Palladium is a hot new up and coming precious metal that is highly sought after in the jewelry community. Of course it has been around for a long time, but some of it’s wonderful properties are just now being realized, especially here at our jewelry store in Portland, Oregon.
In 2006, there were 8 million ounces of Palladium mined versus 7 million for Platinum. In stark contrast, there were 80 million ounces of gold mined. This is a factor in the price difference between Palladium and Platinum as well, but as you can see it is a very slight difference. Palladium is still very rare.
Palladium was named after Pallas Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and protector of Athens.
Palladium is also the LAST precious metal our wonderful planet gave us that is suitable for use in fine jewelry. William Hyde Wollaston discovered Palladium in 1803 or 1804 (depending on who you ask) in crude platinum ore from South America.
At room temperature Palladium has the unusual property of being able to absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen. Hydrogen readily diffuses through heated Palladium and this provides a means of purifying the gas.
White gold is popular in jewelry and has been for years. However, as we have found from our jewelry shop in Portland, it has numerous drawbacks.
White gold is actually a compound. Jewelers mix gold with nickel to make white gold.
Nickel is a highly allergic element for a lot of people. This means that since white gold is 42 percent alloy and most of it is nickel, a lot of people have allergic reactions to it and can not wear it at all.
This mixture of the elements also is a fragile thing. There is much more maintenance associated with white gold than other metal. It must be “re-dipped” in rhodium plating regularly to keep it’s color and shine.
Palladium on the other hand is naturally white and requires no special treatment to make it or keep it that way. You will save time and money on not having maintenance costs. It is also does not tarnish in air naturally.
Palladium is also naturally hypoallergenic. So all the people out there that suffer from various allergies will not have any worries with Palladium. Also Palladium has much better “tear-wear” resistance than 14k or 18k white gold.
So everything that people love about Platinum is also found in Palladium.
Both have a shiny white finish, and are extremely durable and long lasting. The two are very resistant to tarnishing, as well.
The biggest difference you will notice between Platinum and Palladium is the price and density of the metal. Palladium rings are generally 1.8 times lighter than Platinum but about the same weight as 14k white gold. The price of Palladium pieces is generally one third of the price of Platinum.
If you have your eye on that perfect beautiful and large diamond, consider using Palladium for your band as a way to splurge on the diamonds themselves.
We can create the perfect custom piece of palladium jewelry for you here at Marx Jewelers in Portland. Come see us today to find out how we can make your dream a reality!
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