Palladium Education | Mens wedding rings GemTrove


Know about Palladium


With a remarkable polish, and vibrant, light silver colour, palladium has been a favourite with jewellery makers since the 1930’s. A strong, malleable metal, palladium is widely used to create stunning white gold pieces, is less corrosive and harmful than the traditional nickel alloy. Palladium’s use is not just in conjunction with gold, however, with the durability of the metal earning it the honour of being a highly desirable material for jewellery.

History of Palladium

Like platinum, palladium is a more recent discovery in human history. However, its name is derived from a more antique time. When the metal was discovered in 1802, William Wollaston published a report on the subject a year later. He quickly named it after the epithet for the Greek goddess Athena, “Pallas”, noting its beauty and mesmerising white-silver colour. Wollaston began selling samples of the metal in a small shop in the West End of London.

Unfortunately, Wollaston’s report sparked an incredible level of criticism from other physicians, most notably an Irishman named Richard Chenevix. Chenevix questions Wollaston’s claims, suggesting that the discovery was nothing more than an alloy of platinum and mercury. This spurred on a race of interest in this new substance, with many experiments being conducted. It was from these experiments, however, that Wollaston’s claim was proven true.

Despite palladium being noted for a similar strength to platinum, its use in jewellery was not considered well until World War II. With many countries arresting platinum production for the war effort, palladium became the defacto precious metal. It was during this time that jewellery makers noticed that palladium was more effective and safe as a gold alloy than a nickel. This has continued to this day, with palladium even having received the nickname “white gold”.

Formation of Palladium

Palladium (Pd) falls into the platinum group of metals. Like platinum, palladium is an incredibly rare metal and is only produced by a few countries (including Australia), the largest of which is Russia. It is commonly found in areas where nickel and copper deposits abound, such as in the Siberian region. Interestingly, another major source of palladium is in recycling plants, where scrapped converters possess large quantities of the metal.

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