“What is that metal?” This is a question we often receive from customers who come into our New Orleans jewelry gallery and lay eyes on black rhodium plated jewelry for the first time. Uniquely dark and shiny, black rhodium jewelry is quite striking, and we carry a black rhodium plated version of nearly every piece of Marion Cage jewelry. Given the bounty of curiosity surrounding one of our favorite finishes, we’re here to share information about this material’s properties, benefits, and care.
Black Rhodium Jewelry: The Basics
Peak Stacking Rings in matte and black rhodium plated sterling silver
Rhodium is a type of platinum that is rare, very hard, and corrosion resistant. Given this metal’s higher melting point and durability, jewelers typically use rhodium as a plating, rather than a solid metal, to make gold or silver jewelry extra bright and shiny. Black rhodium is, in fact, just one of many colors of rhodium. In its natural state, rhodium is silver-white and is typically plated onto white gold to give it a brighter, more luminous finish. By binding ink to rhodium, however, dark colors can be created that vary from light gray to black. At Marion Cage, our black rhodium jewelry is typically a very dark and rich gunmetal gray.
Why We Love Black Rhodium
Arabesque Dangle Earrings in 14-karat white gold, black rhodium plated with black pave diamonds
Why do we love black rhodium jewelry so much?
- The Look: Black rhodium gives jewelry a dark, radiant luster and has a cool, edgy feel. We love how the sparkle of our pave diamond pieces becomes more subtle and understated when plated in black rhodium.
- The Durability: Black rhodium is also extremely tough and able to resist scratches and corrosion. Plus, it doesn’t tarnish!
- The Cost: While black rhodium is a precious metal and a member of the platinum family, it is less expensive than platinum.
Maintaining Black Rhodium Jewelry
Ankole Studs in black rhodium plated sterling silver
It is important to note that, like any plated finish, rhodium plating will fade over time and with wear—particularly if the piece comes into direct and frequent contact with your skin. We recommend removing your plated jewelry prior to bathing, swimming, or washing your hands, as exposure to salt and other chemicals can cause damage to the plating. For more information on cleaning and caring for your jewelry, read our short guide.
When plated with a thick, high-quality rhodium plating, most black rhodium jewelry will maintain its finish for up to a year. If necessary, you can always bring your black rhodium jewelry to a professional jeweler for polishing and replating. At Marion Cage, we frequently replate pieces purchased from our gallery free of charge as a service to our customers.
Marion Cage Black Rhodium Jewelry in New Orleans or Online
At Marion Cage, we offer only the best in beautiful, handmade jewelry. If you’re looking for black rhodium jewelry, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re proud of our extensive collection of black rhodium plated jewelry. It’s just the right look when you need something deliciously dark! Shop online, visit our New Orleans jewelry gallery, or contact us today.