White gold jewellery…
All white gold rings at Brown & Newirth are plated with a protective rhodium coating – rhodium adds shine, luster, and durability to jewellery. It gives jewellery a bright, reflective quality and protects against scratches and tarnish. Rhodium is naturally nickel-free so any jewellery that is plated with rhodium is hypoallergenic.
What’s the problem?
When the rhodium wears away your jewellery is more vulnerable to scratches, damage and wear. When rhodium plating wears off on white gold, a champagne yellow hue may begin to show through in places so it will begin to discolour.
Chemicals such as alcohol based hand sanitisers weaken this rhodium plating, leaving it soft and easily removed if rubbed, knocked or brushed afterwards.
Rather than needing re-plating from natural wear and tear, you may notice the plating wearing off much sooner from the jewellery’s interaction with sanitisers and soaps, especially throughout the pandemic as we’re practicing increased hygiene.
Other chemicals can also weaken rhodium plating including perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, chlorine and alcohol.
And what about platinum, yellow & rose gold?
These precious metals are not plated, their colour is natural. Rose gold contains copper which gives it it’s pink tones. Over time these metals will develop a patina from wear. Light scratches will ‘dull’ the luster that was once created through polishing of the metal.
Although not to the same end, the same chemicals canl accelerate this damage to the polished surface, dulling the metal and even reducing the sparkle of the diamonds.
So what’s the solution?
1. Get your white gold rings re-plated
Just like your car gets a service regularly to stay in perfect working condition, your jewellery should also be sent for a regular ‘service’. Your ring should be re-plated with rhodium every 12-18 months or more frequently if you are washing and sanitising or coming into contact with abrasives chemicals often. Rhodium is very rare and costly, however, every Brown & Newirth rings comes with the TLC promise that includes 3 free re-finishes which include complimentary rhodium plating – make sure your jewellery is registered here.
2. Take your rings off or cover them
In between refinishes you can make sure you wear protective gloves when using strong cleaners or take them off whenever dealing with chemicals. Also remove your rings when swimming as chlorine can affect the plating.
3. Remove chemicals carefully
If you cannot avoid chemicals then reduce the impact by cleaning your jewellery regularly. The top tip from our workshops is a plastic tupperware / take away tray of warm water, a soft toothbrush and toothpaste! The plastic tray will prevent loss or damage, the soft brush will get into all the gaps without stressing the jewellery and the toothpaste is a natural abrasive, a bit like polishing your car will it remove the lightest scratches…oh and your jewellery will be minty fresh too!
Remember to register your Brown & Newirth rings with TLC here to get your 3 free refinishes to keep it looking its best!