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Thread: What kind of metal do you prefer for your pearl findings?

  1. #16
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    I wonder, Wendy, whether that might be hard to find in t he UK because it couldn't be sold as platinum, because of hallmarking? And it's expensive, of course, if you can't then sell it as platinum (-:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    A word of caution about rhodium plating-- it is electroplating and very thin.

    My white gold wedding band was rhodium plated to increase whiteness of the metal; every year or so I used to have to have it replated at the jeweler's (the plating wears off due to contact with the skin.) I finally quit replating it due to the nuisance factor.
    I agree, but all white gold is rhodium plated. White gold is not actually white, but more of an egg shell. Rhodium plating is necessary for white gold to be white.

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    Normally, yes-- however my "replacement" engagement ring, white gold with an unheated Mogok ruby, is not rhodium plated. It was custom cast for me by the jeweler that cut the ruby. He used an alloy that is exceptionally white and I specifically requested that the plating be omitted. Really, it looks white enough to me even without the plating, and looks good with the wedding band.

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    Wow! I guess there always always is a rare exception

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    Pearl Dreams--can you post a picture of the ring when you have a chance. That's sounds really pretty. I am new to pearls, but I have been collecting gemstones (particularly rough gem stones) for longer than I care to recall. It's really hard to find mogok rubies that aren't fractured filled, let alone unheated. I was actually looking to do put together a mogok ruby pendant, but started getting into pearls--which is how I ended up here. My mom is holding a couple vintage 14kw (unplated) pieces from my grandmother that will go to my daughter is old enough to appreciate them. I love the natural look--but I am not sure a lot of people would recognize them as wg today.

    I am not entirely sure whether this rhodium plated silver diamond roundel (or rondelle depending on the site) is going to work out. Here's a link to the roundal that I was considering: https://www.bellafindings.com/jewels...nd-rondel-bead I called up Bella's to ask about the durability and the person I spoke to seemed to think it was an oxidized roundel--which I am NOT interested in for this necklace. The pearls warrant 14kw with diamonds, I just don't have that kind of budget--so this was a fall back plan. There are two listings for silver diamond roundels (7x2mm), 13pnts each--one is oxidized, the other is rhodium plated. Both have the same picture--and most of the silver findings look dark--which makes those pictures useless. I decided to order one roundel as a sample.

    I would consider, as someone else suggested, using a white gold stardust roundels. Unfortunately, Bella's doesn't carry them and I can't seem to find them any place else (that doesn't require a tax id. number). I can find silver stardust roundels, but the sides look a bit rough and they aren't rhodium plated. I can see that turning into a disaster. If the pearls were relatively inexpensive FW, I might take a chance--but not with tahitians.

    If the silver/diamond roundels don't work out, does anyone have any suggestions? Are there any other good places besides Bella's that I should be checking out. I thought about doing a small 14kw bead to cover the knot, I am not sure that really adds anything to the necklace.

    These are the pearls that I purchased:



    Last edited by est190; 02-15-2012 at 11:18 PM. Reason: added pictures

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    est190, I tried to PM you but don't seem to have any way to send you a message.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    I agree, but all white gold is rhodium plated. White gold is not actually white, but more of an egg shell. Rhodium plating is necessary for white gold to be white.
    I think that might just be where you are?

    Rhodium plating is the exception rather than the rule in the white gold I know well. My grandmother's 18 carat white gold necklace, from the late 1920s, for example, is a gold, silver and palladium alloy, not a hint of rhodium in sight. My own white gold bracelet, which is 9 carat, isn't rhodium plated either.

    I think you can also mix gold with silver and a bit of other stuff, what the Greeks used to call Electrum.

    I've also read (some time ago, I think) about using tin to whiten white gold alloys, but I wouldn't swear to it.

    For my sister's 21st birthday, she was given a necklace including 18 carat white gold. The written bumf that came with it states:

    "Technical Information

    Alloy Composition: 75.1% Gold, 3% Silver, 13.9% Palladium, Copper & Zinc"

    Later it goes on to say:

    "This piece has not been plated with rhodium, and does not require rhodium plating, owing to the alloy used, offering an improved white colour when compared to traditional high palladium white alloys"

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    I guess I should change my post from "all" to "nearly all."

    I once met a dealer at JCK that was marketing a new brand called something like "true white." The only product he had were stud earrings for diamonds. I've never seen anything like it elsewhere.

    The findings used by companies in the US (non-custom) are, as I understand it, all rhodium plated (Grassman, Stuller, KGH, WHH, etc). Sometimes they arrive without the rhodium and the color is slightly off - not a bright white, which is typically expected in white gold. These then have to be rhodium plated before they can be used.

    I do think it is important to note that non-rhodium is the exception to the rule and not common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    est190, I tried to PM you but don't seem to have any way to send you a message.
    Oops. It wasn't enabled, but now it is.

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    A. jones, That's unusual because they use a lot of nickel, zinc and silver in the US. That sounds like a lot of palladium which is more expensive than gold--at least I think so. With gold prices exceeding platinum, that could be different today. I don't recall seeing non-plated white gold in any jewelry store in memory.

  11. #26
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    Fair enough - sounds as if there is a significant difference between the UK and the USA in this respect.

    We don't have more than trace amounts nickel in jewellary at all here, it's not allowed. Too many people react badly to it, so it's verboten.

    Amanda

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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    The findings used by companies in the US (non-custom) are, as I understand it, all rhodium plated (Grassman, Stuller, KGH, WHH, etc). Sometimes they arrive without the rhodium and the color is slightly off - not a bright white, which is typically expected in white gold. These then have to be rhodium plated before they can be used.

    I do think it is important to note that non-rhodium is the exception to the rule and not common.
    For you, not us here in the UK, I think.

    http://www.cooksongold.com

    This is one of the biggest suppliers in London of findings etc - and some of their white gold isn't plated, but non-nickel alloys:



    http://portalgc.knowledgebase.net/di...1&docid=150376

    They have also developed a "whiteness scale" for white gold.

    http://portalgc.knowledgebase.net/di...1&docid=150395

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    Quote Originally Posted by est190 View Post
    Oops. It wasn't enabled, but now it is.
    Nope, still can't message you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Nope, still can't message you.
    Hopefully it's working now.

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    We've had the nickel debate before - it is banned by European Union law.
    In the UK we have to abide by the rules for precious metal mixes and proportions which are in the various Hallmarking Acts (for details just follow the big logo/notice bottom left on my website). I'm not sure what Goldsmith's Hall would make of an electrum mix - I'll email them to ask

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