Palladium is the “newest” white metal to make a splash among jewelry makers. A platinum group metal that’s not actually new, palladium shares many of platinum’s rich benefits at more affordable prices. Its qualities make it a favorite metal for many different styles of jewelry.
Palladium, like platinum, is a very pure metal. Look for 950 Palladium, which means that the metal used is 95% pure, and is usually mixed with 5% ruthenium. Sometimes jewelers use a 90% palladium/10%iridium combination. Both ruthenium and iridium, like palladium, are among the group of metals related to platinum.
Palladium has garnered much attention from jewelers since it offers many of the benefits of platinum – bright white color, purity, and strength – at a more affordable price. Jewelry designers are taking advantage of palladium’s strong, light characteristics and creating new white-metal jewelry that is solid and bold but affordable.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Palladium does not require plating to maintain its lustrous white color, and it is hypoallergenic. It will not tarnish. However, palladium is neither as rare nor as heavy as platinum.
Source: Jewelers of America
Image: Modern Jeweler