Last Updated on June 29, 2022
Rhodium is a white-toned precious metal that is also an element. It’s one of the platinum group metals. Rhodium is exceedingly rare and is found in small amounts as a byproduct of platinum and nickel mining, especially in Canada and Russia.
Because it is so uncommon in the environment and difficult to find, it is highly sought after by sources such as jewelry and catalysts. Because of its scarcity, rhodium is a popular investment metal today.
What Is Rhodium Worth?
Rhodium is primarily used in automobile catalytic converters. With the worldwide car industry shrinking at an alarming rate, the price dropped by more than 90%. Rhodium is now available for less than $1,600 per ounce.
In recent years, the price of rhodium has been rather unpredictable. Its average price in 2003 was $530/ounce. In 2008, the market was flooded with a lack of supply, causing it to surge dramatically until it briefly reached over $10,000/oz.
Rhodium-plated rings, earrings, and chains are available for around $50 online. Some examples include a rhodium-plated brass bangle bracelet priced at $35 and a rhodium-plated gold charm necklace chain for $42.
You might believe that goods are selling for such low costs because of how inexpensive the process appears. It’s due to the fact that rhodium is plated on extremely thin layers. A little amount of rhodium is enough to give a ring or other jewelry item a brilliant, gleaming finish.
What About Rhodium Bullion?
It is also possible to invest in rhodium bullion bars. For example, a five-ounce rhodium bullion bar may be purchased for approximately $75,000.
What is Rhodium?
Rhodium is a lovely reflecting, bright white metal that’s commonly used to enhance white gold. In addition to being very beautiful, rhodium has several useful features. Rhodium is extremely hard, making it scratch resistant.
Finally, because rhodium does not tarnish, you won’t have to worry about tarnishing it. Rhodium is also hypoallergenic, making it an allergy-friendly option for people allergic to sterling silver or nickel.
Rhodium is a rare precious metal that makes it pricey. Rhodium is the most costly of all precious metals, costing more than pure gold and even platinum.
The high cost of rhodium is one of the reasons why there isn’t much genuine rhodium jewelry on the market. Because only a little quantity of rhodium is required to plating a white gold item, it isn’t particularly pricey to plating a white gold item in rhodium.
Does Rhodium Plating Require Upkeep?
Rhodium plating, like any other type of plating, will gradually wear off with use. When rhodium plating on white gold jewelry begins to wear away, many consumers believe that their white gold jewelry is turning yellow.
In reality, however, because your brilliant white rhodium plating is wearing thin, the off-white, yellowish hue of your white gold is becoming more evident.
Rhodium plated jewelry does need some upkeep. You can simply have your white gold jewelry re-coated in rhodium by your jeweler to restore it to its brilliant white color.
How Long Does Rhodium Plating Last?
The durability of rhodium plating is largely determined by how frequently the rhodium-plated item is worn and what metal it was applied to. Rhodium plating fades with use, so jewelry that gets worn frequently, such as engagement and wedding rings, will wear faster.
In terms of white gold jewelry, rhodium plating tends to endure longer. White gold and rhodium are near matches, so the color of white gold does not show through some usage and wear on rhodium plating.
However, plated yellow gold or rose gold items that are rhodium-plated will show wear more quickly.
Rhodium as an Investment
It was not feasible to invest in metal until quite recently. Metal couldn’t be bought using futures contracts or through stock purchases in exchange-traded funds that dealt with the commodity. It wasn’t also physically accessible for global trade.
This was not the case until 2009, when investment-grade (0.999-fine) bullion bars and rounds became accessible. You may now buy tiny bars with options ranging from 5 ounces to 0.1 ounce, which is quite remarkable. In 2011, Deutsche Bank launched an ETF backed by real metal bars.
As a result, you may buy the metal itself and keep it for a while until prices rise again. That is likely to happen soon, as countries throughout the world enact stricter emissions limitations. The emission control catalyst market value is expected to reach $14 billion as a result of this increase in demand for carbon capture technology.