Posted on January 28, 2015 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments
William Hyde Wollaston discovered palladium and named the metal after the asteroid Pallas (which was named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, also known as Athena). By 1939, Palladium was being used in jewelry. Due to its durability and relative affordability, palladium is an increasingly popular choice for fine jewelry. (In today’s current market, palladium is less expensive than gold and platinum.)
Durable and lustrous palladium maintains its gleam after years of use.
A member of the platinum family (in company with rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium), palladium is a rare, naturally white and lustrous metal. Unlike white gold, palladium does not need to be alloyed or plated for protection or coloring. This is good news for jewelry lovers allergic to nickel, which is often used in creating white gold. Palladium in jewelry is 95% pure and hypoallergenic.
(It should be noted that palladium is commonly used as an alloy in white gold. Using palladium, it is possible to create white gold without nickel—though this may raise the price of the white gold. Please contact us with questions about making a special piece for you.)
Palladium is found in Canada, Australia, Africa, and South and North America. The vast majority of mined palladium is used in the United States. In addition to jewelry settings and white gold, palladium is used to make electronic contacts, surgical instruments, dental fillings, and watch sprigs.
Like platinum, its sister metal, palladium resists chemical erosion and intense heat, properties that make it a suitable metal for special jewelry intended to last decades. Palladium has a lower density than platinum, however, making it a lighter, more ductile metal—meaning that palladium may be easier to work with and less cumbersome to wear when used in bulkier jewelry settings.
Do you own any palladium jewelry?
Photos: Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry, Wikipedia