Rhodium is a lustrous silvery white colored metal element with outstanding light reflecting properties. The metal is hard and sturdy with a high melting point. It is one of the rarest precious metals and at the price of about US $ 80,000 per kg is the most high-priced member in its class.

925 Sterling Silver Black Rhodium Plated Braided CZ Bracelet Open-Cut Celtic Knot Band, Rhodium-Plated 14k White Gold 8MM Women's Bamboo Design Band, Rhodium-Plated 14k White Gold 5mm
925 Sterling Silver Black Rhodium Plated Braided CZ Bracelet Open-Cut Celtic Knot Band, Rhodium-Plated 14k White Gold 8MM Women’s Bamboo Design Band, Rhodium-Plated 14k White Gold 5mm

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The salts of Rhodium form rose colored solutions and the name Rhodium springs from the Greek word rhodon which means a rose.

Rhodium was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston in 1803 in England a little after he had discovered palladium He successfully isolated it from its crude ore.

Very rare deposits of Rhodium in its elemental form do occur in Montana USA, but mostly Rhodium occurs along with other platinum group metals in ores of nickel and copper. Main sources of these ores are located in South Africa (which is the major source accounting for almost 60% of world’s Rhodium supply), in river sands of the Ural Mountains in Russia which ranks as the second largest producer, and in North America, which include the copper-nickel sulfide mining area of the Sudbury, Ontario region of Canada.

Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Blue/Black/White Diamond Ring Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Blue & White Diamond Hearts Ring
Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Blue/Black/White Diamond Ring Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Blue & White Diamond Hearts Ring

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The industrial extraction of rhodium is very complex and challenging as the metal occurs in ores mixed with other metals. It involves processes like assaying, solubilization, fractional distillation etc.

Ethereal Kunzite & Yellow Sapphire Cocktail Ring in 14k Yellow Gold Partly Rhodium Plated Natural Lapiz Bouquet Ring in Black Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver
Ethereal Kunzite & Yellow Sapphire Cocktail Ring in 14k Yellow Gold Partly Rhodium Plated Natural Lapiz Bouquet Ring in Black Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver

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The atomic number of Rhodium is forty five. It occupies Group Nine, Period Five and Block ‘d’ of the periodic table. It is categorized as a transition metal which belongs to the group of metals clustered close to platinum in the periodic table and termed as the platinum group of metals. Rhodium, together with ruthenium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum form the platinum group metals (PGM).

17.77 Carats London Blue Topaz Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver Statement Ring

17.77 Carats London Blue Topaz Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver Statement Ring

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The important properties of Rhodium are that it is a shiny metal with silvery white color and a high degree of reflectance. It is hard and sturdy and has a high melting point. Rhodium is not impacted by air at usual temperatures and hence does not get tarnished. It remains virtually unaffected by all corroding agents and so it is very resistant to corrosion. It is insoluble in most acids which includes aqua regia.

925 Sterling Silver 14mm Miami Cuban CZ Iced Out Bling Bracelet Chain Rhodium Plated Forever Brilliant Round 4.5mm Moissanite Wedding Band
925 Sterling Silver 14mm Miami Cuban CZ Iced Out Bling Bracelet Chain Rhodium Plated Forever Brilliant Round 4.5mm Moissanite Wedding Band

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After the launch of 3 way catalytic converters by Volvo in 1976, a significant portion of the produced metal (more than 85%) goes into the manufacture of catalytic converters for cars. The catalytic converters transform more harmful pollutants in car exhausts to less harmful ones.

One more major use of this metal is for producing alloys of platinum and iridium. These alloys have superior high-temperature strength and oxidation resistance and are made use of in furnace windings, phonograph-needles, pen-nibs, high temperature thermocouple and resistance wires, electrodes for aircraft spark plugs, bearings and electrical contacts.

Diamond Engagement Ring 10k Rose Gold and Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring 10K Yellow Gold and Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold
Diamond Engagement Ring 10k Rose Gold and Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring 10K Yellow Gold and Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold

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Rhodium is also used to plate reflectors of searchlights for its brilliance.

Since Rhodium is the most high priced of all precious metals, it is used as a symbol of wealth and to confer honor when more common metals such as silver, gold or platinum are considered inadequate. In 1979, the Guinness Book of World Records gave Paul McCartney a rhodium-plated disc for being history’s all-time best-selling songwriter and recording artist.

Lab Created Blue Sapphire Ring with Diamond Halo in Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold Morganite Engagement Ring with Side Diamonds 10k Rose Gold and White Rhodium Plated Accents
Lab Created Blue Sapphire Ring with Diamond Halo in Rhodium Plated 10k White Gold Morganite Engagement Ring with Side Diamonds 10k Rose Gold and White Rhodium Plated Accents

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Moreover, considerable technical refinements to rhodium electroplating processes for industrial products have also made possible its broader commercial usage for a vast variety of decorative applications.

Rhodium is similar in appearance and finish to highly polished chrome and it is the most tarnish resistant member among the platinum group of metals. A protective coat of rhodium virtually eliminates any chance of surface discoloring even when exposed to extreme environmental conditions under usual temperatures. The hardness of plated rhodium is also highly resistant to incidental scratching and abrasion.

