Palladium wedding bands are known for their superior quality, affordability, and strength. Used in jewelry since 1939 as an alternative to platinum and white gold, palladium rings have only recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.
To find out more about this amazing metal and palladium rings, including pros and cons and how palladium compares to platinum, read on - And if you have any questions about palladium wedding rings which are not answered here, just use the handy comment box at the end of this page to send in your questions!
What Exactly is Palladium?
Palladium is a chemical element, classified as a transitional metal on the periodic table. Along with platinum, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, and osmium, it is one of the six members of the platinum group metals.
Palladium is a rare precious metal, treasured for its brilliant silver-white surface that can be polished to a high mirror-like shine.
Pros of Palladium Wedding Rings
Palladium wedding rings are extremely durable and resistant to tarnishing, extreme heat, and exposure to many types of chemicals. The strength of palladium makes it a preferred metal, along with platinum, for use in ring settings
Palladium is one of the lighter metals used to make wedding rings, and it is almost half the weight of platinum. Because palladium is so light, palladium wedding rings are an extremely affordable alternative to platinum and 18k gold rings.
Palladium wedding rings are hypoallergenic.
- unlike white gold - requires no rhodium plate at all. The beautiful
color of palladium wedding rings can be maintained soley through
cleaning - and occasionally buffing - the rings. The bright white sheen of palladium is highly complimentary to high grade diamonds and colorful gemstones too.
Cons of Palladium Wedding Rings
It can cost a lot to repair or resize palladium wedding rings (it is a common misconception that palladium rings cannot be resized, but they usually can depending on the styles of the rings).
is a somewhat challenging metal to work with, and styles in palladium
wedding bands, and in particularly palladium engagement rings, can be limited. (Although, because palladium is highly malleable, jewelry artisans experienced with this noble metal enjoy working it into a number of stunning designs including filigree and handcarved styles).
There is a huge environmental cost to palladium mining and processing. This is one reason why we recommend hand crafted eco-friendly palladium rings by our sponsors Brilliant Earth and Gemvara!
Palladium Wedding Rings Compared to Platinum Wedding Rings
How does palladium compare to platinum? The differences between rings made with palladium vs. platinum will depend on the types of alloys used to create the rings, but here is a comparison between the most common palladium and platinum alloys.
Both palladium and platinum are hypoallergenic metals which have a high resistance to tarnish. The two metals also rate somewhat high in terms of electrical and heat conducviity - although silver is a much higher conductor of heat and electricity than either palladium or platinum.
The main differences between palladium and platinum rings include differences in cost, resistance to scratching and weight. The table belows shows how these two metals compare in terms of weight, cost and resistance to scratching shown by the HV value also known as the Vicker's Hardness value.
Palladium alloys are almost half the weight of platinum alloys - and this difference in weight is quite noticeable in even wedding rings. Palladium engagement rings and wedding bands will feel quite light compared to their heavier platinum counterparts.
Palladium is also somewhat less durable than platinum. While palladium has a pretty decent resistant to scratching, platinum has a bit of an edge over palladium when it comes to surface scratching.
Palladium can also be a little more brittle than platinum, and so under extreme pressure (very extreme pressure!) a palladium band could break or crack whereas a platinum band would be more likely to bend.
Even though palladium is slightly less durable than platinum, both platinum and palladium wear very well with time - and will hold up much better to wear and tear than gold or silver wedding bands.
Palladium is also much more affordable than platinum - although its affordability may change in the future. For now though, couples looking for affordable engagement rings made with durable and quality precious metals may find the perfect match in palladium engagement rings.
Platinum and palladium also look different. Palladium has a very bright, white and highly reflective sheen - and some palladium rings look even whiter than silver. Platinum on the other hand gleams with soft metallic-like gray tones.
Palladium Grades Used to Make Wedding Bands
Palladium must be alloyed (mixed) with another metal to increase it's hardness in order to be strong enough to work with. The two most common metals that are alloyed with palladium are ruthenium and copper.
Most palladium wedding bands are crafted with PD950 grade palladium. This means that the ring is 95% palladium by weight.
In the United States, palladium wedding bands are usually alloyed with ruthenium. These rings may be named 100% precious because both of the metals are from the platinum group.
Palladium wedding rings created outside of the United
States are often alloyed with copper. These rings cannot be named 100%
Shopping Tips for Palladium Wedding Bands
The seller should be up front with you about the grade of the wedding band, and what type of alloy metal, is used in their palladium rings.
Some people prefer ruthenium alloyed palladium because it is 100% precious, but copper alloyed palladium is just as strong and durable.
Palladium does not need any type of rhodium plating, so beware buyers trying to sell you rhodium plated palladium rings; chances are these rings are not palladium at all but white gold which does require rhodium plating.
The palladium ring should come with a certificate stating the grade and alloy of palladium that was used to create the ring.
As with any type of wedding ring, avoid palladium wedding bands which contain any type of plate. If you are looking for a two tone wedding ring, stick with rings which are made with inlay features only or which are crafted with two types of metals.
Questions or Comments?
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