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Rhodium plating safe thickness


#1

On another note - I wish to Rhodium plate my white gold pieces,
which came out somewhat discolored after soldering. Is there a
specific thickness of the Rhodium level that I need to ask my Plater
to achieve in order for the Rhodium to not come off (ever)? My
jewelry is very expensive, and I am terrified of the damage
something like this could do to my name…

Thanks so much in advance,

Jonathan


#2

Correct the discoloration with thorough polishing first. I have seen
some pretty deep discoloration, and some cannot be remedied without
taking off too much gold. My feeling is there is something to be
corrected/adjusted in the soldering process or pickling if the
discoloration cannot be removed. Rhodium plating can only cover the
problem, brighten the metal up. It is NOT a permanent solution, as it
will eventually wear off in normal usage.

Jim
http://www.forrest-design.com


#3

All rhodium plating wears off even if you could afford extra heavy
plating (rhodium is currently over $6000.00 per oz) it will come off
so there are two solutions to the problem:

(1) Switch to a metal that does not require plating like platinum or
950 palladium or palladium white gold

(2) learn to live with the rhodium problems and the customer service
and reputation headaches

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#4
learn to live with the rhodium problems and the customer service
and reputation headaches 

From a practical perspective, platinum is much softer than white
gold, so trade one problem for another, rhodium wears off, platinum
can look scratched up and dull fairly quickly, I have seen customers
who were very disappointed by not being informed of how soft
platinum is prior to purchasing. I have made hundreds of white gold
rhodium plated rings and have not had reputation headaches or other
problems. Have other retailers had much problems with customer
dissatisfaction or problems with rhodium when disclosure was made
prior to the sale?

Richard Hart


#5

i wear a platinum wedding band i show it to my customers and i
present to them the facts. my ring has a soft mixed hammered up look
i tell people i made it look like this before i put it on so now it
always looks like when it was brand new. then i remind them they have
been to college thus having decision making skills and ive presented
the facts only, NOT opinions.

best regards goo


#6
From a practical perspective, platinum is much softer than white
gold, so trade one problem for another, rhodium wears off, platinum
can look scratched up and dull fairly quickly, 

Which alloys? treated in what fashion? I work with one platinum
alloy that is well over 300 HV when heat treated that is getting into
the hardness range of tool steel (and quite a bit harder than any of
the “white” golds). Some of the 950 Palladium alloys are in the same
hardness ballpark as the “white” golds and are truly white. There are
some “white” golds that are softer than 18 k yellow. It is not just
the metal it is how it is treated both before you get it and what you
do to it that will affect how hard or soft it is. More workable
"white" gold alloys often are quite yellow, there is almost always a
trade off between physical and mechanical properties when talking
about “white” golds performance.

I have had some customers show me their engagement ring (bought
somewhere else) and ask why it is discolored and then react very
negatively when told it is a plating process that made that
yellowish metal look white and some don’t seem to care.

There are many factors to this question about to plate or not to
plate and what alloys to use for what work, but the bottom line is
no matter how you do it plating wears off. So if you plate you need
to disclose that fact to the customer or deal with the surprise and
possibly bad feelings when they realize their ring is not white.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#7
Have other retailers had much problems with customer
dissatisfaction or problems with rhodium when disclosure was made
prior to the sale? 

Nope.

Total none issue in my experience.

In fact if one doesn’t rhodium one presents a dingy white
gold(talking traditional alloy here). How does that look on Christmas
morning? Switching to platinum makes a $1000 ring suddenly a $2000
ring, fine for some clients but not all. The platinum customer is
different from the 14K customer.


#8

We have all been down this road. We (in the past) explained to
customers what will happen to their white gold jewelry. Those people
at the mall stores never tell them about this. Replating was not
such a big deal until rhodium went from $1200 oz to over $6000 oz. We
are over that because we switched over the X1 white gold from
Stuller. I will take one hell of a polish if you use platinum polish.
We have had some problems with mill stock wire being cracked coming
from Stuller. We cast the X1 with no problems and we have even drawn
it out to laser wire for a repair. I know that there are some other
high white alloys out there but have not used them.

Regards,
Rodney