Palladium vs. Platinum vs. White Gold - Which One?

Est. Reading: 3 minutes
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April 20, 2023
Table of Contents

What is Palladium?

Palladium is nothing new and has been around for hundreds of years. William Hyde Wollaston discovered palladium in 1803 and named it after the asteroid Pallas. It is a rare silvery-white metal that belongs to the platinum group of metals - which include rhodium, iridium, and platinum. It is becoming increasingly popular for its use in jewellery, especially engagement rings, due to its durability, and look.

Palladium in Jewellery

a platinum ring, palladium ring, and white gold ring next to each other

Palladium has become a popular alternative to white gold and platinum jewellery due its lighter weight, strength and similar silvery sheen. It is also a naturally occurring and hypoallergenic, meaning it is great for persons who are sensitive to other types of metals. Its lightweight feel makes it an excellent choice for those who are not used to wearing jewellery and, unlike white gold, palladium will not tarnish over time.

It is becoming one of the most popular metals used for wedding jewellery – especially in engagement and wedding rings. Its popularity could be thanks to the fact that it is purer than white gold and far more durable. What this means is that a palladium ring requires less maintenance. For example, white gold is rhodium plated and after time can develop a yellow tinge. Palladium does not develop any tinge; in fact, it develops a patina that gives it a beautiful matte finish.

The patina is formed when a palladium ring is scratched. The metal moves from one part to another, it is not permanent, and it can be polished back. This is seen as an advantage over white gold because white gold loses its metal when scratched and must be re-plated to get back its original shine.

Palladium vs. Platinum

Palladium belongs to the same group of metals as platinum, but it is rarer and only found in a few mines around the world, with up to 80% of it being mined in South Africa and Russia. It is one of the lightest or least dense metals of the platinum group and about 10% more scratch resistant than platinum – making it an excellent choice for those who want a durable and light piece of jewellery. Pricewise, as of 20 September 2022, palladium costs just over twice that of platinum per ounce - €2172 vs €925.

Palladium vs. White Gold

White gold is not naturally silvery-white in colour and must be alloyed with other metals such as manganese, nickel, rhodium, and even palladium. The disadvantage is that over time it can fade and white gold needs to be re-plated to retain or restore its colour. This is because white gold thins and losses its metal when scratched, and especially when scratches are being buffed out. On the other hand, palladium is a naturally occurring white metal making it purer than white gold. It does not fade and will not need to be re-plated, best of all, it does not loose metal when scratched or being buffed. Pricewise, palladium is valued higher than gold. As of 20 September 2021, gold costs €1670 per ounce and palladium costs €2172 per ounce.

Conclusion

Palladium is an excellent metal for those who love white or silver coloured jewellery. It is durable, lighter, and simply looks fantastic.

Come by our store on 5 Mary Street, Dublin City Centre, where we will be more than happy to explain the pros and cons of palladium as well as demonstrate the differences in colour and feel using real pieces of jewellery.

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