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View Full Version : Any information about Rhodium, anyone?


sacredashes
26-01-2007, 04:50
I was wondering if anyone out there who's had experience with rhodium coated jewelry? I just purchased some rhodium coated materials which I was told would not cause allegies but I wanted to find out from someone who has had personal experience with it. Is it true, what are the set-backs, are there people who are allegic to rhodium, stuff like that.

Since this forum covers metals as well, I thought I'd give it a shot. :)

Thanks n peace 2 u,

Ash

crystalwoman
29-01-2007, 12:52
Rhodium is often used to plate all other alloys that people are sensitive too. It's the very most precious and expensive of all the precious alloys, even more precious than platinum. The only way you will know if you are allergic to it is to wear the jewellery and monitor yourself. If you start to feel even the tiniest bit of an itch while wearing it then take the jewellery off and try again the next day and monitor yourself again. It's possible you may be able to develop an immunity to it. Can you wear 18 ct gold? - if so then chances are you will not be allergic to rhodium.

Ruby7
06-02-2007, 06:38
I'm in the jewellery business and have worked with rhodium plating.

I've never known of anyone to react to rhodium itself, but the plating does wear off and you could react to whatever is underneath the plating.

Have you reacted to other metals in the past?

All the best,
Ruby7

sacredashes
08-02-2007, 01:48
OOps, double posting

sacredashes
08-02-2007, 01:52
Thanks crystalwoman & you too Ruby.

It's actually not for me, they're for the site I'm building up with my husband. I got some pretty useful feedback from AJ, another member about allergies.

I purchased clasps and jump rings that are plated in rhodium since she (my supplier) told me that it's the only thing she has that won't cause allergies. Thought I'd add in the option to change the clasps for buyers who are interested but are afraid they'll react to the nickel in the clasps I've used originally.

If you happen to check in on this thread again, crystalwoman.. sorry I didn't reply earlier. I thought it was going to be chunked into archives without a reply. I'm not allegic to nickel *fortunately* so I have no problems with the jewelry I make but some people would.

My mom who wanted all my Dzi beads turned into a necklace wouldn't wear it for more than a few hours at a time. Until I asked, I didn't know that she's allegic to nickel. The sacrifices a mother makes, huh? :) I think she has no problems with 18K gold jewelry so maybe I can change the clasp for her. Thanks for the tip.

Rudy, you mentioned that the plating wears off? Usually how long does it take for that to happen? Are we talking about weeks, months? My jewelry are priced pretty low and I really don't think gold or titanium are metals I can use at the price I'm charging. I can still handle the additional cost of offering rhodium plated clasps but I was wondering, what other options are out there?

It confuses me to see how silver necklaces are being sold at ridiculously low prices like $5 to $10 singapore dollars so I wonder how these people keep their costs so low? Are they using alternatives to silver or non-allergic silver lookalikes? It's too heavy for colored beads for sure, feels like some sorta metal.

Thanks in advance for your help.. both of you.

Ash

wizzle
08-02-2007, 13:49
I have bunches of rhodium plated jewerly, some of which I"ve had for 20 years.

Obviously, there is plating and there is plating. Some is substantial and some thin.

Most of the jewelry I own was high end rhodium plated over sterling silver and looks just as good today as when I bought it years ago. I have alergies and this is the least reactive metal with my skin. As you probably know, rhodium is in the platinum group. In terms of metal allergies, for me, best is platinum, then gold, then silver. I do get some skin reaction to silver if I don't keep it very very clean.

If you've found a good source of rhodiam plated over sterling silver, I think you have a good thing going.

sacredashes
08-02-2007, 16:49
Obviously, there is plating and there is plating. Some is substantial and some thin.

Most of the jewelry I own was high end rhodium plated over sterling silver and looks just as good today as when I bought it years ago. I have alergies and this is the least reactive metal with my skin. As you probably know, rhodium is in the platinum group. In terms of metal allergies, for me, best is platinum, then gold, then silver. I do get some skin reaction to silver if I don't keep it very very clean.

If you've found a good source of rhodiam plated over sterling silver, I think you have a good thing going.

Hi ya, Wizzle...

I hope so, those little suckers cost the same price for 1/3 in quantity :)
I did some of my own research since I posted this thread, it seems that rhodium is not as easily processed as some other metals but is a pretty good alternative to gold and silver.

It's good to know from someone who actually owns such jewelries that it actually works. I was wondering if the lady gave me a sales pitch coz I really didn't know the first thing about what she said.

