Have you heard of Palladium? If you haven’t, here are some facts and information below about this metal… It may be a choice in your next jewelry purchase! Palladium is in the same family as platinum, and it also looks similar to white gold. It also has many benefits that platinum and white gold cannot provide. A palladium ring is hypoallergenic, unlike white gold rings, for example. A palladium ring also has benefits over a platinum one, mainly the cost.
Palladium is light weight and it’s luster is making it the metal of choice for new wedding bands and unique custom jewelry pieces for many. Palladium jewelry was hard to find just several years ago, but now is becoming more common in the jewelry industry.
Where does it come from? Who first discovered it? It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Wollaston. Wollaston found palladium in crude platinum ore from South America. He added mercuric cyanide to form the compound palladium cyanide, which was heated to extract palladium metal.
Palladium Versus Platinum
Palladium’s steel-white appearance makes it an attractive jewelry alternative to white gold and platinum. Much of platinum’s cache is due to its purity. Jewelry cast using pure gold (i.e., 24K) is soft and subject to damage, which threatens the overall look and luster of the jewelry piece. To combat this, gold is commonly mixed with copper or silver to strengthen it. The concerns over gold’s softness are why gold jewelry is typically crafted using 14 or 18 karat gold. Palladium is attractive to consumers in the same way as platinum because it is a purer material that is not fabricated or man made.
One of the other benefits of palladium jewelry is its lightness in comparison to platinum; in fact, it’s 40 percent lighter. Palladium wedding rings with large stone settings still won’t feel too heavy on the hand for this reason. Palladium jewelry also has a much lighter price than platinum. People often turn to sterling and white gold rings because they are cheaper than platinum but still similar in appearance, and palladium should start to take a larger role in this market. White gold rings, however, are manufactured using alloys containing nickel, and up to 10 percent of the population is allergic to nickel.
Platinum Group Metals
Palladium is a member of the family of metals known as PGM or Platinum Group Metals. The PGM group is also referred to as “Noble Metals” because of their superior ability to withstand corrosion and oxidation.
Palladium is the least dense and has the lowest melting point of the “PGM” group. Palladium has a much lower density with Platinum, for consumers who prefer a lighter weight ring.
- Palladium is 95% pure, making it hypoallergenic.
- Palladium is nickel free.
- Contains no skin irritants
- Palladium is naturally silver-white without alloy or plating. It will not tarnish in air and therefore Palladium jewelry will stay naturally white.
- Palladium offers everything that platinum does: the natural white luster, and it’s naturally hypoallergenic. But palladium doesn’t have the high price tag of platinum.
- A Palladium ring is very durable and will last for a lifetime, to be passed down for generations to come.