“WOW! It looks brand new.”
These were the words I recently heard a client exclaim as she smiled at the appearance of her two year old engagement ring that had been recently rhodium plated.
Two years ago I helped this client complete her engagement ring. She had previously purchased a setting and diamond, but some custom work was necessary to create the best setting. A new 4 prong head was attached to the shank to ensure that the center diamond would stay in place and sit up high enough for the light to reveal the diamond’s sparkle. We sized the ring, set the stone, and finished the white gold engagement ring to the customer’s utmost satisfaction.
Last month the customer returned to our studio for a cleaning. At that time I indicated it would be good to consider re-plating the white gold setting with rhodium. As everyone knows gold is yellow. In order to create white gold, nickel and silver are added as alloys to give gold its white color, making it look like platinum. However, white gold always carries a slight yellow tint. The final finishing process for white gold requires it to be rhodium plated. Over time this plating will wear off the white gold, leaving your ring with a yellow tint. Because of this, normal maintenance on white gold jewelry is to have it rhodium plated to keep it looking mirror white.
Rhodium is a metal in the platinum family that can be taken in liquid form and a micro layer can be plated onto the surface of white gold. Depending on the individual and how they wear their jewelry dictates how often the rhodium has to be reapplied.
Many clients come in and ask if we can simply re-dip a ring, but the process is not quite that simple. The process to rhodium plate your jewelry first involves making sure the jewelry is completely clean and the old rhodium is removed. Then the jewelry needs to be electro cleaned, which cleans the surface thoroughly. The ring is then immersed in activator which prepares the surface so the rhodium will adhere properly. And the final step is to electroplate the rhodium onto the ring.
Here is the equipment used to plate jewelry.
The plating on your white gold jewelry wears off very slowly over time, so you may not have even noticed that your jewelry isn't as bright as it was. Bring your jewelry in to get refinished and restore the "WOW" factor to your treasures.
I would love to meet with you and show you the benefits of cleaning and checking your jewelry in our Overland Park jewelry studio.