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Rhodium

Rhodium is derived from the Greek word meaning “Rose” and was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston.

Rhodium is a chemical element with the symbol Rh and the atomic number 45. It is a rare, silvery-white, hard, corrosion resistant and chemically inert transition metal. It is a noble metal and a member of the platinum group.

Rhodium only had minor applications up until 1976 with the first major application being electroplating for decorative uses and as corrosion-resistant coating for the three-way catalytic converter by Volvo, ultimately increasing the demand for Rhodium.

Did you know…

  • Rhodium is a member of the Platinum Group Elements (PGE)
  • Rhodium is a rare precious element that can be 10 times more expensive than gold
  • Rhodium is silver in color, highly reflective and does not tarnish or corrode
  • Rhodium is harder than gold
  • Rhodium is a very brittle metal and is not easily shaped or formed, therefore it is used more as a plating metal
  • Rhodium plating, rhodium flashing or rhodium dip is used to increase the durability, luster and light reflection of a piece of jewelry
  • Rhodium is a hard metal, making a rhodium plated piece of jewelry more scratch resistant
  • Rhodium plating is often added onto white gold or silver jewelry, especially wedding bands, to increase luster and durability
  • Rhodium is nickel free making it hypoallergenic
  • All white gold rings are rhodium plated
  • It is a legal requirement that the retailer disclose if a piece of jewelry has been rhodium plated