Sterling silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals. It is known for its beauty and compatibility and is often used for jewelry. However, there are two types of sterling silver jewelry: rhodium-plated sterling silver and non-rhodium-plated sterling silver. So what are the differences between these two types of jewelry and which is the best choice for you?
Rhodium-plated sterling silver is sterling silver that has been plated with a thin layer of rhodium. Rhodium is a rare, expensive, and highly lustrous precious metal that is often used in jewelry because of its hardness and resistance to scratching and tarnishing. There are several advantages to choosing rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry. First of all, the jewelry stays shiny and colorfast longer. Without rhodium plating, sterling silver tends to discolor and tarnish over time. Rhodium also keeps the jewelry shiny longer, making it look more attractive and luxurious.
Non-rhodium plated sterling silver jewelry, on the other hand, does not have a rhodium layer and is therefore more prone to discoloration and tarnishing. However, there can be some advantages to wearing non-rhodium plated jewelry. First of all, it is usually cheaper than rhodium plated jewelry because no rhodium was used. Second, there are many people who like the natural, patinated look of sterling silver and therefore choose non-rhodium plated jewelry. This look occurs when the silver tarnishes over time and takes on a different color.
Benefits of rhodium-plated sterling silver:
- Shines longer and stays true to color
- More luxurious look
- Less susceptible to scratches and tarnishing
Disadvantages of rhodium-plated sterling silver:
- Generally more expensive than non-rhodium plated jewelry
Advantages of non-rhodium plated sterling silver:
- Less expensive than rhodium-plated jewelry
- Natural, patinated look appeals to some people
Disadvantages of non-rhodium plated sterling silver:
- More susceptible to discoloration and tarnish
- May darken and lose its luster over time