I’ve seen platinum, white gold, yellow gold and sterling silver all
plated with rhodium. That **** stuff interferes with repairs, then
requires replating just to look like you didn’t damage the jewelry.
I want to know why? When (almost) any metal can be rhodium plated,
why would you want your plated 18k white gold to look like a plated
platinum, to look like your plated silver, to look like your plated
whatever-it-is-costume-jewelry? (No disrespect to costume jewelry -
I’ve made and bought beautiful stuff.)
Most jewelry owners can’t perceive the weight difference between
gold, silver and platinum. IMHO, rhodium plated jewelry looks fake,
worse than the middle-of-the-road costume jewelry. If I can make
fabulous rhodium plated sterling silver jewelry, why won’t anyone pay
the price for it they would for rhodium plated platinum?
A significant portion of the women who buy white jewelry where I
work would not dream of wearing silver - it must be gold (even if it
looks the same as plated silver). But they don’t want the weight of
platinum (even if it looks the same as plated gold, which looks the
same as plated silver, or plated nickel for that matter).
If tarnish resistance is the key, then let’s just plate the cheapest
metal that will wear as well as the jewelry metals. If weight is the
key, then why not plate lead? If you really want cheap gorgeous, why
not rhodium plated copper? (OK, I’m not up on the chemistry - can it
Why wear a jewelry metal that is 91+ times more expensive than
silver, if you can make it all look the same with rhodium plating?
What I’m seeing on my end of the jewelry business is "looks"
tempered by “perceived value” with very little science (structure or
mechanics of materials) involved.
Please note: I’m well aware there are laws requiring the correct
marking of metals. I know that different metals have different
wear/abrasion resistance. I know that there are market forces
involved. I’m not asking about these…I’m asking why people want the
hard-white look ON an expensive metal when they could have the
hard-white look ON a less costly metal.
In the end it all looks like a hard-white metal, and it looks (IMHO)
cheap. Give me oxidized silver and warm-grey platinum anyday. Gold
should be yellow.