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Platinum v's Palladium


forchid
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Myself and my boyfriend are getting engaged soon and I have been doing a bit of investigation into the type of ring I want to get.

 

I have visited a local very well respected store here in Ireland and saw a cathedral style platinum engagement ring with 12 channel set round brilliant cut diamonds and the middle stone was .70 carats, the cut was VS1 and the colour was H. The price for this ring was $9150. When I priced a ring with exactly these specifications on the web at Mondera and Union Diamond sites their prices came in around $3400 which as you can see is a considerable difference. Then when I priced this ring in palladium the price dropped to $2400.

 

So the two questions I have to ask are firstly is it safe and advisable to buy from sites such as this and secondly what are the real differences between platinum and palladium.

 

Thanks in advance for you help!

Forchid

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Platinum and Palladium are both in the platinum family of metals..

 

Platinum is significantly more dense and heavier that palladium but palladium resists scratching a but more than platinum does.. There is also a significant difference in price between the metals..

 

Right now platinum is selling for $1142/oz and palladium is selling for $318/oz..

 

As for websites being safe to buy from, for the most part, they are.. Stores need to charge more and generally offer more personal services than a website can so it does come down to a preference call on your part as to whether the perks from buying locally outweigh the cost difference..

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Like anything else, it's supply and demand.. There really isn't very much platinum available and it's used for all sorts of things.. One report I saw stated that the largest gold mining operation mined more gold from on mine than the entire global production of platinum..

 

My guess is that as palladium finds more roles in jewelry the price will climb..

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Palladium hasn't very popular in jewelry for several reasons. It doesn’t take an especially good polish, it tarnishes with time, it's not particularly strong and it’s difficult to buy parts and supplies like solder, clasps, heads and the like. There was a brief window of popularity during WWII when platinum wasn’t available for military reasons but it’s pretty much been replaced by platinum and white gold in the last 50 years. With the sky high prices of platinum, it’s starting to reappear, first in the industrial market for things like catalytic converters and now for jewelry. I even see it being sold at mainline dealers like JC Penny’s and Walmart.

 

Personally, I recommend sticking with white gold if you don’t want to spring for the price of platinum. It’s about the same price as palladium and it’s a better material. Interestingly enough, the best white gold recipes use palladium in the metal mix. As Steve points out, it may become popular, which will cause the manufacturers to start producing solders and supplies to work with it and more jewelers will start to use it in their shops. I’m not expecting big things but you never know. I never thought Moissonite would be a hit either.

 

Neil

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Palladium is starting to get some positive PR and one benefit it has over white gold is that it will not yellow with age and need constant rhodium plating to maintain it's "whiteness". It is lightweight compared to Plat and therefore is probably more suitable for earings for some women compared to Plat.

 

Palladium does have a powerful Industry supporter pushing it such as Scott Kay but powerhouse Stuller Findings, a DeBeers Sightholder, is still sitting back and taking

a "wait and see approach".

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