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Choosing Palladium Wedding Rings
What is Palladium?
Palladium is a metal which is naturally white in color. It is of the same groups of metals as rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, osmium and platinum. They are known as the platinum group metals (PGM), although palladium is the least dense and has the lowest melting point.
With the chemical symbol Pd and atomic number of 46, palladium makes a good alternative material to use for rings.
It has a natural color with no need for bleaching, is harder than white gold and cheaper than platinum. A perfect base for a wedding ring.
A Very Brief History...
Palladium was first discovered in July 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. In August 1803 he named the discovery palladium, after the asteroid Pallas.
Naturally Occurring Metals
Usually, wedding rings are made of precious metals, although other materials can be incorporated (such as wood).
Examples of metals used for rings:
- Yellow gold
Yellow gold is a traditional choice for wedding rings and tends to be available in 9ct, 14ct and 18ct alloys. The harder the gold depends on the alloy formed. There are other alloys in the metal which change the appearance and property. The percentage of gold in the piece of jewelry are verified by the hallmark.
- Rose gold
This is an alternative to the yellow gold. It has the same amount of gold, but is a pinkish color due to added copper to change the pigment.
- White gold
White gold is gold plated with rhodium, a white metal. This gives it a silver (white) appearance.
Silver is a softer metal and a less popular choice for rings.
Platinum is a hard wearing, rare metal which is long lasting.
Titanium is hard and resistant. It is a darker metal making it look grey in color rather than white.
If you like the appearance of a white metal over gold and want to go for a natural metal over man made, you have the choices of:
- White gold
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The Disadvantages of Silver
Silver is probably not the best choice of material for a wedding ring, which is supposed to last you a lifetime.
Silver is soft and durable, and although is the most affordable choice, it is cheap, which means it won't keep it's shape.
When you are wearing your wedding band day after day, you need something to rely on and will look good year after year.
Silver also tarnishes over time, darkening the exterior. Harsh elements and being by the coast can take it's toll on your silver ring. Keeping it polished regularly will bring back the shine.
The Disadvantages of White Gold
In some white gold alloys nickel is found, which some people are allergic to.
White gold is less rare than metals such as platinum and palladium and not as strong. This doesn't make a great base for setting diamonds, if you want a ring with stones.
As white gold is not the strongest metal, it is prone to being worn down over time. It also becomes duller in appearance.
The Disadvantages of Platinum
With platinum being three times stronger than gold, naturally brighter, heavier and beautiful in appearance, it is difficult to find any faults in choosing a platinum wedding ring.
However, because of this rare durable substance, there comes a price. A platinum ring tends to be about $800 more than white gold.
It also may be stronger than white gold and won't wear out, but it can still bend and scratch easier.
So, Why Palladium?
Palladium is a precious metal, naturally white in color. It is 95% pure, and does not contain nickel (a white metal alloy). There is also no need to plate it in rhodium, which is used on white gold to give a platinum look.
Palladium will stay white forever and because it is natural, it is hypoallergenic and therefore suitable for all skin types.
Palladium is durable and hard wearing and also tarnish proof, unlike white gold, which is soft and will fade in color.
30 times rarer than gold and cheaper than platinum, palladium is the perfect choice. It can support intricate designs and stones and can also be alloyed with other metals for a different look.
It is resistant to corrosion and is 12% harder than platinum. It is whiter than white, light and naturally beautiful.
Everything and more you want in your wedding ring.