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Rhodium is the chemical element of atomic number 45 and the Rh symbol of the platinum family. It was discovered in 1804 by the British physicist and chemist  William Hyde Wollaston (he also discovered platinum in 1803). Rhodium is a precious metal, more expensive than gold.


Silver is blackened by sulphides in the atmosphere. White gold, on the other hand, tends to turn yellow over time. This is why scientists have tried to lay a thin layer of precious white metal on its surface, which is unalterable in the air. Since 1932, professionals in the jewellery, watchmaking and goldsmith's trade have opted for a noble and rare metal: rhodium. The latter has interesting qualities: a colour that is very similar to silver, hardness and resistance to wear and tear, and almost matchless brilliance.


Traditionally applied in jewellery, rhodium is applied to silver or white gold pieces by electrolytic bath (galvanoplasty). The thickness of decorative rhodium plating does not exceed one micron (above that, it loses its brilliance and becomes grey) and is generally between 0.05 and 0.3 microns. Its implementation requires a high degree of precision (concentration of the bath in rhodium, bath temperature, current density...)