Maybe you're picking out a new ring, or maybe you already have it. In either case, you may have heard a jeweler or knowledgeable friend mention that a ring will require certain upkeep, including re-dipping. But just how much does it cost to re-dip a ring? We've checked with several jewelers for everything you need to know about maintaining your ring.
Re-dipping a ring costs approximately $75 and involves re-plating the ring with a white metal called rhodium. It isn't necessary for all rings. Primarily, re-dipping is needed for white gold, though other rings may sometimes require it.
So how do you know if your ring will need to be re-dipped? And just what the heck is re-dipping, anyway? Read on for more information on keeping your ring's shiny finish just like it was when you first bought it.
What Does Re-dipping A Ring Mean?
Some rings (for example, white gold) are made from a material that has plating on the exterior. In the case of white gold, a ring is made from a blend of yellow gold and nickel or another silver metal. However, the color of the gold is not truly "white" - depending on the blend, it can be quite yellow.
In most cases, people desire a silver-looking finish. While, technically, this isn't necessary, it's what most consumers want and what sells rings. As a result, jewelers plate the band with a white metal called rhodium. When the rhodium begins to wear off, patches of the yellow-gold underneath will become more and more visible.
At this point, plating the ring to fix this worn covering is necessary. This process of adding new rhodium plating is more commonly referred to as "re-dipping" the ring. This will restore the expected white gold color, fixing the uneven tone or the "patchy" appearance of your ring.
How Often Should You Get Your Rings Dipped?
How long the original rhodium plating lasts will depend on several factors. These include how often you wear the ring, the underlying metal mixture, and materials the ring is exposed to. Some people have their rings re-dipped twice a year, while others may be able to go five years without re-dipping. Most people find about two years to be a more reasonable amount of time. The plating has typically worn enough to be noticeable and worth re-dipping by the end of two years.
What If I Don't Want To Dip My Ring?
The plating on the ring is really more a matter of aesthetics than function. The ring itself does fine without any plating - it doesn't really add to its strength or integrity. However, after that initial dipping, worn plating always looks uneven. You now continually have to re-dip the ring to correct this. The only other solution is waiting for the plating to wear off entirely. You can speed this process up by asking a jeweler to polish the plating off. However, remember that this leaves you with the ring's original yellow-ish tone.
The better choice only works if you haven't picked out a ring yet. In this case, you have two options to avoid re-dipping. The first is to find an unplated ring that you like the original color of (it may be a bit yellow, but you won't have to keep fixing the plating every few years).
The second option, if you absolutely must have a silver-toned ring, is to pick platinum. (Silver is not very durable and tarnishes quickly, making it almost as difficult to care for as a plated white-gold ring).
Do Platinum Rings Need To Be Dipped?
Platinum is less common for rings than white gold because it is more expensive upfront. However, platinum does not require plating. As a result, it will never need to be re-dipped. It has a natural silver tone to it that white gold tries to imitate.
While a platinum ring will cost more than a white gold ring, initially, not paying every few years for redipping may make up the difference in no time.
What Other Rings Don't Need to be Dipped?
If you have a yellow gold ring, it almost certainly does not have any plating on it. Check with your jeweler for care instructions, but yellow gold will rarely require dipping.
Silver may or may not have a rhodium plating over it. Silver tarnishes fairly quickly. For this reason, it's not uncommon to find a silver ring with plating, as this prevents tarnish. Plating also helps those who are allergic to most silver jewelry - the coating protects the skin from an allergic reaction.
Again, check with your jeweler for care instructions on your specific jewelry. However, if your ring tarnishes easily, that means that it is not already plated. Plating is always an option for silver if you don't want to deal with frequent polishing and removing tarnish. Just remember that once it has been plated, re-dipping is necessary to keep the ring's surface intact. This means regular upkeep, money, and maintenance.
How Much Does It Cost To Dip A Ring In Rose Gold?
Dipping a ring in rose gold is about the same expense as white gold - roughly $75 for an average ring, with higher prices for custom pieces. The only material cheaper is yellow gold, which costs somewhere around $50. Yellow gold, however, is not a common choice for ring dipping, as you'll see below.
Can You Dip A Silver Ring In Gold?
You can dip a silver ring in gold - but you probably shouldn't. Remember that dipping a ring is only putting a short-term plating on the top surface. As soon as that surface fades or gets scratched, you can see the original material underneath. In the case of a silver ring covered with gold, as soon as the silver starts peeking out, it will stand out like a sore thumb. Every time you damage the plating, you will need to redip or have an obviously flawed ring.
While a slightly yellow tint of white gold may be subtle, the difference between silver and gold is not. The difficulty in keeping and maintaining that plating will soon be more headache than it's worth. Gold is relatively soft and wears fast.
Re-dipping a ring is a common process, which involves covering a ring in a silver metal called rhodium. This creates a silver finish. Most often, white gold rings have rhodium plating. Silver sometimes also has rhodium plating to prevent tarnish.
If your ring needs re-dipping, expect it to cost about $75 each time. It needs to be done roughly every two years. It might be more or less frequent, depending on the ring's material, how rough you are on it, how frequently you wear it, and other factors. If you do not want to maintain a ring with re-dipping, either select a ring that still has its natural yellow color or pick a platinum ring.
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