A soft, silver-white metal that resembles white-gold and platinum, palladium is often used in engagement rings, watches, and earrings. Palladium was discovered in 1803 by William Wollaston, and named after the asteroid Pallas. It was introduced as a precious metal for jewelry use in 1939, and has grown increasingly popular over the last decade. Pure palladium is 95% palladium and 5% ruthenium. It provides the following key benefits.
Palladium is 10% stronger than platinum. This quality allows it to be worn much longer before scratches appear.
Palladium’s pure white shade never yellows over time, unlike other metals. White-gold must be plated with rhodium to ensure its hue stays pristine, and even then the rhodium will dissipate as the years pass. Palladium’s gleaming luster, however, stays brilliant for decades.
Palladium is a hypoallergenic metal—it does not cause allergic reactions. Gold, which is mixed with nickel, can cause allergic reactions.
Palladium is much cheaper than gold and platinum, because it lacks many industrial uses. For this reason, palladium gives a jewelry owner the same benefits of platinum at a price closer to that of 18K gold.
Many prefer palladium to gold and platinum because palladium provides high-quality jewelry without excessive bulk. In addition to not weighing down your wrist or finger, its lightness also allows jewelers to craft much more intricate designs.