Rhodium is another precious metal from the platinum family.
Rare and valuable, not only does rhodium have a high level of reflectance with a silvery-white appearance, it is hard and durable. Its resistance to tarnishing makes it the perfect metal for plating jewellery.
Almost all white gold is plated with rhodium to make the product whiter, allowing for a finish that is totally perfect, masking stains or browning from the alloying process. As well as improving the look of white gold, rhodium can be used to coat sterling silver to make it more resistant to tarnishing.
Rhodium is not affected by water or heat up to 600 degrees, but the plating can wear off over time. This is less of an issue for occasional wear or in jewellery such as earrings that do not come into contact with other items.
If you notice your rhodium plated white gold or sterling silver jewellery has worn away, just bring it in to any H.Samuel store and we will arrange to have your jewellery re-plated. For more information, read our Caring For Your Jewellery Guide.
Here's an interesting fact that could very well win you a point in trivial pursuit - rhodium was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston in 1803, soon after his discovery of palladium.