Hello Doug and All:
You write “do you think we are being misleading by not explaining to
them that the silver is plated with rhodium?” It is not like your
selling CZ’s as diamonds or yellow gold as white but, to tell a
consumer that an item is plated with gold when it is in fact plated
with Rhodium just because the average person doesn’t know the
difference is in my opinion misleading and you should not do it.
Explain to them that Rhodium is a member of the platinum family and
is more durable than gold plating. Explain that the rhodium plating
is applied to keep the item from tarnishing as quickly. Most
consumers have seen tarnish on silver in some form or another and
will see the benefit of the plating. Do not imply that the rhodium
plating increases the precious metal content of the item.
I mean to say that you should not represent the item as silver and
Now this might get a little controversial, but I think that any
plating should be disclosed at the time of sale. The consumer has the
right (in my opinion) to know that if they buy that item and it later
needs repair or sizing that they may have to pay a fee for replating.
I charge $40 extra to replate.
Your impression that all or nearly all white gold jewelry is rhodium
plated is becoming more true as the industry is using more of what I
call “off-colored” white gold. There are many reasons for using low
nickel or no nickel white gold alloys especially in 18K. I do not see
much 14K white jewelry that is plated but almost all the designer
lines that our store carries that make 18K white items rhodium plate.
As I stated before I think that if it is plated you should tell the
consumer at the point of sale. I have been very long winded about
this topic in the past and if you want to search the archive you can
The average person knows little about jewelry. They know that 18K is
more gold than 14K and therefore think 18K is better. Off colored
18K white with a rhodium plating usually becomes an ugly yellowish or
grayish color after it is worn for awhile.
In closing I personally feel that surface treatments such as plating
that change the color of an item unless fully disclosed at the point
of sale is a unfair trade practice.
Michael R. Mathews Sr. Victoria,Texas JACMBJ