The thread about the new Eclipse trumpet plated in rhodium got me wondering: Why is silver the most prevelant plating metal for trumpets, or musical instruments in general? I remember that as a kid, if you had a silver plated trumpet, then you really had something. Silver plating was generally the one biggest visible difference between a student horn and a pro horn and for the most part, it seemed that there were usually only a few silver plated instruments in a sea of lacquered horns. Silver plating was considered somewhat of an extravagance. Now, it is almost the norm. But why silver? Was it a cost vs durability thing? For me, I seem to always have trouble with silver plated instruments thanks to the acidity of my hands, although it always seems to be worse with Bachs than with other horns, and I don't seem to have near the problem with lacquer. Now it seems that gold is becoming much more common as a plating metal, in spite of the added cost, and I've heard stories about platinum plated trumpets here and there. Now we have a trumpet plated in Rhodium. Are we changing our idea of what metals to use due to a shift in our ideas about the life span of a brass instrument, and therefore we are seeing a new trend of plating with metals that are more resistant to corrosion or wear? Again, maybe my experience was an exception, but it used to seem to me that if you had a trumpet that had a decade worth of use, then you had a pretty old instrument. Now, it seems that not only are vintage instruments still being used, but in many cases, they are sought out preferentially over newer stock, and steps are being taken to preserve these gems. I know that's the reason that I'm considering gold plating my Schilke. It may not be an oldie, but it's a goodie! But getting back to the original subject, considering that under heavy use, silver often bubbles, flakes away or simply wears away due to use, polishing and oxidation, one would think that it wouldn't be the preferred plating metal for musical instruments.