You may be reading this because you’ve noticed that your white gold ring has developed a slightly brassy appearance and you want to know what is happening and why.
As a jewellery manufacturer, our final process when making white gold jewellery is to give the piece a highly polished finish. Due to normal wear and tear, this finish will not last and needs to be maintained regularly. This involves re-polishing and then re-plating the item from time to time.
Rhodium plating is the preferred choice when improving the appearance of white gold jewellery pieces. Rhodium is a bright white precious metal that offers excellent protection against wear and tear, and because of its hardness it can increase the longevity of the plated object. It creates a glossy white mirror like finish, like chrome but much whiter.
As with any electroplating process, following the correct procedures is essential for ensuring a highly polished and lustrous finish. The first step is to polish the piece to achieve a bright finish. Our objective is to remove as many scratches as possible, but we must be careful not to remove too much gold in the polishing process. While approximately 95% of scratches and other marks can be removed, deep marks may be left in place.
The next step is ultrasonic washing to remove all types of contaminants. The article must be spotlessly clean before the electroplating process can begin. We also use steam cleaning to completely clean the item. The electroplating process is relatively quick when compared to the cleaning and polishing work that needs to be done.
How long the Rhodium plating lasts, depends on the wearer. If the ring is subject to daily wear, re-plating may need to be done after 3-6 months. If you are wearing your pieces less often, re-plating might not be needed until well after 1-2 years. Today all white gold jewellery is Rhodium plated. It is one of natures’ most reflective metals.