Silver is a precious metal with amazing brilliance. Since it is prone to blackening, it is treated with rhodium, a metal that belongs to the platinum group. Its name comes from the Greek radon, which means «rose».
Rhodium-plated silver — what it is, what features, advantages and disadvantages it has — read on.
What is rhodium sterling silver?
Rhodium is silver’s best friend. Thanks to him, the products acquire an aristocratic white color, which goes well with zircons and natural stones of any color.
Rhodium-plated silver is coated silver, which is applied to products by electroplating — thanks to direct current. Jewelry (silver earrings, rings, silver chains, bracelets, pendants) or other items are immersed in a chemical solution containing rhodium sulfate or phosphate. Most often, the thickness of the rhodium layer is 0.1–0.2 microns. The thicker it is, the better.
Description of rhodium silver
The plating of rhodium is so thin that it is not visible on the finished product. The finish is matte or polished. Surfaces or jewelry treated with it acquire a snow-white tint. It reflects light better and gives jewelry a brighter and shimmering sheen, similar to a mirror surface, a special radiance and unique charm.
Rhodium silver is a product that, regardless of shape and size, always looks impressive, prestigious and expensive.
In addition to jewelry, rhodium plating is used in the manufacture of:
crowns for winners of beauty contests;
gift and collection coins;
The rhodium layer enhances hardness, weather resistance and corrosion resistance. It saves the metal from contamination, darkening, mechanical damage and prevents the occurrence of allergic reactions in contact with the skin of a person who wears these jewelry.
Rhodium does not oxidize in a humid environment and in the air, does not collapse under the influence of fluorine, acids, chlorine, sulfur, etc. When buying rhodium-plated silver jewelry or other products made from this metal, you can be absolutely sure that it will retain its beautiful appearance for a long time. view.
Disadvantages of rhodium silver
Rhodium-plated jewelry is not much more expensive than gold. Rhodium-plated products are difficult to repair and recycle — changing the size of the ring. Because soldering or gluing will destroy the rhodium layer, it must be reapplied after repair.
Since the layer is quite thin, it wears off over time from exposure to cosmetic lotions and deodorants. However, this is not a quick process, it depends on the intensity of use of jewelry or other items. They can be refinished with rhodium.
In order to enjoy your rhodium-bearing silver jewelry for as long as possible, it is necessary to provide them with proper care and follow certain rules: take them off before bathing, sleeping and doing housework.
Cleaners and powders containing alcohol and ammonia will accelerate the abrasion of the rhodium layer. Rhodium-plated jewelry also does not like perfumes and cosmetics. Rhodium-plated silver and gold should be stored in separate boxes, impervious to sunlight and oxygen.
Cleaning of rhodium-plated silver should be done carefully — with a soft cloth with a special agent, so as not to damage the jewelry.
Now you know what rhodium-plated silver is.
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