Should I Choose Palladium?
The choice of alloy to have an item of jewellery made in, can dramatically affect the size of diamond or diamonds. The bullion prices have to some extent come down recently but I feel from the perspective of jewellery making it was too high. Platinum came on the scene for mass produced jewellery some years ago and although initially there were making problems of joining and getting a good finish these have been sorted out. We now have another metal that has been around for several years but has not settled down in its place in jewellery making. I am talking about Palladium.
Historically Palladium has been around for ages but recently with the high price of Platinum and the assay offices giving Palladium its own mark the interest has increased. Palladium is 0.55 the density of Platinum the price is about half that of Platinum so combining these two facts makes for a very interesting material to make jewellery out of. The diamond size in a Platinum ring compared with the size of the diamond in a Palladium ring for the same price is visibly larger. Palladium is certainly used for wedding rings and has been used for diamond rings.
From the makers point of view Palladium does have its own problems. Solders exist to construct jewellery with but the colour is different to the main body of the jewellery. For some reason if it is Rhodium plated, which is how 18ct is mostly presented, the Palladium ring goes black. The laser will get round the solder problems as will a more compact making process.
Polishing Palladium or should I say getting a good finish on Palladium is difficult. Having said some of the difficulties on making in Palladium it does appear, from the wedding rings that I see for resizing, that the finish once achieved does actually stay on the item and in my opinion is comparable with 18ct in terms of wear.
I know there have been several jewellers on the internet who have been asked if Palladium is durable compared to Platinum and comments like it is early days yet, seem to be all I could find. Bottom line is Palladium may not be as good as Platinum but is a serious contender on price and does allow the customer to have a larger diamond or diamonds.
So in conclusion the price is attractive, making has difficulties but appears to be durable and allows a larger diamond for the same price.
Author: Graham Saunders