~ Rhodium is a chemical element that is a rare, silvery-white,hard transition metl and a member of the platinum group. And it is one of the most expensive precious metals.
*** What is Rhodium plated?
~ White gold is almost always rhodium plated. It is a common practice in the jewelry trade to always rhodium plate white gold jewelry. Similarly, platinum can be rhodium plated but sometimes it is left in it's natural state. Rhodium is very white, reflective, extremely hard and virtually tarnish proof. Platinum on the other hand normally appears to be a more grayish white and not as bright which is why it is sometimes plated as well unless it has a good amount of palladium in the alloy. When the plating on platinum begins to wear thin you don't notice it as much, but you do on white gold because the alloy is yellowish.
*** Why Rhodium plated? not sterling silver?
~ Sterling silver, which it is also a popular choice for jewely, can tarnish easily. Not everyone can wear it as for people who has skin sensitive problem, silver won't be their best choice. Some people who wear it under their skin will sometime can turn green or maybe black. For some cases, silver itself also can turn black after being wear for some times. Affordable but not everyone suit to wear it due to silver can tarnish, and neither sterling silver will cause a skin reaction if exposed.
The advantages of rhodium plated/18K white gold plated are:
- Inexpensive (if you compare with other precious metals such as gold or titanium).
- Prevented from rusty , itchy and fading problem
- Durability (wear it without having to fear skin problems)
- Shinny and white-looked as long as they are well maintained
Rhodium is a very hard and durable metal related to platinum metals. For these reasons and to make the jewlery look brighter and whiter, rhodium plated usually will be the first choice.