Posted by Rachel on April 30, 2014
Rhodium is the rarest of all non-radioactive metals. As a member of the platimun group, it is the most expensive. In addition, it is virtually impervious to tarnish and corrosion. In our business, we have seen it used more and more as plating over sterling silver, or even gold.
Pros: Since it is hypoallergenic, it allows those who are allergic to nickel or other metals to wear pieces they would otherwise not be able to wear. In addition, it resists scratching and tarnish, making it easier to care for. Rhodium plating does create a look that is different than plain sterling silver. It creates a much brighter appearance, which many people enjoy. Rhodium plating on sterling silver will usually increase the value of a piece.
Cons: The downside to plating is that some people do not like this brighter look, and, because the plating is so thin, it can wear down over time. How long the plating lasts before beginning to wear down just depends on how often your wear your jewelry, and how well you care for it. Typically it will last many years. Of course, jewelry can be replated in most cases.
Mesa Verde Southwest carries plated and non-plated sterling silver.
This gorgeous bracelet is rhodium plated over sterling silver. View this item here: http://www.mesaverdesouthwest.com/amethyst-blue-fire-opal-inlay-925-sterling-silver-link-tennis-bracelet-usa/