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Palladium - Wedding Rings Buyer's Guide

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If you have been shopping for wedding rings lately you will have noticed that Palladium is gaining more and more popularity as an alternative to Platinum and white Gold. You will also have noticed that despite being less well known as a precious metal, it currently holds the heftiest price tag of the lot.

So why choose it for your wedding ring? Palladium is rare: about 30 times as rare as Gold. It is hypoallergenic and keeps its colour without need for plating. It is also lighter than Platinum, with a comparable weight to 18k Gold. This could be considered a benefit if you prefer a lighter ring.

The value of the metal is set to remain steady throughout 2021 and may rise in future, so it could be considered a good investment if you are looking to trade your wedding ring in in the future.

palladium bars

What is Palladium?

It is a shiny, lustrous white metal in the same group as platinum. Discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Woollaston, the silvery metal was named after Pallas Athene, the Greek Goddess of wisdom.

Most Palladium is extracted as a by-product in the mining process of other metals such as platinum and nickel.

Ore deposits of palladium and other Platinum group metals are extremely rare. The majority of the world's palladium comes from Russia and South Africa, with some mined in the US and Canada.

What is it used for?

You may be interested to hear that the main commercial use for Palladium is in cars. It is a component in catalytic converters - a part of a car's exhaust system. In fact, well over half of all the world's supply is used this way.

Palladium first became popular for use in jewellery during World War II. This was because  Platinum supplies were diverted for use in the war effort. Prior to this Palladium was utilised mainly to plate other metals as casting it is difficult. Despite early use in jewellery, hallmarks for Palladium were not introduced until 2010.

Why is it so Valuable?

As with anything that is rare, Palladium increases in price when demand outweighs supply.

Palladium's use in dentistry, car manufacture, electronics and jewellery worldwide make it a highly sought after resource which has soared in value due to the increased demand and inability for production to increase supply.

Due to the small number of mines and the fact that it is a by-product of other metals, this scarcity is not easily rectified. Therefore, the price looks to keep increasing.

Palladium vs Platinum

So now you know what Palladium is, how it is mined and why it is so valuable. But should you choose it for your wedding ring?

We are often asked what we would recommend between it and Platinum, so we have put together some quick read comparisons for you.


The Mohs hardness of Palladium is 4.75, while the Mohs hardness of platinum is 4.25. However the Vickers hardness of Palladium is 461MPa and for Platinum it is 549MPa. This means that Palladium will scratch Platinum but Platinum holds up against impacts more.


As of the 29th of July 2021, Platinum is currently £769.62 per ounce, while Palladium is £1909.71 per ounce.

Palladium is also harder to work with and must be heated in controlled conditions, which may add manufacturing costs.


Platinum is extremely rare, and the entire world stock of it could fit into your living room. Palladium is even more scarce.


All Platinum group metals are considered inert in bulk. However, people who experience allergies to Nickel can also experience allergies to Palladium. Platinum alloys are some of the purest used in jewellery making, so Platinum is the safest choice for those who experience metal allergies.

Still unsure of which metal to go for? Here is our guide to all of our available metal choices for wedding rings.