Thanks a bunch for your insight guys. MMuuack!! (that's kisses where I come from)

Ash

Briar Rose
10-02-2007, 13:36
I know some pretty high end jewelers that use rhodium over 18K white gold to give it luster and make it stronger. That's what they told me.

The jewelry I work for now says that's bunch of crap to plate Rhoduim. He wouldn't do it.

Platinum is for people have have allergies.

That's about all I know.

sacredashes
10-02-2007, 18:31
I know some pretty high end jewelers that use rhodium over 18K white gold to give it luster and make it stronger. That's what they told me.

The jewelry I work for now says that's bunch of crap to plate Rhoduim. He wouldn't do it.

Platinum is for people have have allergies.

That's about all I know.

Hello HeavensVault,

Thank you for highlighting this, I find it very helpful. I was under the impression that rhodium is part of the platinum group and is found in platinum ores. Would you be able to clarify what this person meant? I'm a little confused.

Briar Rose
11-02-2007, 05:50
I will ask a jeweler more questions and I will reply back. Please give me a few days. It's Saturday right now. Thank you.

sacredashes
11-02-2007, 07:03
Sure thing. :) Btw, thanks for your help.

Ruby7
11-02-2007, 09:49
I know some pretty high end jewelers that use rhodium over 18K white gold to give it luster and make it stronger. That's what they told me.

The jewelry I work for now says that's bunch of crap to plate Rhoduim. He wouldn't do it.

Platinum is for people have have allergies.

That's about all I know.

It is a common practice for high end jewellers to use rhodium over 18kt white gold. It does give a bright white finish but does not strengthen the metal in any way. Without the rhodium plating 18kt white gold can have a yellowish tint, since 18kt white gold is 18/24 pure yellow gold mixed with 6/24 white alloy (different combinations of nickel, palladium, fine silver etc).

On rings the plating always eventually wears off (within 6 months approx)and will have to be replated.

At the jewellery store I work at we do NOT rhodium plate our rings, unless someone insists on it. Our white gold is about as white as you can find and a simple polish every couple of months keeps it looking nice (we don't charge for the polishing). We don't plate because it does seem like a crappy thing to do to a nice 18kt white gold ring unless the person does have a nickel allergy. It also costs the customer to have the ring replated (rhodium plating solution is very expensive)


Rhodium IS a member of the platinum group and has a useful purpose for people with allergies but is definitely overused in the jewellery business. Silver plated with rhodium looks the same as 18kt white gold plated with rhodium etc.

As Wizzle said "there is plating and there is plating" , if the plating is thick enough on clasps and chains it will stand up to a lot of wear and possibly never wear off.

All the best,
Ruby7

sacredashes
11-02-2007, 13:38
For what I paid and the itty bitty number of clasps I got in return, they HAD BETTER stay plated for longer! :D

I'm not too bothered about how white they look. I noticed the clasps I got are not really white, they're have a very high shine compared to the other ones I got. As long as they serve the purpose of preventing allergies, I'm a happy camper.

Thank you, Ruby. You cleared that right up for me.

Ruby7
12-02-2007, 03:47
Hi sacredashes,

The clasps usually do have a thicker coating so I think that this is probably the right thing for your purpose. Hope it goes well,

All the best,
Ruby7

wizzle
13-02-2007, 10:48
I've never heard of rhodium plating over 18K gold, at least not here in the States. So that was very interesting to me. As I understand it, 18K white gold was developed in the early 1900's (or thereabouts) as an alternative to platinum. Platinum is a wonderful metal but expense aside, is quite difficult to work with.

sacredashes
13-02-2007, 16:00
I feel much better getting this verification from someone who's in the business and has had experience with rhodium :) I should be thanking you, Ruby.

You too, wizzle.. I need to keep a look out for stuff that are properly plated and settling for less might cost me more in the long run. :)

Love, light and kisses in the wind to you both.

Ash

gregory
13-02-2007, 19:02
Hello.............. sorry to throw a spanner, but.............

I am VIOLENTLY allergic to silver, nickel and tin.

But - er - also to rhodium. :(

In fact to all metals except gold (and even a few "gold" items - I suspect something in whatever alloy.....)

I AM allergic to stainless steel (I mention this as several people, including jewellers, have told me this is impossible, but when your wrist turns green and comes out in blisters, you wouldn't believe those people either !!!)

