Unplated vs. Rhodium Chains - What's the Difference?
Unplated sterling silver is just what it seems - bare, unplated sterling silver. This means it is bright and whitish in color, but because it is unplated, it will tarnish if left exposed to air. Silver can be protected from tarnishing by placing it in a zip-lock pouch. It is also easy to clean with any silver polishing cloth.
Rhodium-plated sterling silver - rhodium is one of the rarest and most precious metals in the world, worth much more than gold or silver. It has a darker color than silver and looks closer to the color of stainless steel. Jewelers use it as plating on sterling silver because it keeps the silver from tarnishing. Rhodium-plated chains go well with rhodium-plated or antiqued/oxidized pendants because of its darker color.
Below is a side by side comparison of both chains.