Palladium wedding rings have become widely available only in the new millennium due to a sharp drop in price as compared to platinum. Palladium is a member of the platinum group of metals and was used for jewelry in the 1940’s when platinum was unavailable for jewelry use.
Palladium has the similar light weight of silver and is very slightly whiter in color than platinum and white gold. Palladium has similar working properties to platinum, is a little softer, and much less expensive. Palladium can also be alloyed with gold to form high-quality white gold. It can also be alloyed with platinum to create a soft, malleable platinum alloy. Palladium is hypoallergenic.
Palladium is an excellent jewelry metal, despite being nearly unheard of outside of the jewelry, chemical engineering, and nuclear industries. Palladium has many of the catalytic properties of platinum, and its low cost makes it an ideal substitute for platinum in automobile catalytic converters, fuel cell batteries, and wedding rings.
For the super-nerds out there, palladium was used by Iron Man to create his cold-fusion reactor that powered the suit he built to escape his cave in Afghanistan.
Palladium’s major disadvantage is that it absorbs oxygen from the air while molten. For this reason, we do not melt palladium in my workshop and the solders we use are slightly visible in the seams. For a heavy ring, it is well worth the cost savings.
Precious metals prices have been volatile for the past decade. As of late 2015, the cost of materials for a palladium wedding ring will run a little over 40% the cost of the same ring in platinum.
For customers on a tighter budget, palladium wedding rings are an easy choice.