Following an extensive period of development and testing we are delighted to be able to announce the introduction of a service to produce castings in 950 Palladium. If you are unfamiliar with Palladium we hope that the information set out below will help you to make the most of a very exciting opportunity for UK jewellery manufacturers.
Palladium was discovered in 1803 and is a member of the platinum group of metals (PGM's) which includes Platinum, Palladium, Ruthenium, Rhodium and Iridium. It has long been used for jewellery manufacture and was very popular in the first half of the 20th century. More recently Palladium has been used as a whitening agent in white gold alloys particularly since the introduction of the European Nickel Directive. Over the last few years Palladium jewellery has seen a resurgence especially in the USA.
Like Platinum, the standard alloy for Palladium jewellery is 950 and so can be marketed as '95% pure'. Palladium is very white, it easily falls into the 'Grade 1' category of the index developed to measure the whiteness of white gold alloys. Because of this is does not need Rhodium plating. The metal has the same tarnish resistance as Platinum, it is malleable and durable and can be polished to a high finish.
Two of the great advantages of Palladium are it's density and price. A ring cast in Palladium will weigh roughly 53% as much as the same piece cast in Platinum. At the time of writing, the price of Palladium was approximately 25% the price of Platinum.
Hallmarking of Palladium was introduced on a voluntary basis from 22nd July 2009. From 1st January 2010 the hallmarking of Palladium will become compulsory.