Palladium is a precious metal used in the automobile industry as well as making jewelry. Palladium jewelry has gained popularity over the last couple of years. You may have heard about this valuable precious metal, palladium, and are curious about it.
In this guide, we’re looking at this metal’s noteworthy features, how it compares with other metals, its value, the pros and cons of palladium jewelry, and essential care tips.
What is palladium?
Palladium is a precious metal with a silvery-white color. Palladium is one of six metals belonging to the platinum group of metals (PGMs). The other PGM metals include platinum, iridium, osmium, ruthenium, and rhodium. They all have similar chemical properties, but palladium is the least dense and has the lowest melting point.
Palladium gets its name from the asteroid Pallas, a Greek word associated with Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Palladium is majorly used to make catalytic converters in vehicles. Though the metal was discovered in 1803, jewelers started making palladium jewelry in 1939, and it has grown in popularity since then.
The majority of palladium comes from Russia and South Africa. It’s often mined as a byproduct of platinum and nickel.
What’s so special about palladium?
Palladium is very rare; it’s 30 times rarer than gold and 15 times rarer than platinum. In addition, its demand is much higher than the supply making it more expensive.
Palladium is tarnish-resistant as it doesn’t react with oxygen. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it perfect for jewelry as it won’t irritate your skin.
Is palladium toxic to humans?
Yes, but it’s of low toxicity. Although it’s poorly absorbed by the body when ingested, it may cause eye and respiratory tract irritation.
On the other hand, palladium compounds like palladium chloride are gravely toxic and harmful to the body’s organs if swallowed.
What is palladium jewelry worth?
We found that most palladium wedding bands retail for around $980 to around $8000.
How palladium compares with other metals
Now that you have a better understanding of palladium, let’s compare it to other metals.
Is palladium better than gold?
Yes, palladium is better than gold because it’s harder and more durable than gold. Palladium is over 30 times rarer than gold, making it the more expensive metal.
Is palladium better than sterling silver?
Yes, palladium is better than sterling silver, although it’s more costly. Palladium jewelry is tarnish resistant and doesn’t react with oxygen in the air, while sterling silver tarnishes when exposed to oxygen, cosmetics, and humidity. Sterling silver is more susceptible to corrosion and scratches than palladium.
Palladium vs platinum
These two white metals look alike but have distinct differences. Platinum is only one shade whiter than palladium. Palladium is harder than platinum, making it more scratch and corrosion-resistant.
Platinum is heavier than palladium. Both platinum and palladium jewelry is hypoallergenic, making them both suitable for people with sensitive skin.
What is better, titanium or palladium?
When it comes to value and durability, palladium is better than titanium. However, titanium is better in price because it’s more affordable. Both metals are corrosion-resistant and hypoallergenic.
Pros and cons of palladium jewelry
Palladium is an excellent metal, but it also has downsides. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of palladium jewelry.
Here are the pros:
- Highly durable: Palladium doesn’t wear. When it scratches, the metal gets displaced but not lost. It maintains its color over time and will develop a lovely patina or matte-finish look.
- Hypoallergenic: There is no nickel in palladium, so you are at a lower risk of developing an allergic skin reaction.
- Lightweight: It’s a comfortable and lightweight option if you don’t want heavy jewelry.
- Precious and valuable: Precious metals demand higher prices than common industrial metals. The demand is driven by their role as investments and a store of value.
Here are the disadvantages of palladium jewelry:
- Very rare: Finding various style choices may be challenging because of scarcity.
- Difficult to manipulate: Jewelers avoid working with it, especially when they aren’t knowledgeable about its characteristics.
- Expensive: It’s the most expensive precious metal, making it unaffordable for people with a limited budget.
How do you identify palladium jewelry?
Some jewelry sellers are scammers selling fake jewelry as genuine palladium. We’re sharing two ways for you to identify palladium jewelry.
Check for the palladium stamp
The palladium stamp or hallmark is a marking that indicates the fineness of palladium. It’s the measure of purity in parts per thousand, where 999.999 is the purest precious metal. Genuine palladium jewelry comes with one of three stamps or hallmarks; PD500 (50% pure), PD950 (95% pure), and PD999 (99.9% pure) for pure palladium.
To identify palladium, look at the markings on the piece. You may have to use a magnifying glass to inspect your piece. If there’s no marking, it’s probably a fake or an older piece. If it’s an older piece, additional testing is required.
Take it to an appraiser
If you’re still unsure whether you have real palladium, take your jewelry piece to a professional jeweler for an appraisal. Appraisers are professionals trained in authenticating jewelry, so you’ll know if your jewelry is real palladium.
How to care for palladium jewelry
Palladium jewelry requires little maintenance. However, caring for it ensures that it stays looking good for a long time. Use these tips to care for your palladium jewelry:
- Clean your jewelry once a week to maintain its shine. Pour a ¼ cup of soap and water solution into a bowl and submerge your palladium jewelry for 10 minutes. Remove the jewelry from the liquid and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away dirt and debris. Rinse it off with warm water and dry it with a soft cloth.
- Get your jewelry professionally cleaned by a jeweler every six months. Professional cleanings make the jewelry shine as new, and the jeweler can check for loose stones.
- Take off palladium jewelry while cleaning. The chemicals in cleaning products may damage the palladium when exposed to them often.
- Store palladium jewelry in its original packaging to preserve its shape and prevent scratching by other jewelry.
- Use polishing cloths for the jewelry to maintain its shine.
Frequently asked questions
If you want to know more about palladium, we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions.
Can you wear palladium in the shower?
Yes, you can wear palladium in the shower because it doesn’t react with water.
What is the hallmark for palladium?
Three standards of fineness marks are recognized as palladium hallmarks. They are PD999 (99.9% pure), PD950 (95% pure) and PD500 (50% pure).
What country has the most palladium?
South Africa is the leading producer of palladium in the world.
Does palladium scratch easily?
Palladium doesn’t scratch easily because it’s harder than most metals.
Does palladium stick to a magnet?
No, palladium is not magnetic.
The perfect heirloom
Palladium jewelry is rare and expensive, but if you can get your hands on it, you’ll have it for decades without needing much maintenance. Furthermore, it’s perfect for sensitive skin. Palladium is the perfect heirloom jewelry.
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