Rhodium Plated vs. Sterling Silver: Which Is Better

We'll be sharing the differences and similarities.

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Silver Bullion

We all want to make the world better. So it is no surprise that we have different metals in our jewelry.

You can't tell the difference between rhodium-plated jewelry and sterling silver jewelry just by looking at it. These two options come in a silverish color.

If you are a jewelry lover, then you will have heard about sterling silver and the Rhodium-plated types. We'll be sharing the differences and similarities.

Understanding Rhodium-plated and Sterling Silver

Rhodium metal is among the most valuable metals on the market. But, unfortunately, it's more expensive than even platinum and gold.

It's a rare and expensive metal that influences its price. Most likely, it will be found as a result of the mining for platinum.

What is Rhodium-plated Sterling Silver?

Rhodium-plated sterling silver is sterling silver with a thin layer of rhodium. It is a form of sterling silver crafted into a jewel.

Because rhodium is non-reactive, jewelers use it to reduce tarnishing with sterling silver.

Why would people choose rhodium over sterling silver?

Rhodium plating gives jewelry an edgy look. While sterling silver is beautiful, sometimes you need something more. In addition, the jewelry will not tarnish like sterling silver. This ultimately increases the durability.

Rhodium can be expensive. This is why it is a popular choice for those who want to be of a particular social class. On the other hand, rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry is perfect for those who like classy pieces.

Why isn't rhodium used in jewelry more?

People understand that the price of rhodium fluctuates. So it may be more expensive today than tomorrow, even if it's ten times as much as gold.

This makes it very unpredictable and is why jewelers do not like to rely on it. This is especially true when searching for genuine rhodium.

This metal is hypoallergenic, lustrous, and resistant to corrosion. It's also very durable. It is also a popular choice for jewelers, especially when compared to sterling silver.

Unfortunately, it is also tough and brittle, and not malleable. It is only suitable for plating. It is also costly, so if you were to use it all, it could dramatically increase the jewelry price.

The plating can then be applied to gold and silver as well brass and other metals used to make jewelry. Rhodium-plated jewelry will not be your ordinary plated jewelry. They are both beautiful and valuable, yet they are very durable.

Rhodium will give your jewelry a white gold look, and it never tarnishes.

Rhodium is one of many metals slowly rising in popularity within the platinum family.

Why Rhodium

Although rhodium can be expensive, it is also effortless to create jewelry. As a result, it's used most often for plated jewelry.

The rhodium will disguise any imperfections in the metal beneath.

The best thing about rhodium plating? It is shiny. This will make your jewelry even more stunning.

It's hypoallergenic and will not cause skin reactions.

It is also known for being solid and durable, making excellent jewelry. You can also use sterling silver under it to make it scratch-resistant. It is an excellent idea if you want your jewelry to last longer.

You don't have to deal with tarnishing cases as much as when using sterling silver. You won't see tarnishing even if your silver is underneath.

You will love the jewelry's high luster as well as its whiteness. The whiteness mimics the white metal used to manufacture your gems, which some people love. Rhodium-plated silver makes your silver look stylish and modern.

You shouldn't choose rhodium if you prefer silver-like polish.

Why is it not a good idea?

This is permanent rhodium plating. The downside is that it's plating. It will soon begin to flake. It will eventually show signs of wear.

You will need to replace it every year if you want it to look great. However, you can make it last as long as ten years if you don't use it often and keep the jewelry in good condition.

When doesn't it work well?

It won't always work the same as any other gadget or metal. You want it to make your jewelry more beautiful, but it is not always possible.

You can think of it as if there is only a thin layer of rhodium on the jewelry. It will eventually wear off, especially if close to your skin.

It might not have the same dark silver-ish appearance because it is brighter. It can't be used in high polished sterling silver, as it will ruin the beauty of the pieces.

 However, different jewelry can go with another plating. If you do not have the right pieces, Rhodium plating will not work correctly.

Sterling Silver.

