Rhodium is the most expensive metal on earth. Even with regularly fluctuating values, it is on average twice the price of Platinum and almost four times the price of Gold. Rhodium is a pure metal that can be found in the Platinum group on the periodic table. Rhodium has extremely high reflectivity and is used to enhance the look and “whiteness” of white gold. With Rhodium being a “Noble Metal” it is excellent at withstanding corrosion and can make jewellery more durable.
For 14kt white gold, some jewellers have been known to use small amounts of palladium or nickel to bleach yellow gold to create “white gold”; however, this results in the jewellery having a yellow hue, rather than bright white. Rhodium plating is in liquid form and is coated over top of the ring and renders an extremely white looking “white gold”.
An important factor to remember is that there are two alternatives to having to continuously rhodium plate your jewellery:
1. You can go with a higher Karat white gold such as 19kt White Gold Ultra, which has different alloys mixed in to give it the stunning “white look” but one that will not fade over time and not require continuous rhodium plating. Often the upfront cost difference between 14kt and 19kt ends up being far less than the cost of rhodium plating repeatedly.
2. The second option is to have your jewellery created from Platinum. Platinum being a pure metal is naturally white and does not required alloys to be mixed in to create the “white look”. The result is that you will receive the most naturally white looking piece of jewellery that will not fade, tarnish or wear for longer than a lifetime. To learn more, read about the "Differences Between Gold" and the "Benefits of Platinum".