In our jewellery boutique, many of the designs can be bought in both silver and in rhodium-plated. So this is a question that I am asked often, "what the hell is rhodium-plated?"
OK, so let me try and explain why in some instances I recommend buying rhodium-plated over silver, even though silver is more expensive (without going into the chemical compounds etc.)
Rhodium is a precious metal which is a member of the platinum family.Rhodium electroplating is used on many of our pieces because it provides a surface that will resist scratches. This can't be said for silver; silver fades with time, the shine goes quickly and because it is a much softer metal than silver, it scratches easily. This is the reason, when I am asked by a client (especially if the client is buying a ring)I recommend the rhodium-plated version rather than the silver version (even though the silver version is often more expensive).
Rhodium-plating doesn't last forever, and depends on the level of wear, but is something that can easily be "re-touched".
In many cases both silver and platinum pieces are rhodium-plated because it gives that extra shine that we all love. Whenever I buy silver or platinum pieces that are likely to get a lot of wear, I go and get it rhodium-plated first.My wedding ring is platinum, but I have since had it rhodium-plated. It now looks shinier than on my wedding day!
My girlfriends and clients are always asking me how I keep my pieces so shiny! So now my secrets out!