Sterling silver was already discussed in depth in previous blogs. First, however, we want to make sure you understand the differences between rhodium plating and sterling silver.

Sterling silver is composed of 92.5% Silver and 7.5% Copper. This makes it very hard and manageable. Yet, it retains its perfect shine and other features. It is also hypoallergenic, which is why it is so popular.

Features of sterling silver


This is what makes sterling silver more popular than any other metal. It is beautiful and lustrous with any metal alloy. In addition, the appearance of sterling silver isn't affected by its copper content.

The best thing about it is that it will still have the same shine and glow as regular silver.

Strength and Durability

Sterling silver, which has added copper, is considered one of the strongest metals. It is also manageable. The best thing about the pieces is their durability, which benefits most other types.


Sterling Silver jewelry is generally considered one of the most affordable but precious metals. It is also cheaper than pure silver. This will ensure that you get the best quality at an incredibly low price.


Sterling silver jewelry can be used for many different purposes. For example, you can use them to make earrings or necklace bracelets. In addition, you can use them even for special occasions.


You can easily change the look if you want. Sterling silver can be easily molded and modified to achieve the perfect look.

Rhodium-plated vs. Sterling Silver: Differences 

The differences should be noticeable. For example, a Rhodium-plated metal can be topped with sterling silver or any other metal. This is because it has a Rhodium layer used to plate on a different metal. Sterling silver, however, is not a metal but complete jewelry in itself.


Rhodium generally is more expensive than other metals. This also applies to Rhodium-plated jewelry.

Rhodium-plated jewelry is more expensive than sterling silver. Therefore, this is not an option if you're on a tight budget. However, you can expect higher rhodium prices than sterling silver if you plan to use it.


If you've ever seen these metals, you will know that sterling silver is shinier. Sterling silver will begin to tarnish very soon. This causes it not to shine as well. The rhodium-plated ones won't tarnish and will retain their appearance over time.

Rhodium will keep its mirror-like finish until you need to apply it again.


One is not better than the other. Both can be used to make different jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, or anklets.

It will help you create the perfect look for all occasions. As a result, you will feel elegant and stylish.

While you can have silver underneath the rhodium coating, you can also have any other metal you wish to. The same goes for alloys made of silver and other metals.


One thing that is amazing about the Rhodium Plate, it's its scratch resistance. The plating will start to flake soon, however. Sterling silver is more durable than other metals, even if you use it for daily wear.

Although the metal is very light, it will last a lifetime if properly maintained and cared for.

If you take care to keep sterling silver from tarnishing, it can be one of your options. However, sterling silver will tarnish with age regardless of what you do.

The jewelry with Rhodium plating is resistant to tarnish, giving them an advantage over other metals.


Sterling silver is very easy to work with. It is possible to change the size or shape of sterling silver easily. These pieces can be worn with different clothes and are stylish and fun.

Rhodium-plated pieces will also allow you to be versatile. It can be personalized if desired. Although you can wear it with different clothes, it isn't easy to alter the sizes to fit your body. Sterling silver is still the best option in this category, even though you can customize it.


Rhodium-plated sterling silver is easier to find than rhodium plated. This is because rhodium is a rare metal. The plated version is also available, but it's not as easy to find as the sterling silver one.

Because sterling silver is more readily available than other options, most jewelers use it.


Nickel is the main ingredient that can trigger allergies. It doesn't matter what metal it is. As long as it contains an alloy of Nickel within, it will cause dermatitis.

Sometimes sterling silver is hypoallergenic, as it contains very little copper. The Rhodium is also hypoallergenic. It's the ideal choice for sensitive individuals.

Which one is superior between sterling silver and rhodium plating?

It is difficult to choose between the two because each has its positives and negatives.

Although Rhodium plating is a superior option to sterling silver, it does have its limitations. Rhodium plating won't tarnish so that you can keep the mirror-like gloss for an extended time. But, it is expensive.

If you have any more questions or are looking to buy or sell, we can help you out at AU Precious Metal Solutions.