Rhodium & bleed out

Dear all

This could be an interesting subject which it’s issue has hit in the
face and no mater of the years I’ve under my belt I feel like Georg
Forman in Zaire, don’t know what hit me.

We are a wholesale company which its product (18 k white gold/
Rhodium plated), after being with the retailer for few weeks, has
some darkening problem (it’s loosing its luster). We went over with
our factory on all the steps taken by them to produce our product.

Now… Our product has good percentage of pave-setting with
stones vary form half point to 1 point! What I’m trying to indicate
is that there are a lot of prongs, dummy prong and mill grain, which
will create cavities that might work as dust storage!!! That’s one;
if that was the case you will think that a little bit of bzzzzzzzzzzz
in the ultrasonic & steaming the heck out of it will do the job. “Not
on most of the time”

Trust me when I say that I’m bringing the factory on its knees to
tackle this issue but I feel there is something more in it than your
usual suspects that cause such a problem.

Well… I had to do it the technological/ scientific/ logical
approach!! I called a company called Red Sky plating
http://www.redskyplating.com/index.htm and I spoke to a gentleman
called Neil (if my memory helps here) and the man spoke of knowledge.
He said most likely my problem is caused by bleeding in/out. In
English!! Means that the metal is acting as a sponge and absorbing
some acid, which stays (the acid) in the metal’s cavity, porosity,
surface, so after producing the goods and after passing some serious
QC eyes, I mean serious, it leaves toward our retailers.

Then because the heat generated by the display cases bulbs and the
trapped atmosphere; it starts to bleeding out (the bloody acid)
which will create a recipe for disaster and starts to contaminate the
surface of the jewelry piece and resulting of darkening look(no

Please don’t be shy of throwing couple of your pennies in here, any
knowledge, explanations, scientific theories, magical spells, funny
jokes will all be very welcomed, hence I’m about to quit jewelry and
work as a bartender “wishful thinking”.

Thanks for listening.
Dikran Nodznaia

Sorry to be so late in replying but I’ve just joined here and I’m
catching up.

One possibility is that the rhodium is not fully reaching into tiny
recesses around the beadwork. It looks good new but with time the
gold tarnishes where it hasn’t been covered well. A higher voltage
may help with getting better throw into these areas.

if the discoloration is more generalized, affecting the whole piece
you might consider switching to a different rhodium formulation. If
you’re using acid based now, try a sulfate base.

Good luck

Thanks Neil

You have very knowledgeable explanation; it will definitely be taken
into consideration.

I’m wondering how can we spread this post to everyone, as you know
this is a serious issue and is happening to everyone, I think if all
through their knowledge we can dig in and find a remedy to it. Thanks
again for your comments they are highly appreciated.

Dikran Nodznaia