Rhodium Plating--How Can You Tell?

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by North Coast Viking, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. To my fellow TSD'ers who are Gillette-savvy - I have seen the term "Rhodium Plated" in regard to high-end Gillettes; was this an option from Gillette, or is this after-market plating? If it is a stock feature on Gillettes, is there some coding, or other indicator of the Rhodium, or do you just have to know what you are looking at? I picked up a grunge-encrusted Fat Boy E-1 at a junk shop in Utah over the New Years holiday; brought it home and cleaned it up; sparkles like a new penny--just wondering if it may be Rhodium, or just nickel plating. I could post photos, but my photo skills may do it no justice, or give any clear indicator of what the viewer might be looking at. Anyone help me on this? Thanx! NCV
    178-bplatoon likes this.
  2. Turk

    Turk Well-Known Member

    Wow, I bought my fatboy and had it rhodium plated. I also see rhodium plated razors on ebay and just assumed that they were an aftermarket upgrade by the owner. It will be interesting to find out the whole story.
    178-bplatoon likes this.
  3. Mark1966

    Mark1966 Well-Known Member

    The Fatboy would be nickel plated
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  4. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    The "FatBoy" is nickle unless it's been replated in rhodium,if it's a gold "FatBoy" I believe it was called an Executive. I want to say Gillette did rhodium plate the handle and nickle plate the head on the "President" TTO from the factory, but I could be mistaken. The "President" was what I call one of the "Aristocrat" TTO series (Aristocrat(gold),Diplomat(gold),President(rhodium/nickle)). What your seeing NCV is the reason Gillettes have held up over the years and why they are still VERY desirable razors!! A jewler may be able to tell you if its been rhodium plated are not....:)
  5. FacialCarnage

    FacialCarnage Well-Known Member

    Many razors with a nice chrome shine are rhodium plated. Some came from the factory with a plating and some are aftermarket done. Usually an aftermarket rhodium plate with look brand new, if it's done correct. I will post a pic of two razors I Rhodium plated and Nickel plated. I recently rhodium plated a Gillette Tech heavy that turned out real nice & nickel plated a Gillette 'the new' that I don't have pics of yet. I have been using this one for about a month after rhodium plating. Just like on jewelry it will last a while, but sooner of later then original metal will start to show. On rings sometimes it is a year or more, so I expect that a razor should stay shiny for much longer since it does not get the wear and tear a ring would.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  6. Larry Stephenson

    Larry Stephenson Active Member

    So that's who does the plating, jewelers? I don't know enough about the topic to discuss with the jeweler, so do I want to go the rhodium route, or the nickel? I'm looking for durability and protection first and appearance second, although appearance is important, too. Got a ballpark figure for what this would cost?
  7. Larry Stephenson

    Larry Stephenson Active Member

    Thanks for your help. There are a couple of my older blades I'd really like to pretty up. Is there any benefit to having an old steel straight done in either. Just occurred to me, now that I think of it I can see where it may not be ideal for a straight. Any thoughts?
    FacialCarnage likes this.
  8. Sunflake

    Sunflake Well-Known Member

    The best example if the Gillette President. The head and the tapered neck are plated in Nickel and handle below is Rhodium. With the two metals so close together you can't mistake them. Rhodium looks like brilliant white Silver.
  9. FacialCarnage

    FacialCarnage Well-Known Member

    I think that due to the fact that straights are constantly being sharpend then it would soon wear off, unless you were doing it just for show.
  10. thekinge

    thekinge Member

    Fatboys are all nickel plated as stated above or gold plated in case of the Fatboy Executive. Many models of the British made Gillette Aristocrats such as the #15, #16, #21, #22 and #66 are rhodium plated. It is usually easy to visually differentiate between a nickel and a rhodium plated razor as the rhodium plated ones give off a unique shine. Once you've seen a rhodium plated Aristocrat razor in person, it will be easy to spot the difference.
  11. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    Gillette did release some of their high end razors with Rhodium plating. I kno they released an Excutive model and a President model in Rhodium
    brit likes this.
  12. brit

    brit in a box

    british aristocrats late 15,16,21,22,66 and british new tech hybrid sets are rhodium plated..
  13. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Nickel: ranges from a fairly bright white to sometimes a yellowish or grayish tinge.

    Chrome: usually has a slightly blueish cast.

    Silver: softer glow when polished, unmistakable.

    Rhodium: close to silver in tone but a starker and more brilliantly white shine.

    The above is just my perceptions based on seeing examples side by side.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  14. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I had my New Improved rhodium plated by Sport Shaving.



    brit likes this.
  15. Sunflake

    Sunflake Well-Known Member

    I had my Fatboy re plated in Rhodium. Then re-painted the numbers. It turned out great. Even if the Nickel is in great shape it’s easy to tell if it has Rhodium.
    brit likes this.
  16. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    I love my Gillette 48-50 Aristocrat. Which British Aristocrat would be comparable?
    brit likes this.
  17. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    Apparently the Brits embraced Rhodium more than the American side. I may need to take a closer look at the British models
    brit likes this.
  18. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    I saw where one replating service is offering black Rhodium. Sounds interesting
    brit and gorgo2 like this.
  19. brit

    brit in a box

    i would say the 4th generation..22/66/70

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