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Points on Palladium

Last week, you learned a little about platinum and its finer points. This week, we shift the spotlight to palladium, the lesser known “little brother” to platinum. What is this wonder metal and how can it add to your jewelry wardrobe?

According to Wikipedia:

Palladium itself has been used as a precious metal in jewelry since 1939, as an alternative to platinum or white gold. This is due to its naturally white properties, giving it no need for rhodium plating.

It is slightly whiter, much lighter and about 12% harder than platinum. Similar to gold, palladium can be beaten into a thin leaf form as thin as 100 nm (1/250,000 in).

So not is it only highly durable, it’s affordable – making it quite popular during a struggling economy. According to Pierce Mattie Public Relations:

A sure sign of its rise to fame came at the 2009 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Awards where they announced that Palladium is finally gaining more acceptance in the designer world.  Many designers including Tenthio, Sasha Primak, and Michael Sugarman will be developing an entire palladium collection in conjunction with high-karat gold and platinum lines.

Additionally, retailers can expect to see an increase in palladium pieces at upcoming trade shows.  Solidifying the trend, some of the most highly acclaimed names in the design world will also be adopting the metal, including Robert Lee Morris, Paul Morelli, Zoltan David, Alishan, Michael Bondanza, and Barry Kronen.

(above) Wedding bands were in demand during the 1940s, and many were made of palladium. This diamond-set eternity band is engraved “E.A.E. & M.O’R. Oct. 20, 1943” and “Palladium – Tiffany & Co.” (see inset). Courtesy of Kurt Rothner, Excalibur, West Hollywood, CA.

Here are a few other stellar examples of palladium pieces: