Can Gold Jewelry Be Dipped in Silver? Why Rhodium Plating Became Popular
Gold jewelry can be dipped in a metal known as Rhodium, which is usually done through a process known as rhodium plating. Rhodium plating gives the gold jewelry a layer of protection while giving it a silvery-white shine that resembles pure silver or platinum. The plating process is relatively simple and requires submerging the gold piece into an electroplated bath which contains chemical solutions and electric current to apply the rhodium plating. Once the piece has been submerged, it is then polished and cleaned before being packaged for sale. By using this method, the jewelry will have a protective coating of rhodium that will help protect it from tarnishing and fading over time. With proper care and maintenance, your gold jewelry will remain beautiful longer.
Silver plating is a process done on non-precious metals. This process is not used on gold, Instead, gold can be plated with rhodium, which is a metal from the platinum family. This plating provides the jewelry with a layer of protection from tarnish and discoloration overtime.
So, long answer short, gold jewelry is not dipped in silver. Silver plating is a process done on non-precious metals and not on gold. Instead, the option for gold is to add rhodium plating, which not only provides the jewelry with a layer of protection from tarnish and discoloration overtime, it also gives off the bright appearance and high shine of a brightly polished silver.
Rhodium plated jewelry started to become popular in the early 2000s. Jewelers noticed that this plating could give even the oldest and most worn pieces of jewelry an instant facelift by giving off a bright, high shine and long-lasting protection against discoloration or tarnishing. Moreover, as rhodium was from a family of metals similar to platinum, it added a luxurious appeal to any piece of gold jewelry without having to buy costly pieces of platinum.
Due to its ability to improve the look of old jewelry, rhodium plating began being seen as an easier and more affordable option than buying new jewelry. Not only did it help keep existing pieces looking better for longer, but people also began creating unique collections with mixed metals since they were now able to enhance different types of metals with quality finishes at reasonable prices.
Having your vintage jewelry plated with rhodium is a great way to give it that added shine if you prefer a more new, fresh look over the naturally aged patina a vintage or antique piece provides.
We carry both vintage, rhodium plated pieces and non plated, solid gold pieces of fine real gold jewelry which can be found here.