Whether you don’t like the way white gold scratches or the way silver tarnishes over time, rhodium-plated jewelry is a good alternative to more popular precious metals and it won’t tarnish or oxidize. Rhodium jewelry can also be found at a modest price, so it makes a great gift for friends and family and may become a new favorite in your jewelry box. Here are six things you should know about rhodium jewelry and how to decide whether or not it’s right for you.
1. Rhodium Belongs to the Platinum Family
Rhodium is one of the of the six platinum group metals and is considered one of the most valuable precious metals in the world. Coming from the Greek word “rhodon,” meaning rose, its salts have a rose-red color, but the metal gives a reflective white appearance similar to silver or platinum.
2. Guard Against Scratches With Rhodium
Rhodium-plated jewelry involves plating gold or silver jewelry with a surface that guards against scratches, making it shinier and more durable. In this sense, opting for a rhodium wedding ring is ideal because a ring worn every day is prone to wear and tear. Rhodium wedding bands for men are also a great choice.
3. Rhodium-Plated Jewelry Is Hypoallergenic
One downside of wearing gold or silver is that both contain nickel, which could be a problem for those with a nickel allergy. Rhodium does not contain nickel and thus makes for hypoallergenic jewelry. Whether you choose a rhodium-plated necklace or rhodium earrings, you can avoid an allergic reaction.
4. You Don’t Have to Settle for a Silver Look
Not a fan of silver or white gold? Rhodium-plated jewelry can also come in a stylish black hue, like this Aubrey Lee tennis bracelet or this princess-cut black ring. Prefer a two-tone look? Go for this sterling silver braided ring with black cubic zirconia.
5. White Gold Is Traditionally Rhodium-Plated
It is a legal requirement that a retailer disclose whether your piece of jewelry has been rhodium plated, but you can count on most white gold jewelry like these earrings to be rhodium-plated. This is because white gold in its original form is yellowish and may require re-plating every 12 to 18 months to maintain its lustrous look.
6. Care for Rhodium Jewelry to Make It Last Longer
Though rhodium plating is bound to wear off after some time, you can care for it regularly to keep it looking as new as it did on the day of your engagement. Avoid rubbing the rhodium plating on your jewelry or exposing it to harsh chemicals like cleaning supplies or perfumes. Before swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool, take your jewelry off. Chlorine can damage the plating. While rhodium may require some upkeep, it’s safe to say that any metal you choose — including platinum — will require some maintenance now and then to keep it looking new.
Shop all the rhodium jewelry items here:
- Rhodium Wedding Ring
- Rhodium Wedding Bands for Men
- Rhodium-Plated Necklace
- Rhodium Earrings
- Aubrey Lee Tennis Bracelet
- Princess-Cut Black Ring
- Sterling Silver Braided Ring
- Engagement ring
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, and VICE.