General Information on Palladium
Palladium has very quickly become one of the most popular white precious metals that are used in engagement rings. After a period of discussion the UK Assay Office finally launched the palladium Hallmark in July 2009 and since then increasing number of palladium engagement rings have been made and we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of this metal in our work.
Palladium is in the platinum group of metals and within that group has the lowest melting point. It looks similar to platinum but is a much less dense metal - this means it is a great choice for heavier rings where the customer wants the steely white colour of platinum but doesn't want the weight on their finger.
Another advantage of palladium over platinum is the price - currently a lot less! - for customers wanting to use a lot of metal in their engagement ring this can result in considerable cost savings.
A third reason that we often recommend palladium over platinum is that palladium is a by product of mining platinum - in other words we get it anyway when mining platinum. This means it has effectively better environmental credentials because no further damage to the environment is caused by its mining.
So, a lot to recommend palladium and we predict the price to increase over the next few years and more and more people choose this lovely precious metal - so perhaps a good investment too.
Palladium vs Platinum
Platinum is not an allergen, but we have heard reports that 30 percent of people who are allergic to nickel may also be sensitive to palladium. However, we have yet to have had this reported to us from a customer and we are not sure if there is medical research to back this up (we have noticed that people who report metal allergies are actually often sensitive to things like liquid soap getting invisibly trapped behind a ring). However, we advise that people with known allergies might be wise to choose platinum over palladium until we have further information.
Our experience is that with a plain wedding band, it is almost impossible to see the difference between palladium and platinum. However when it comes to a very intricate design (such as a ring with very delicate lattice work), palladium gives a subtly more 'industrial' feel to a form as the edges are slightly harsher on fine detail. This is noticeable on palladium chain and very delicate lattice-work type details. So if you are thinking of a particularly intricate design we sometimes advise the use of platinum instead depending on the desired effect.
Is palladium as rare as platinum? Palladium is rarer than platinum when it comes down to weight. However, when it comes down to mass, platinum is rarer than palladium. So you could make more rings out of the total amount of palladium in the world, but they would weigh less than all the platinum rings you could make.
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to arrange a design consultation.
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