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Attempting my first rhodium plating


#1

Hello all,

I am attempting my first rhodium plating on a 14K yellow gold
cocktail ring that needs replating. I have all the equipment and the
handy Midas Plating Guide, but have a couple of newbie questions:

  • I might have missed it, but what anode is used to plate directly
    onto karat gold?

  • does ALL the old rhodium plating have to me removed? Is there any
    other way of removing other than sanding it off? How do I remove it
    out of all the nooks and cranies like around setting prongs, etc.

  • Is it best to pre-plate karat gold with 24K gold?

  • is plating safe to use on stones?

  • can the used rhodium solution be stored and re-used?

  • lastly, I am considering buying a pen plating system, does it HAVE
    to be used with pen plating solutions or can the bath type solutions
    be used? I understand the difference in concentrations, but am
    curious if anyone has done it successfully this way.

I’m open to any other suggestions, recommendations and expert
advice.

Thank you!
Patricia Marrone


#2

As you may have already discovered, there’s more than one way to
skin a cat. This is how I skin:

* I might have missed it, but what anode is used to plate directly
onto karat gold? 

Some folks use platinum. But they make an anode that’s a little
cheaper.

I bought mine from Stuller in '05 and use it constantly and it’s
still going strong. I’ve heard they go bad, but I’ve never seen it
happen.

* does ALL the old rhodium plating have to me removed? Is there
any other way of removing other than sanding it off? How do I
remove it out of all the nooks and cranies like around setting
prongs, etc. 

Well you know, whatever you plate over shows in the end, so I always
remove the old plating first.

I don’t sand it off though. I use a bobbing compound meant for
polishing steel instead of tripoli in all my polishing tasks, and it
works great for removing rhodium plating.

(If you decide to try bobbing compound for your every-day polishing
be aware that it cuts extremely fast!) I want the surface I’m plating
to be highly polished with no scratches, so I take it all off first.

I use a soft mounted brush to get in crevices and other tight
places. Use a lighter touch to get down deep.

* Is it best to pre-plate karat gold with 24K gold? 

I’ve never heard of such a thing. But all gold plating is 24k and
they add chemicals to mimic lower karats, FYI.

* is plating safe to use on stones? 

Yes. Except on iron pyrite which will plate. (Well, it will gold
plate. I’ve never seen anyone rhodium plate pyrite.)

* can the used rhodium solution be stored and re-used? 

I’ve been using the same batch since '05 but see below.

* lastly, I am considering buying a pen plating system, does it
HAVE to be used with pen plating solutions or can the bath type
solutions be used? I understand the difference in concentrations,
but am curious if anyone has done it successfully this way. 

I have a home-made pen plater. I just take a hypodermic needle, jam
a pen plating felt tip on the end, and dip that into the concentrated
rhodium plating solution made for making up regular rhodium plating
baths. (Clip the wires where they should be clipped!) Any left over
in the beaker gets rinsed with a couple drops of distilled water &
dumped into my regular bath.

(I just know all the anal chemists on the list are cringing at the
thought!)

I think this is the most I’ve ever written on Orchid! woot

Paf Dvorak


#3

Patricia- To rhodium plate on white gold we use a platinum anode.
You can buy platinized titanium anodes. The ring does not need an
under plating.

You do not have to remove the old rhodium. Yes the only way to
remove old rhodium is to abrade it off. It will not strip off. Yes
the rhodium solution is reused. It’s very expensive stuff. Over $100
per pint. I prefer immersion plating to pen plating.

It will not harm most stones but do not ever use it on pearls,
malachite, turquoise, lapis, coral, opals etc.

However why rhodium plate a yellow gold ring? It will wear off in no
time and have to be replaced. it’s an expensive enough process that
it would be a good idea to just make the ring over in white.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#4
However why rhodium plate a yellow gold ring? It will wear off in
no time and have to be replaced. it's an expensive enough process
that it would be a good idea to just make the ring over in white. 

Lots of folks decide after a time that they like white gold more
than yellow, and times in some parts of the country are pretty tough.

Rhodium plating yellow gold is a great option until your customer
has more money.

I charge for the first time and replate whenever needed for free.

(And I’m wholesale to the trade. The customer of my customer is my
customer. I want them (both) to come back.)

Paf Dvorak


#5
I charge for the first time and replate whenever needed for free. 

Generous. CIA