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  1. #1
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    Default How about goldsmithing Rhodium?

    A customer recently asked for Rhodium wedding rings as to him it was the most expensive metal.
    I use Rhodium for electroplating white gold, but never heard or saw a finished jewel made out of Rhodium. But I wouldn’t be me if not thinking about it.
    I found out Rhodium is not that expensive than platinum, but I know it sure is white.
    The thing is that to me after electroplating Rhodium on pave settings, that it not only add a more white finish, it also by its hardness protects the beads from wearing of.

    So I think it is not obvious to use Rhodium to make jewellery but my question is if one of you tried it whit nice result.

    arnaud

  2. #2
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    Many years ago, back when it was under $100 an ounce - we fooled with it a bit. I owned a small refinery at the time.

    We were working with a small sample of "sponge". Didn't get good results making it into solid stock so we gave up.

    I think it could be done, but only if you are working directly with a BIG refinery to get the solid stock made up.

    No idea about setting in it. Have set a lot of platinum and palladium alloys...


    Brian

  3. #3
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    If it was an option Arnaud i`m sure one of the up market jewellers would have offered it by now.
    It`s hopeless stuff to work with (have you tried working on a plated piece?).

  4. #4
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    here's a company that makes rhodium coins.
    http://rhodiumcoin.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cirelli View Post
    here's a company that makes rhodium coins.
    http://rhodiumcoin.com/
    This explains a lot:

    " The Cohen Mint is the first company in the world to have
    successfully created and marketed a pure rhodium bullion coin back in May of 2009. One of the most rare and valuable
    of the Platinum Group Metals, rhodium is extremely difficult to manufacture into coins and bars. Due to its hardness and
    very high melting point, rhodium has historically never been made into bullion form. Standard manufacturing techniques
    used in making most other types of coins simply will not work with rhodium. "
    "Doc" - Neal L. Martin

    "Never start vast projects with half-vast ideas."
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

  6. #6
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    Default

    It reminds me of palladium. It's a beautiful metal but not nearly as nice to work with as platinum, hence it's lower value. I also hear now of people rhodium plating platinum to up the surface hardness. One goldsmith told me he tried sizing a platinum ring with rhodium plating and the plating darkened in the affected area and made a mess to clean up. It's funny the things customer's request that really aren't in their best interest to do. I usually scare them off the idea with maintenance horror stories like, "Your ring will crumble if we try to size it later."

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately alot of manufacturers & goldsmiths get abit carried away with rhodium plating.
    The point of plating should really be to enhance certain areas especially those bits that are hard to get to when polishing.

    Not such a big deal for some jewellery, but ring shanks?

    No idea why precious metals can`t be what they are..& i do know a decent workshop that states the fact that they hate plating & prefer their silver work to be natural because it has it`s own colour.

  8. #8
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    Chris, yes I know about its hardness, electroplated silver with Rhodium is difficult to cut and the blade becomes blunt.

    Brian, yes I know it sure isn’t the most expensive metal.

    Mike, thanks pointing on the coins, it says it is hard to make them because of its hardness and high melting point, so probably too difficult to make a wedding band out of it with the regular bench tools of a goldsmith.

    And I agree with the natural colors of precious metals, I always tell my customers why my white gold isn’t that white. Especially on wedding rings, an 18 carat white golden ring with Rhodium on it is not the best option, as it will have to be electroplated every year.

    arnaud

  9. #9
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    I just love reading these threads that don't really apply to what I do. It just amazes me what you guy are into and the things you can create. Love it. Keep it up.
    Sometimes knowledge of an area I don't work in gives me ideas for the areas I do work in.

  10. #10
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    I agree Ed, I am clueless about precious metals and jewelry making, but I know more about it than I did just from these type of threads. Thanks.

    Todd

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