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White gold fading

Hi all.

I’ve been doing all of the repairs in our store for 4 years now, and
recenty I have come upon a problem. Anytime I work on white gold, it
turns a different color, yellowish, in that spot. I have tried MANY
coats of polish, etc., to no avail. This is chains, rings, whatever.
It’s like the gold is plated with something from the factory, and I
need to know how to make it pretty again :wink: We deal with several
exellent company’s, Stuller, Quality Gold, SimonG, etc., so I doubt
that we are getting an inferior product… What are they coating it
with, and what can I do to bring back that kind of shine?


You are dealing with the rhodium plated yellowish gold that is sold
by most manufacturers as white gold now. If you want it to regain
that white color for a while you must rhodium plate it.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160

Member of the Better Business Bureau

Hi Connie,

If the yellowing occurs only where you are working…ie the sizing
spot… then the solder or the stock you use to size the ring might
be the culprit.

My best guess though is you are experiencing the problem associated
with rhodium plated merchandise from the factory. After sizing you
obviously need to polish, which removes the rhodium finish in that
area. You’ll need to polish and re-rhoduim the whole piece for the
same bright white look.

A rhodium set up is not complicated but can initially cost some $ to
the store. You’ll need a rectifier, beaker, plating anode, and
rhodium. The rhodium is the most expensive component but should last
a long time as long as you don’t contaminate it.

Check out stuller and ask them about your options and safety issues.
You don’t need a large rectifier for doing repairs.

With chains you will have a more difficult time getting the plating
to come out well. A good fire coat on the chain and restricting the
area of heat as best as possible will help so you can do a touch up
polish of just that area.

Good luck,

Rhodium thats what since they stopped using nickel the white isn’t
as white I call it whello not white not yellow. You need to plate
them after working on them.


Hello Connie:

Rhodium. In order to be a bench jeweler today you must have a
plating set up and Rhodium plate. Refer to the archives for mine and
many others frustration with this subject. If you need help
selecting the set up you need I and many others can help.

Michael R. Mathews Sr.

Rhodium plating is your answer. All white gold coming from
manufacturers these days is plated. It’s very simple and will solve
your problems. Just purchase the equipment from any tool supplier
and you are ready. They also sell a plating guide, which is helpful
if you have never plated before.

Good luck!

A lot of white gold jewelry is rhodium plated. A plating kit to use
after repairs may be in order for you.

James in SoFl

I am guessing it is the rhodium plating that is coming off?