The New Market for Palladium Jewelery
The Metal of the 21st Century
One of the latest trends in fine metal jewelry is palladium jewelry, which is both beautiful and affordable. Palladium jewelry is in the same family as platinum, and also looks similar to white gold, but it has many benefits those metals can't provide. A palladium ring is hypoallergenic, unlike white gold rings, for example. A palladium ring also has benefits over a platinum one, mainly the cost. Palladium jewelry is all around a great advantage to those who are both style and budget conscious.
Palladium coming into its own
Palladium jewelry has only begun being used in large quantities recently because the material has been difficult to cast and fit. The creation of a 950-Palladium made the material much easier to use, however, so jewelry lovers should start to see more palladium jewelry in the future. Since platinum and white gold rings have become the most popular choices for wedding jewelry, it is expected that palladium wedding rings should become more and more popular in the future. This is because a palladium ring has the same characteristics as platinum and white gold rings, such as purity, luster and light color.
The benefits of Palladium
One of the other benefits of palladium jewelry is its lightness in comparison to platinum; in fact, it's 40 percent lighter. Palladium wedding rings with large stone settings still won't feel too heavy on the hand for this reason. Palladium jewelry also has a much lighter price than platinum. People often turn to sterling silver and white gold rings because they are cheaper than platinum but still similar in appearance, and palladium should start to take a larger role in this market. White gold rings, however, are manufactured using alloys containing nickel, and up to 10 percent of the population is allergic to nickel. A palladium ring, on the other hand, (or either hand!) is hypoallergenic.
Palladium wedding rings are also more beneficial than white gold rings, because they are harder, more durable and less likely to tarnish. Jewelers like to use a harder metal in a ring setting to combat this, but with a palladium ring the entire jewelry piece can be made with the same metal. The consistent look and feel of palladium wedding rings results in a more beautiful and long lasting product when compared to white gold.
Palladium is coming
Refiners are working to provide 950-Palladium jewelry to manufacturers and designers, and retailers are getting the word out about the product. Palladium jewelry should find a larger market once the word gets out about its lower price and platinum characteristics. The demand for palladium jewelry will decide how quickly it is integrated into designer's product lines and catalogs. Palladium wedding rings and other jewelry will likely be used in the same categories as platinum and white gold.
The only significant difference with palladium jewelry is that it's cheaper than platinum, and more durable and hypoallergenic that white gold rings. There's no good reason why palladium shouldn't continue to grow in popularity and availability in the future.
Sources of palladium production are quite limited. More than 80% of world palladium production is concentrated in just two countries: the Russian Federation and South Africa. The Russian Federation alone accounts for nearly half of total palladium supply.
Outside of Russia, the other significant producing area is the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, where Platinum Group Metals are mined as primary products. Palladium is also mined in smaller deposits in United States and Canada. Mining companies in South Africa and North America are developing expansion plans which will lead to future increases in palladium production.