I got it back, sized and stripped of rhodium the very next day. It
looks great, and now it matches the wedding set. If rhodium is so
hard to remove, how did he get it off?
I think you were lucky to find that both of your rings are made from
a closely matched (colour etc) 14ct w/g alloy. They could have easily
looked a lot different.
To answer your question:
Your jeweler would have needed to file the area that was soldered or
hammered, then emery a slightly wider area before polishing. You
said you didn’t want the rhodium so he would have repolished the
whole ring. I assume there is no sign of any rhodium left so the
plating was probably not very thick and depending on the alloy a
quick buff might have taken most of it off. There may be some
residual areas that have plating still on them, but the areas where
the buff cant reach are usually hard to see and underexposed areas
don’t electroplate well, esp.’ in 14k.
I have never had to go past polishing the rhodium off. The most
inert alloys like platinum and fine gold are not affected by
sulphuric acid so for them it would be easy enough to reverse the
polarity (strip) the outlying layer and what happens then depends on
the other alloys in the mix. I suspect cyanide stripping would work
in this case, but I don’t know.
Platinum group alloys are the key.
I see which alloys: take rhodium the best, which can be dipped for
longer, which need extra attention etc, and I have found that any
fraction of platinum group metals (platinum/palladium etc) help a
Rhodium is possibly the most precious metal:
It is the whitest platinum group alloy. It is less inert then
Electroplated, it is hard (but scratchy - a long term problem for
exposed unmatched metals).
It is much more expensive then platinum. Diamonds love it.
&, It binds best with platinum group metals.