Welcome to our ongoing series exploring the different types of metals we work with! Palladium is a metal we are seeing more requests for in additional to traditional metals, so we wanted to educate our customers about some of the great characteristics of palladium.
Palladium is a silvery-white metal with similar properties to platinum, however it is the least dense of the platinum group metals, making it a more affordable metal option than platinum. It is named after the Pallas asteroid which was discovered around the same time as the metal, at the turn of the 19th century. Over half of palladium produced is used for automotive purposes, mainly found in catalytic converters which convert up to 90% of the harmful gases from auto exhaust into less harmful substances. The metal also plays a key role in the technology used for fuel cells in hybrid vehicles.
In jewelry, palladium has been used as a precious metals since 1939 and is a durable material, great for wedding and engagement rings. The metal has a cool grey color like platinum and does not tarnish they way that sterling silver can. For a customer with an allergy to gold, who didn't want the maintenance of having to polish silver nor the high cost inherent with platinum, we used palladium with a matte finish to create the special half round wedding band on the left.
Many designs can be created and cast in palladium. If you like the cool grey look of the metal, and especially if you have an allergy to gold, palladium is a great alternative metal for you! Contact us if you would like to collaborate on a jewelry design project using this metal.