It’s likely that you have an item of jewelry that is very shiny and dates from the 1930s that is rhodium-plated.
In addition to being highly reflective and resistant to corrosion, rhodium is a silvery-white metallic element. Compared to gold or silver, it is regarded as the rarest and most valuable precious metal in the world today. Rhodium gets its name from the Greek word “Rhodon,” which means rose. Its salts have a rose-red tint.
There are six platinum group metals, which include platinum and palladium as well as osmium, iridium, and ruthenium.
Rhodium is one of these metals. According to the classification, it is also a noble metal, which means that it is resistant to oxidation and corrosion and doesn’t react readily with oxygen. In addition to high melting points and non-toxicity, the platinum group metals are resistant to wear, oxidation & corrosion notes Chemistry Libre texts.
In catalytic converters, rhodium is primarily used to purify car emissions. Nitrogen oxide in the exhaust gas can be reduced by rhodium (typically in conjunction with palladium and/or platinum). The air in our cities would be significantly worse without rhodium catalysts because of automobile exhausts.
Most commercial rhodium comes from copper and nickel processing. rhodium is a naturally occurring platinum mineral that can occur alone or alongside other platinum minerals in nature.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, it can be found in river sands in North and South America, as well as copper-nickel Sulphide ores in Ontario, Canada.
There are advantages and cons to using rhodium, like with all metals. There are several advantages to using Rhodium, but one of the most notable is its superb shine. Beautiful jewelry can be made from rhodium. Of course, you’ll have to weigh the rhodium’s hefty price against its stunning brilliance.
Hence, Rhodium is considered to be one of the most valuable metals. Its properties and configuration make it a precious and rare element.