Silver and rhodium are both beautiful metals but do you know which of the two is better for jewelry? Here's what you need to know before you choose.
Rhodium is one of the rarest metals on Earth with higher prices than gold or platinum. In most cases, you will find it as a byproduct of mining for another metal called platinum. This means that its presence depends on the presence of platinum.
The biggest reason that rhodium is so expensive is because of how rare it is. There are strict controls on its use as well making it difficult to find at times which puts it in short supply.
In contrast, silver is a budget-friendly precious metal. If the metal isn't pure silver then it's even less expensive. Why? Because it's usually made with copper or zinc in most cases. When you see the word "sterling" on a piece of jewelry it doesn't mean that it's made entirely out of silver. It means that at least 92.5% is pure silver and the rest make up other metals including but not limited to copper & zinc.
The Mohls rating scale determines the hardness of metals, relative to their resistance to scratching. On this scale that runs from 1 – 10, rhodium is rated 6 while sterling silver is rated 3. Therefore, rhodium is more resistant to scratching than sterling silver.
As a result of not containing nickel, rhodium jewelry is hypoallergenic. This means that it will not cause any of allergic reactions associated with nickel.
In its purest form, silver is also hypoallergenic with no known allergic reactions. It is, however, the case that most people opt for sterling silver in jewelry. Sterling silver has traces of nickel and is, therefore, a potential allergen to the skin.
SILVER VS RHODIUM: WHICH IS BETTER?
In conclusion, both rhodium and silver are great choices if you're looking for a precious metal to use for jewelry. If you want something more budget-friendly, then go with silver. If you feel like spending some money, then there's really no better choice than rhodium.