Rhodium is derived from the Greek word meaning “Rose” and was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston.
Rhodium is a chemical element with the symbol Rh and the atomic number 45. It is a rare, silvery-white, hard, corrosion resistant and chemically inert transition metal. It is a noble metal and a member of the platinum group.
Rhodium only had minor applications up until 1976 with the first major application being electroplating for decorative uses and as corrosion-resistant coating for the three-way catalytic converter by Volvo, ultimately increasing the demand for Rhodium.
Did you know…
- Rhodium is a member of the Platinum Group Elements (PGE)
- Rhodium is a rare precious element that can be 10 times more expensive than gold
- Rhodium is silver in color, highly reflective and does not tarnish or corrode
- Rhodium is harder than gold
- Rhodium is a very brittle metal and is not easily shaped or formed, therefore it is used more as a plating metal
- Rhodium plating, rhodium flashing or rhodium dip is used to increase the durability, luster and light reflection of a piece of jewelry
- Rhodium is a hard metal, making a rhodium plated piece of jewelry more scratch resistant
- Rhodium plating is often added onto white gold or silver jewelry, especially wedding bands, to increase luster and durability
- Rhodium is nickel free making it hypoallergenic
- All white gold rings are rhodium plated
- It is a legal requirement that the retailer disclose if a piece of jewelry has been rhodium plated