Rhodium Plated vs Gold Plated Jewellery: Which Is Better?
When it comes to adding a luxury finish to jewellery, rhodium and gold plating are two of the most popular options. Both these types of plating offer a great way to enhance the appearance and durability of metal jewellery. However knowing what each one is, their pros and cons and their differences is essential.
In this blog, we compare rhodium-plated vs gold-plated jewellery. We’ll cover their pros and cons, and figure out their differences. At the end of this blog, we’ll also provide you with a suggestion on which one would be best for you.
What is rhodium plating?
Rhodium plating refers to plating a thin layer of rhodium onto a base metal. Rhodium itself is a rare and valuable metal that is part of the platinum family.
Plating jewellery with rhodium enhances the durability and lustre of the base metal. Base metals commonly used for rhodium include gold, sterling silver, stainless steel and brass.
- Enhances durability - rhodium is a more durable material than both silver and gold. This is why it is often plated over solid gold or sterling silver as an extra layer of protection.
- Shine - rhodium plating has a mirror-like finish that enhances the shine of a jewellery piece.
- Tarnish resistance - rhodium plating does not tarnish like other types of plating. This keeps the jewellery looking shinier for longer.
- Hypoallergenic - rhodium plating is nickel-free, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin.
- Cost - rhodium plating is more expensive than other types of plating. This is because the process of plating using this material requires more money.
- Colour limitations - rhodium only offers a silvery-white colour.
What is gold plating?Similar to rhodium plating, gold plating just refers to plating gold over a base metal. This base metal is usually brass, sterling silver or stainless steel. The process provides the luxurious look of gold at a fraction of the cost and helps to maintain the base metal of the jewellery piece as well.
- Affordable - gold plated jewellery is affordable and allows for the look of gold, at a fraction of the cost of solid gold.
- Versatility - the hue and shades of gold can be changed with gold-plated jewellery. Different colours of gold plating include rose gold, white gold and yellow gold.
- Enhanced appearance - gold plating gives jewellery a richer and warmer lustre, making it appear more precious and high-end than it is.
- Durability - gold plating can wear off over time. This is especially true in high-contact areas.
- Maintenance - gold plated jewellery will require more regular cleaning and careful handling as it is more delicate and a softer metal.
What are the differences between rhodium plating and gold plating?
- Price - Rhodium-plated jewellery tends to be more expensive than gold-plated jewellery. This is because rhodium is a rarer and more valuable metal than gold.
- Durability - Rhodium-plated jewellery is more durable than gold-plated jewellery. This is because Rhodium is a harder metal than gold. Jewellery that has a rhodium plating last longer, has great scratch resistance and is resistant to tarnishing.
- Colour - Rhodium plating comes in bright silver only, whilst gold-plated jewellery can come in a variety of different hues and colours.
- Shine - Rhodium-plated jewellery is shinier than gold-plated jewellery. This is because rhodium has a more mirror-like finish compared to gold.
Rhodium-plated vs gold-plated: which one is better for you?
Whether rhodium-plated or gold-plated jewellery is best for you will depend on a variety of factors including your personal preferences, budget and styling needs.
Rhodium-plated jewellery is perfect for someone looking for jewellery with a silver mirror-like finish. This is a great option for an everyday jewellery piece, as the rhodium plating is durable, long-lasting, scratch resistant and tarnish-resistant.
Traditional gold-plated jewellery is better for those who like the richer and warmer lustre of gold. This is also a great choice for those who would like to experiment with rose gold and different karats of yellow gold. This is also the more affordable option of the two.
Now that we have compared rhodium-plated vs gold-plated jewellery, you should have a better understanding of the pros and cons of each. The choice between two popular types of jewellery depends on your personal preferences, budget and styling needs.
Rhodium-plated jewellery offers a mirror-like shine that can’t be matched and is a great option for jewellery that you wear on a daily basis. Rhodium plated jewellery offers great durability, scratch-resistance and tarnish resistance.
Gold-plated jewellery offers a rich and warm lustre and comes in a variety of different shades and colours. From rose gold to white gold and yellow gold, the choices are almost endless!
When choosing between the two, always put first how these pieces look and make you feel when making the final decision.
Looking to learn more about gold plated jewellery? Read our blog which covers everything you need to know about gold plated jewellery.
Can you shower with rhodium-plated jewellery?
Yes, you can shower with rhodium-plated jewellery. Because rhodium is an extremely hard and durable metal, it is unlikely to cause significant damage. But, over time with prolonged exposure to chemicals in soap or shampoo, the plating can wear off.
Does rhodium turn green?No, rhodium does not turn green. This is because it is a metal that is resistant to tarnishing and corroding. This is because rhodium contains no nickel or copper, which is the main cause of greenish tints in jewellery.
Can you wear rhodium-plated jewellery every day?Yes, rhodium-plated jewellery is great to wear every day. In general, rhodium-plated jewellery will last far longer than gold-plated jewellery.