Hard Rhodium Plating
Can I turn a yellow gold ring white - and will it last ?
My wife has a ring that is yellow, which was her Mum's engagement ring that she inherited from her, so a very precious ring to her and her family
But the problem is that she wears mainly white metal, be it sterling silver, white gold or platinum jewellery
She has asked me to turn her yellow gold ring into white gold
I thought that we can use her ring as an experiment and take photos in stages, before, after and then update you with the effects of wear and tear over time
This is the original ring made in 9 carat yellow gold, before any cleaning or making it white
About white gold - before we start
Most white gold is rhodium plated when new
You can't magic yellow into white - it is not possible
The white colour you see, is not actually the white gold, but the rhodium plating effect on the ring
The white gold underneath the Rhodium Plating is an off white or dusty white colour, with a hint of yellow
All gold starts off yellow,
As implied by the word - Gold
Then it gets mixed with different colour metals to keep it yellow or turn it whiter in colour
It is not white enough to look pretty on the wearer
Therefore, it gets dipped in a tank of liquid rhodium metal
A current of electricity is passed through it, coating the item in rhodium, which covers the dusty white gold metal
Coming out a beautiful bright white colour
The downside, it does not last very long, it's not permanent
We mostly see the rhodium issues with rings
This is because we wash our hands all the time, using sanitiser, moisturiser and the use of sun cream
The real killer being washing up liquid, bleach and chemical products
This is why people choose platinum, but this is not a perfect metal either
There is no such thing I'm afraid to say
Platinum is hard and yes it's normally more expensive, BUT you polish a platinum ring, so in theory, though small, you are polishing the metal away
White gold does have an advantage over platinum
Your removing the old rhodium metal that is left on the ring
Cleaning the ring
Then putting rhodium back on again - so no metal loss
What happens when we rhodium plate a ring ?
Firstly, we clean the ring, so that their are no impurities left on it
It then gets dipped in the liquid bath full of rhodium
A current of electricity is passed through the liquid and the rhodium metal covers the dusty white gold metal, coming out a beautiful bright white colour
This is the same ring after hard rhodium plating
So what have we done to the ring above ?
The process is almost the same, with some minor differences
As before, we clean the ring, so that their are no impurities left on the metal
Instead this time, silver plating it first
Let it harden
Then again with rhodium metal on top of it
Rhodium plating it on top of the silver plating
Giving it two different layered coatings
And how are we experimenting ?
The ring above in the pictures has been put on the finger today 27th June 2022
We are going to re photograph it and post it periodically to show you the results at the bottom of this blog and we'll update it on our Facebook page at the same time
So check back here from time to time for new pictures of the ring
Hard rhodium, would it be suitable for all rings to be turned from yellow to white looking ?
Yes and No
Yes, it would be perfect for a ring that is to be worn occasionally. ONLY for the high days - Birthdays, Anniversary's, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Weddings, Christenings for example
The special days to remember your loved one, then to take it off again
No, it would not suit everyday wear
The ring photographed in the above experiment is a test for a ring that is being worn everyday, BUT with strict instructions - it's taken off the finger every time hands are washed, no washing up liquid, no moisturisers, no cleaning products, no showering, bathing, no sand on holiday, no sun creams
How much does it cost ?
To re rhodium for a white gold ring is £35.00
To turn a yellow gold to white looking with the above process is £110.00
How long does it take ?
A week to ten days to re rhodium a white gold ring
To work our magic, approximately three weeks for a ring to turn from yellow looking to white looking
Can it be reversed ?
All we need to do is strip off the old rhodium
Then clean and polish the ring
This process would take approximately two weeks at a cost of £55.00
Do I need to book a ring in for an appointment ?
No, when you are next passing, pop your ring into us and we can talk you through the process, with no obligation
When are we open ?
Monday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm (excluding Bank Holidays)