How often should You replate white gold? Why do you need to replace your white gold? How long does rhodium plating last? How much does rhodium plating cost? Want to know all the answers, you are in a right place.
One of the things that no one tells you when you are buying white gold jewelry, especially the engagement ring, is that the stunning piece of jewelry with the biggest sparkling stone will lose its luster after some months.
That white shine of white gold, thanks to rhodium plating, will not last forever, and you just have to deal with this unfortunate event. But the temporary nature of the white gold doesn’t mean that you should give up on it once it loses its initial shine and luster.
Instead, you should think of replating the white gold for the ring to maintain its elegant look for years to come.
But what is it? Will replating behave more permanent effects? When will you have to replace it again?
Keep reading to learn more. But first, the basics.
What is replating?
As then name suggests, replating is the process the allows for the replication of the rhodium layer on up the white gold base metal for a more lasting and elegant sheen.
Why do you need to replace your white gold?
Rhodium plating, as mentioned above, is the process that allows jewelers to add that bright white finish to white gold. Replating is a necessary process during the repair process of any white gold piece as it ensures uniformity.
At the same time, replating the white gold is a necessary, almost natural process because the initial rhodium-plated layer will wear off, and this will make the white gold dull and even cheap-looking because it will develop a yellowish tinge/ tint from the white gold base showing off.
Keep in mind that the white gold isn’t naturally white and shiny, hence the need for the rhodium plate.
Note that the use of rhodium comes from the fact that rhodium is non-reactive, and it contains a naturally white sheen that makes it attractive and in high demand. Rhodium belongs to the platinum family of precious metals, and it is naturally a liquid.
Through application or passing of an electric current, the rhodium liquid attaches to the precious metals like gold and silver, leaving that desirable bright white luster.
How long does rhodium plating last?
Normally, the rhodium plating would last between 2 and 3 years. How long the plating lasts will depend on a number of factors like how often you wear the piece, how well it’s taken care of, and your skin’s composition or chemistry.
Even so, the rhodium plating shouldn’t last less than one year.
However, if you start seeing some yellow tints on some parts of the ring, it would mean that the white gold is starting to lose its rhodium plating, and it needed to be replated.
How much does rhodium plating cost?
The cost of rhodium plating will typically range vary from $60 – $120 for the fine, high-end engagement rings.
The cost of rhodium plating will, however, vary if you consider factors like the jeweler’s skill, the turnaround time, the quality of the rhodium plating solution, as well as the desired finished effect.
The size of the ring plays a role, too, with wider, heavier pieces soaking more of the rhodium plating solution, hence a costlier process.
Can you Rhodium Plate Your Yellow Gold Ring?
Absolutely. For plating, you only need a metal that is a good conductor of electricity. Since yellow gold is a great conductor of electricity, it can be plated.
The only catch is that yellow gold is already really yellow, which means that the rhodium-plated layer may only last six months before the ring needs to be replated because the inner part of the band will start to turn yellow real soon.
Should rings be rhodium plated each year?
No. Despite the temptation, you shouldn’t rhodium plate the ring each year.
Although the process adds value and life to the ring, keep in mind that it involves both mechanical and chemical processes, which will only end up wearing out your ring prematurely.
During the replating process, the older layer of rhodium has to be stripped off; all the scratches are removed before its cleaned and prepped for replating.
As you can imagine, doing this every year will only destroy the ring. So, avoid the temptation and take good care of the ring.
How often should you replate white gold?
Replating the ring is pretty much a matter of upkeep, and it may be affected by your plans for personal upkeep around the ring. Just don’t do it every year.
The safest timeframe for replating the jewelry would be after 2 or even 3 years. Also, don’t let the ring look patchy in the name of maintenance or care. There is a thin line between the ring looking okay and being downright crusty and beat down.
But this isn’t a rule that you must live by. Essentially, when you have your ring, replated is a matter of preference.
Some people have their white gold jewelry-related every few months; others do it once or twice a year or even more frequently.
This is because some plated jewelry has a very thin layer of rhodium, which is lost easily.
And if you choose to wear the ring every day, even when swimming or doing some house chores or working out, then the rhodium layer will wear off faster, calling for more frequent replating sessions.
Rhodium plating protects the softer later of yellowish-white gold, and it also gives white gold its characteristic white appearance.
It is a functional jewelry enhancement process that makes for the best engagement rings. The best diamond engagement rings that are considered trendy today have diamonds set on white gold, which shows you just how important the process is.
If you had been struggling to find information about rhodium plating of white gold jewelry, where it is used, and why you need to replace the gold jewelry, this article answers all your questions.
Just make sure that the plating is done by a qualified and experienced jeweler to get your money’s worth. Finally, we will reiterate that your good white jewelry should be replated once every 2 or 3 years.