All that glitters isn’t gold. Some of it is rhodium

Discover the rarest and fairest of all precious metals

Rare, noble and precious. You might be thinking about gold, but it’s rhodium we’re talking about today. Here are three things you might want to know about this champion of precious metals.

First, it’s ultra-rare. Imagine this: if someone took all the gold in the world, right down to the last nugget, you could make a cube that would be about 20 meters on every side. For rhodium, that cube would be about 100 times smaller. That’s still 22 tons, though.

Second, it owes its name to the ancient Greek word “rhodon”, or pink. That’s because in 1803, British chemist William Hyde Wollaston was working on a sample of platinum when he discovered a dark red powder that contained a new metal. A few more chemical reactions later, rhodium revealed its true shining self and joined the platinum family of metals. Another claim to fame: it doesn’t not dissolve in aqua regia, an ultra-powerful acid loved by alchemists and still used by today’s chemists, that can attack even gold.

And third, it’s the jewelry world’s darling. Rhodium is useful in a variety of fields – from spark plugs in aircrafts to fountain pen nibs – but it’s best known for the immaculate sparkle it gives other precious metals through plating measuring between 0.5 and 1 micron (for us). That’s still between 2000 and 5000 layers of atoms!

On Statement’s jewelry, it enhances silver’s moonbeam brightness and helps develops a beautifully complex patina over time and wear.

Découvrez d'autres articles

Inspirations

Brilliance with a brain : the heady tale of Minerva

Lire l'article