Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. In jewelry, plating is used to decorate objects, for corrosion inhibition, to improve solderability, to harden, and to improve wearability. White gold often contains Nickel, which many people are allergic to, so a piece of jewelry that contains nickel-based white gold will be plated in most cases. Rhodium, a metal in the platinum family, is often used in plating white gold jewelry.
Rhodium works very well as a plating for jewelry because it is one of the whitest and most mirror-like metals available -- even moreso than platinum. Because of its dazzling shine, rhodium plating makes diamonds look bigger and brighter. However, it's only a plating, and it will therefore eventually wear off, requiring replating.
The majority of white gold rings sold in the US are rhodium plated, and not every jeweler is upfront about this. Therefore it is sometimes natural to panic when a white gold piece starts turning yellow. However, it's not the end of the world, the piece just needs replating. Replating is a fairly quick, simple, and inexpensive process.
Edmund Weber Jewelers offer a varitey of plating services, including rhodium, yellow gold, rose gold, and green gold. If your jewelry is starting to lose its sparkle, it needs to be replated. With every plating, we also offer a free polishing service that will remove any scratches or imperfections on the surface of your jewelry.