Thank you for visiting Marei New York. Please see below for information regarding rhodium plating.
Black Rhodium and Black Ruthenium Plating ("Black Gold")
Black rhodium and black ruthenium are surface treatments that are electroplated using a chemical bath process that coats the surface of a base metal such as gold or sterling silver. The plating solution bonds to the base metal creating a blackening effect in a dark gunmetal color. Jewelry that is plated with black rhodium or black ruthenium will have a uniquely dark and shiny reflective finish. This dark gunmetal color is also known by jewelers as "black gold", however, the piece itself will be gold or sterling silver metal underneath.
ALL plated finishes are NOT permanent and will wear off or fade due to natural wear, direct contact with skin, and exposure to sweat, oils, lotions, and from rubbing on surfaces. This will reveal the underlying gold or sterling silver base metal.
It is important to note that black rhodium plating may wear off over time leaving the surface of the base metal with a unique antique-looking gunmetal color similar to black oxidized metals. After natural wear and tear, your piece will develop its own unique vintage "worn" look.
The Lifespan of Black Rhodium & Black Ruthenium
The lifespan of the rhodium plating will depend on how often the piece is worn and how it is worn. With normal wear, the black rhodium and ruthenium-plated jewelry will develop its own unique patina as it wears off - and will look similar to an antique blackened finish. Generally, black rhodium plating will wear off more quickly on jewelry that is worn daily and exposed to rough surfaces. For example, rings and bracelets may go through more natural wear and tear due to their constant exposure and contact to textured surfaces, than on a piece that is worn on other parts of the body, such as earrings and necklaces which will rarely come into contact with surfaces. Areas on jewelry that are raised will possibly come into close contact with surfaces and may wear off more quickly than areas that are indented or engraved.
Plated Jewelry Must Be Worn With Extra Care
All plated surface treatments are delicate and should be worn with extra care to help preserve the integrity of the plated surface.
Plated jewelry is NOT waterproof therefore all plated jewelry should be kept dry at all times. Please keep away from ALL liquids such as water, lotions, oils, sweat, perfumes, alcohol, acetone, hand sanitizers, hair products, makeup, chemical cleaners, etc... Exposure to liquids can weaken, damage, and may eventually even remove the plated surface treatment.
Plated jewelry is NOT scratch-proof. Please keep your plated jewelry away from all abrasive surfaces and objects that may scratch, dent, or chip the plating. Take care not to rub your plated jewels on rough textiles such as leather and denim, as this may rub off or damage the plating.
PLATED JEWELRY CARE
Store your jewelry safely in a soft-lined jewelry box. Jewelry boxes that feature individually padded slots for rings and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets are also ideal. Jewelry pouches are good too but take care and keep your jewelry pouch somewhere safe so that the jewelry does not get crushed.
Know when to take your jewelry off.
Please avoid wearing jewelry while showering, cleaning, gardening, performing manual labor, engaging in sports activities such as hitting the gym, lifting weights, doing yoga, swimming, rock climbing, carrying heavy items, etc... this will damage your jewelry. We also strongly recommend removing all your jewelry before going to sleep.
Avoid placing your plated jewelry near heat as this can cause discoloration and deformation.
Avoid exposure to liquids.
Keep it clean by gently wiping it with a soft and dry, non-abrasive cloth. Do not expose to water. Never use steam or ultrasonic cleaners on plated jewelry. Do not use abrasive polishing cloths or liquid jewelry cleaners on your plated jewelry as this will remove the plating.
Avoid exposure to hand sanitizers.
Please keep your hands clean but avoid exposing your jewelry to hand sanitizers and chemical disinfectants. These liquids contain chemicals that can eat away at precious metals and plating. Chemicals used in hand sanitizers may also cause irreversible damage to your gemstones - especially pearls. Take off your jewelry before applying hand sanitizers or chemical disinfectants.
Avoid exposing all jewelry to household cleaners, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and bleach. Bleach will cause discoloration and damage to the metal and gemstones. Chlorine may also damage fine precious metals. Repeated exposure to chlorine can weaken gold's structure, eventually leading to breakage. Please keep your jewelry away from pools and jacuzzis.
Slow down the effects of silver tarnishing.
All plated silver jewelry may tarnish over time due to the natural oxidation of silver metals when exposed to air. To help slow down the effects of tarnishing, you will want to keep your plated silver jewels dry at all times. After each wear, simply wipe your plated silver jewelry with a soft dry cloth and store your jewelry in an airtight container such as a closed jewelry box or ziplock bag. You may also place an anti-tarnish strip into the sealed container.
SAFE JEWELRY STORAGE GUIDE
Proper jewelry storage is important.
When traveling, it's always a good idea to bring a small travel-sized jewelry box to safely store your pieces. Be sure to keep your valuables in a safe place, such as the security safe in your hotel room - and DO NOT ever leave your valuables on the dresser or side table.