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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/fracture filled diamonds & Rhodium plating

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Question
Thank you in advance for the help.
I work in a retail jewelry store in the USA.  We sell clarity treated i.e.; fracture filled diamonds.  I inspect pieces after we work on them and the filling in diamonds frequently appears compromised.  We regularly rhodium plate the white gold heads and rings we size.  Is it possible/probable that the acid in the rhodium solution is attacking the glass-filling of these treated diamonds?  We are careful not to heat them, no pickle either, but we routinely rhodium plate.
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Richard.

Answer
Dear Richard,

Do you know what manufacturer supplies your filled diamonds?  Yehuda produced the ones we sold and Yehuda offered to redo the filling if damaged in the shop. It is certainly possible for a jeweler to get hold of a filled diamond and not notice any telltale reflection colors or other signs then inadvertently start to torch re-tip and have serious problems. As I understand it, Yehuda knows this may happen in total innocence and will redo the filling.

To clarify your situation, I will stdate that rhodium plate methods do not involve temperatures or chemical which will damage the filling. Then again, has anything changed since I was doing that work?  

I recall when palladium was being marketed strongly, unfortunately before the manufacturers truly knew the best alloy recipes or how casting processes needed modification to prevent problems. What no one seemed to know is that certain alloys would “pit” if rhodium plated. We ran a series of tests and even recorded evidence of shallow but visible surface damage from a salt water bath, no acid, no rhodium solution used. We contacted the primary marketing hand for the Palladium (Institute, Alliance or similar name) and they also tested and found some problems did indeed exist.  The Choler Enterprises studied and found no damage. This was surprising to us but we believed them because they have a heavy vested interest in rhodium product uses.  


I suggest you go to the horse doing the speaking…ask your question directly of Yehuda and of Choler.  I have written these companies before and they do want their products to perform without incident or problems.  If there are other similar happenings as in your situation, they surely have heard about it. Please do that. If I am wrong about the possibility of damage, please use a follow-up to let me know and I will become a better expert.

Best Wishes, God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.  

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Thomas

Expertise

Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.

Experience

I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education/Credentials
Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to jewelry...wow, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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