Chemical symbol: Pd
Atomic number: 46
Palladium is a very rare metal in the platinum group of metals and looks very similar in colour to platinum but is much less dense - this means it is a great choice if you want the steely white colour of platinum but not the weight on your finger. It is now cherished for its lustrous silvery-white finish and because of its similar properties to platinum. Palladium is resistant to corrosion and will not tarnish in air. It is relatively hard-wearing. One of its best attributes is being a low maintenance ring as it does not require plating.
Palladium will show some scratches over time but the metal is displaced - not lost - so the metal will not wear down. As the ring ages, the small marks come together to form a patina that most people find pleasant. If you want to restore a ring to its original high polish or matt finish, we can re-polish/refinish it for you. Here are some tips for looking after your palladium rings:
- Store pieces separately in a jewellery box or chamois bag so they don't get scratched by other items of jewellery.
- Remove your palladium ring when doing chores or when there's risk of it coming into contact with hard substances or harsh chemicals. Although they won't hurt the palladium, chemicals may discolour gemstones.
- Palladium rings can be cleaned using a shop-bought jewellery cleaner or by soaking it in a warm and mild solution of soap and water. Gently rub the ring with a soft cloth to dry
- Have your palladium ring professionally cleaned once in a while.
Palladium, like platinum, is used in many industries including car manufacturing, electronics and dentistry. Today, more than half of these metals are used for catalytic converters in cars. Interestingly, a disruption to the supply of palladium in the late 20th century lead to car manufacturers panic buying the metal to stockpile, which drove up the price enormously. The price subsequently dropped, meaning the car companies lost a vast amount of money.
Palladium was discovered in the nineteenth century, and has very similar properties to platinum. It has been classified as one of the platinum group metals, which also includes rhodium, iridium and ruthenium. From this group, only palladium and platinum are rare enough to be traded on the world commodities market - and this is why you may see our prices change from week to week.
The more traditional or superstitious amongst you may be interested to know that the word 'palladium' means a guardian or a charm to protect or preserve, so palladium rings are thought to be good luck for a lasting lifetime of marital happiness. The metal was named from the tale of the goddess Athena, who was renamed Pallas after she slew a giant who tried to capture Mount Olympus and then had a sculpture built in her honour to protect the city from attack.
Palladium has had its own hallmark for several years, and this has been compulsory since January 2010 - thus proving that palladium truly has its place amongst the other precious metals. Like the other metal alloys we sell, palladium will be hallmarked by one of the UK Assay offices, and this hallmark will state the proportion of palladium in the alloy. Wedding Rings Direct use Palladium 950 as standard, which is 95% pure. The remaining 5% of the alloy is made up of ruthenium.
We provide free ring sizers for you to identify your correct size, we also advise you make use of our sample service to identify the right size, width and profile of your ring.