Black Rhodium Plated 10K White Gold Round Diamond & Amethyst Ladies Swirl Bridal Engagement Ring Set 14kt White Black Rhodium Plated 3/4 CTW Black & White Diamond Ring
Black Rhodium Plated 10K White Gold Round Diamond & Amethyst Ladies Swirl Bridal Engagement Ring Set 14kt White Black Rhodium Plated 3/4 CTW Black & White Diamond Ring

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The aforesaid features make Rhodium an ideal material for plating jewelry, tableware and other decorative objects. It is also used to coat some parts of high-quality fountain pens like those of Graf von Faber-Castell and Caran D’ache.

Rhodium Plated 14k Gold Feather Ring

Rhodium Plated 14k Gold Feather Ring

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Rhodium is the most commonly used precious metal in the world of jewelry mostly for plating the jewelry items.

Black Rhodium (also known as black gold) is a type of rhodium often used for coating of jewelry; the process is made by depositing fine powder of rhodium from a strong hydrochloric acid solution.

Tourmaline And Diamond 18K White Gold Rhodium Plated Pendant Rectangle Green Beryl And Diamond 18K White Gold Rhodium Plated Pendant Pear Yellow
Tourmaline And Diamond 18K White Gold Rhodium Plated Pendant Rectangle Green Beryl And Diamond 18K White Gold Rhodium Plated Pendant Pear Yellow

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Jewelry designed out of pure Rhodium is very rare because it has a high melting point and low malleability both of which factors make designing of complex and intricate patterns difficult. Besides, the exorbitant cost of the metal also works as a dissuading factor to crafting of solid Rhodium jewelry.

Rhodium plating is imparted to platinum, white gold and sterling silver jewelry items for different reasons

Rhodium Plated 925 Silver Reversible Dolphins Pendant Necklace Rhodium plated 925 Silver Eagle Pendant Necklace
Rhodium Plated 925 Silver Reversible Dolphins Pendant Necklace Rhodium plated 925 Silver Eagle Pendant Necklace

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Rhodium has a superior light reflecting property and brilliance than platinum and white gold. As such, platinum and white gold jewelry items are veneered with rhodium to improve the finish and luster.

Though silver has the best reflecting property among all metals, it is also susceptible to quick tarnishing because of the spontaneous reactions with the gases in the air. Silver jewelry can also get easily scratched and damaged with the rigors of use. Hence silver jewelry is plated with Rhodium to give it protection from tarnish and damage. Any jewelry piece with Rhodium plating will last for a long time.

925 Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Black & White Diamond Polished Wedding Promise Band 925 Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Black & White Diamond Bridal Fashion Ring 925 Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Black & White Diamond Round Ring
925 Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Black & White Diamond Polished Wedding Promise Band 925 Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Black & White Diamond Bridal Fashion Ring 925 Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Black & White Diamond Round Ring

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Rhodium finishes greatly enhance the appearance and longevity of any metal to which they are applied. It adds hardness and durability, imparts a uniform color and protects the wearer from potentially problematic metals found in some white gold, such as nickel.

Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Amethyst & Diamond Ring Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Amethyst & Diamond Ring
Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Amethyst & Diamond Ring Sterling Silver Rhodium-plated Amethyst & Diamond Ring

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Black rhodium is also a type of rhodium used for coating of jewelry; the process is conducted by depositing fine powder of rhodium from a strong hydrochloric acid solution.

18K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Diamond Cut Chain Necklace 18K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Diamond Cut Rolo Bracelet
18K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Diamond Cut Chain Necklace 18K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated Diamond Cut Rolo Bracelet

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You should however be aware that rhodium plating does not last forever. Its lifespan will vary depending upon a number of factors including wear and tear of jewelry, original thickness of the plating, individual body chemistry, quality of plating and the color of the underlying gold.

Bridal Diamond Rhodium Plated 14k White Gold Square Double Halo Twisted Engagement Ring Bridal Diamond Rhodium Plated 14k White Gold Heart Promise Engagement Ring Bridal Three-Stone Diamond Rhodium Plated 14k White Gold Round Halo Engagement Ring
Bridal Diamond Rhodium Plated 14k White Gold Square Double Halo Twisted Engagement Ring Bridal Diamond Rhodium Plated 14k White Gold Heart Promise Engagement Ring Bridal Three-Stone Diamond Rhodium Plated 14k White Gold Round Halo Engagement Ring

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Diligent care is required to protect the rhodium plating. You should avoid ordinary jewelry cleaners based on harsh chemicals as they can undermine the rhodium plating and eventually remove it completely in the long run. You should instead clean them gently with soap or mild detergent and luke warm water. You can decide to clean it with steam.

18K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver Diamond Cut Rhodium Plated Bracelet

18K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver Diamond Cut Rhodium Plated Bracelet

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Even after taking all precautions , Rhodium plating does have a penchant to wear out with time and a trip to you jeweler is all that will be required to get the re-polish which will be as good as new.

The demand for Rhodium is consistent and high while the supply is tight. As such there will always be a demand pull on the price of Rhodium in the foreseeable future.


Click Here To View An Amazing Rhodium Plated Jewelry Collection


Or See More Precious Metals As Follows:

The Metal Platinum
Platinum Jewelry
Palladium Metal Attributes
Rhodium Metal Attributes
White Gold
Rose Gold
Silver And Sterling Silver
Titanium


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