While rhodium is both too expensive and too brittle to make jewelry out of, it makes an excellent plating material. It is often used to hide imperfections and lend a higher sheen to silver or white gold pieces. Silver is a metal that tarnishes (oxidizes) quickly. It is also soft and easily scratched. Rhodium is just the opposite – It is extremely resistant to oxidation and so hard that it resists wear. Being harder than both silver and gold, it also makes an excellent protective coat that shields jewelry from scratches.
One of its greatest advantages is that rhodium doesn’t tarnish or oxidize which means that it continues to give a brilliant finish to your jewelry for longer and requires no particular cleaning procedures. While being so pure it can enhance the brilliance of stones and diamonds in jewelry more than silver and gold. So, plating a layer of Rhodium onto silver or other alloys produces an item of jewelry that is both tarnish-resistant, scratch-resistant and durable with a special shine.
An added benefit of rhodium plating is that very few people suffer allergic reactions from it as it is hypoallergenic and completely safe for prolonged skin contact.