I think I may not be allergic to platinum, but have never had the opportunity to try. Feel free to send samples :D (but if rhodium is of the platinum group - which I didn't know - .... maybe that will rule it out anyway)

I don't actually like to wear jewellery much, so this isn't a huge problem, and what I do wear, I coat with nail-polish - likewise bra clips etc. It can be a pain having to use plastic watches or go without, but going without is good and a great excuse for unpunctuality.
Metal sutures have even been an issue.... :eek:

Sadly - you can't assume that ANYTHING in this world is completely non-allergenic. :(

Whitestar
14-02-2007, 00:40
Hi gregory,

I was wondering if you have problems with 14k gold, or do you always stick to higher gold percentages in 18k and 24k?

I have only worn 24k through my ears (I've found one pair of earrings ever in this) due to metal allergies, but am contemplating trying 14k, was wondering what your result is????

Whitestar

sacredashes
14-02-2007, 02:09
Hello gregory,

There was a post by crystalwoman on testing allegies erlier in this thread but I think turning green and blisters is cause enough to avoid metal contact. I suppose anything is possible but I have read somewhere that gold and titanium would be safer bets if you're sensitive to you know, nickel and other stuff.

Actually, I might take you up on the offer of trying out the jewelry for sampling purposes. You can even keep the necklace, in exchange for being an experimentee. I would like up-dated feedback on how rhodium works or does not work in extreme cases. Least then, I'd have an idea of the threshold. :D

If you are interested, do drop me a PM and we'll figure out shipping. No pressure, though. Take care.

Ash

gregory
14-02-2007, 04:13
I am probably just VERY peculiar. I am also allergic to ASA and valium !

I have a 24k watch that was my grandmother's which is OK, and my wedding ring (k unknown, but my hands are the least sensitive bit of me, I guess...)

I have never worn titanium. Is it pretty ??? :D I hear ears are the worst - luckily I can't stand things pinching them, so have only ONCE tried earrings for abotu 5 minutes ouch nasty - and now that I have hearing aids in both, I don't plan to !

As I say - no huge problem - as I really am not into jewellery - but I will test stuff if you like ! I may be a one off, though. I am told it is rather unusual to be allergic to valium, too !

Oops crumbs - SINGAPORE ? Well, up to you..... :eek:

sacredashes
14-02-2007, 06:34
Hello gregory,

Titanium comes in various colors and I've seen them, very pretty :) ... pretty expensive too :D People who have allegies but still want to wear navel studs or ear-rings would probably invest in titanium or gold.

I do think that the reaction varies from person to person. My mom can tolerate it for a few hours but not for a day. Don' know if that counts as an allergy or an irritation. She doesn't get blisters but she does get red patches if the jewelry is worn for too long.

Oops crumbs - SINGAPORE ? Well, up to you..... :eek:

:eek: is about right.. the shipping and registered post charges are a nuisance, isn't it?

I do have a customer I'm supposed to meet again. She broke out in red spots upon contact and I had to re-do the entire necklance for her once, change all the metal bits to silver flower beads.. Maybe she can help me out.

gregory
14-02-2007, 07:07
I can live for ever without earrings even of any kind :D

Also any other piercing things like studs..... I don't see the point. Luckily !

Briar Rose
20-02-2007, 22:55
It took me a while to reply back, sorry. I have nothing new to add.

I've read the other posts, and everyone is right on about Rhodium. I asked a very well known jewelry designer and he told me the same things Ruby7 wrote in her posts.

Rhodium is used for plating because it's supposed to brighter than 18K white gold.

Platinum doesn't cause allergies.

sacredashes
21-02-2007, 05:22
HeavensVault :)

Thanks for the up-date. Appreciate your help, asking around and all. Take care.

Ash

gregory
21-02-2007, 19:58
Platinum doesn't cause allergies.I don't think anyone can say that about anything :(. I will try find some and let you know if I can manage a blister ot three.....

MCsea
21-02-2007, 20:23
I don't think anyone can say that about anything :(. I will try find some and let you know if I can manage a blister ot three.....

I did a quick google and I think its not worth the blisters gregory, sure you can be allergic to platinum :) (most people aren't...)

http://www.finishing.com/337/77.shtml

MARINA

gregory
22-02-2007, 04:23
No worries. I just thought it dangerous to suggest that there is ANYTHING to which SOMEONE isn't allergic :D

sacredashes
22-02-2007, 15:05
I'll keep that in mind, gregory.. it's good that you've brought this up.

I think I'll try crystalwoman's suggestion and test it on my customers over here for allegies or offer $ back if the stuff causes allegies to someone who've ordered it to through the internet.

No point in keeping something they can't wear, I know how frustrating that feels. Great that you pointed it out.. I guess there are no 100% guarentees in life :D