Freedman Jewelers Blog

Ring Polishing & Rhodium Plate

by Josh on January 22, 2013

rhodium plate white gold ring

Rings, along with other jewelry, get dirty over time.  Through wear and tear, rings and other jewelry will lose their shine, scratch up and discolor.

Don’t Panic! 

These things happen.  There are procedures that can be done to fix it!

Below is a breakdown of different restoration & cleaning methods for different types of metals.

White gold rings & jewelry

White gold is made up of gold & nickel.  The nickel in white gold makes the metal that silver / white color.  The silver / white color will wear off over time.

Symptoms:

  • Your ring is turning a silver-yellowish shade
  • Your ring has several nicks and scratches
  • Your ring is losing it’s shine

Diagnosis:  Your ring needs to be rhodium plated.

Rhodium is a chemical element from the platinum family that is applied to white gold rings of all kinds (10kt, 14kt & 18kt) to restore their whiteness, add a layer of shine and remove scratches.  This procedure is called Rhodium plating.

  • White gold rings should be rhodium plated anywhere from every 6 months to every 4 years.  It depends on how clean and white you want the ring, and if the white-yellow tarnish color bothers you.
  • Rhodium plating does not damage or thin a ring;  Rhodium plating can be done as often as you like
  • Rhodium plating can cost anywhere from $40 – $60 per ring
  • Freedman Jewelers can rhodium plate rings in a time frame of same day or a couple days maximum

Platinum rings & jewelry:

Platinum is a very pure metal (usually 90% – 95% for most rings)  It is a naturally silver white color.

Symptoms:

  • Your ring has turned a duller silver shade (similar to the color of pewter)
  • Your ring has scratches and nicks

Diagnosis:  Your ring needs to be polished

  • Polishing a ring is a different procedure than rhodium plating
  • Polishing a ring is removing a tiny layer of it to remove scratches and clean ; rhodium plate is added / applied to a ring
  • Since platinum is a naturally white metal, it does need the rhodium plate, just a polish to restore it’s color.
  • Since polishing requires thinning the ring down, this procedure should be done less often as your ring will wear down too quickly if it is polished too often (we recommend polishing your platinum ring every 3 – 5 years)
  • Polishing a ring can cost anywhere from $50 – $100 per ring and can be done with in a day up to a couple of days.

Silver Rings & Jewelry

Sterling silver is a precious metal that is usually 92.5% pure.

Symptoms:

  • Your ring has turned a darker, black-silver shade
  • Your ring is duller and has scratches on it

Diagnosis:  Your ring needs to be cleaned and / or polished.  Cleaning silver works differently than platinum and most of these solutions can be done at home

  • Buy a jar of silver jewelry cleaner at a jeweler or convenience store.  There will be instructions enclosed.
  • Purchase a polishing cloth and rub thoroughly against the silver piece of jewelry until it is clean and a lighter silver shade.
  • Google other at home silver cleaning recommendations.  There are many methods out there!
  • Some silver is made with rhodium plate to maintain it’s whiteness. Instead of tarnish, the rhodium plated silver will dull over time and need to be rhodium plated in the future.  This will need to be done by a jeweler.

To rhodium plate and/or polish your rings and other jewelry, contact Freedman’s at 617-227-4294 or email to set up an appointment.  You can always come by during store hours as well!

 

 

 

 

 

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