a precious metal

Due to its rarity and extravagance, it is considered a precious metal and one of the most expensive in the world, since rhodium is only found in small quantities. Getting a piece 100% made of rhodium is very expensive , however, you can get affordable jewelry made of this wonderful material.

Discover our rhodium-plated Vicari jewelry

Now that you know more about the importance of rhodium in jewelry, we are sure that you will be able to recognize a piece of fine jewelry with a rhodium finish. At Vicari, our pieces undergo a very special and detailed process, all the silver used for the elaboration of our pieces is .925 law and nickel free, endorsed by the contrast number MC-257 issued by the Ministry of Economy of Mexico. .

Our finish, like white gold, is rhodium-plated, guaranteeing shine for much longer and preventing any type of allergy, keeping the sparkle of silver almost 100%. Meet our wide variety of jewelry pieces. Click here!

Víctor Manuel Pelfini Bátiz