Solid rhodium is extremely rare and expensive. It is a metallic element and belongs to the noble metal group along with platinum and palladium. It has a silvery white color and is highly reflective. It is often used as a plating on white gold jewelry because it is bright, tarnish resistant and adds an attractive sheen.
It is also a very durable and hard metal that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It is a bit harder than platinum and more malleable than silver. It can be molded into various shapes and sizes and is a great choice for rings that will be worn everyday. It is also hypoallergenic and has antibacterial properties.
Rhodium is not a metal that is mined for its own sake but is a byproduct of platinum mining and refining. This means it’s price can fluctuate significantly. In times of high demand for platinum, rhodium is relatively affordable; however, when demand for platinum drops rhodium becomes very scarce and can cost 10X-12X as much as gold.
Typically, the rhodium on your jewelry will need to be re-plated every 18-24 months, depending on how much wear it gets and your body chemistry. Re-plating your piece is done by electroplating a layer of the rhodium onto the original metal base. It is important to only have a certified jeweler work on your pieces as the rhodium solution contains toxic sulfuric acid and emits dangerous fumes when it’s being worked on.