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Dr. J

Palladium Vs. White Gold?

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I have picked out an engagement ring and am now trying to decided on which metal. I was planning on going with white gold since platinum is out of our price range. However I have been reading more and more about palladium. Does anyone have a palladium ring, and how do you like it? Also what are the recommendations?

 

I am a doctor and soon to be rancher's wife, so I will be hard on my ring. I ride horses, barrel race and rope cattle almost every day, so I want a ring that will stand up to that kind of abuse. Hopefully not scratch easily and be easy to clean. The ring is a wide band with diamonds channel set - no prongs or anything sticking up.

 

Thank you for your help.

Dr. J.

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Best wishes for your engagement and forthcoming wedding!

 

Palladium and platinum alloys should have similar hardness, which is considered more than adequate for "normal" usage - not sure if this involves roping cattle. :P

 

High nickel white gold alloys can be considerably harder, and thus more scratch resistant - however they can cause rashes in about 10% of the population, and may be hard to find.

 

In terms of cleaning, it will depend more on design than the material - all precious metals are fairly insensitive to ordinary cleaning agents and methods. For easy domestic cleaning make sure that the band is pierced through, so that the stones' pavillions are accessible - otherwise gunk may get stuck in under the stone and become difficult to remove.

 

As an alternative - could you perhaps consider a "working" ring in something like tungsten carbide? That would be extremely wear resistant.

 

For example, http://www.titanium-jewelry.com/tr-2127wc-d.html is a channel-set band in tungsten carbide with white gold inlay - this is supposedly man's ring style, but I'm sure there are thinner ones.

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HI Dr J,

Congrats on your engagement!

 

IN terms of the ring you've picked out...where did you see it? If it's possible to use smaller diamonds, to get platinum, that might be worth it.

 

We have not used palladium- because the experts at our factory have advised me it's simply not a viable choice for the type of rings we make- and I believe the ring you describe would be in that group.

 

There's also the desirability over the long term- where gold, and platinum have proved to stand the test of time. A lot of those in the trade feel that palladium is rather a "flash in the pan".

That does not mean you should not buy it, but only our experience.

I'd be interested in other's experiences that have bought it.

 

In terms of metals' properties, gold is "harder"- but that's not necessarily a good thing.

When a metal is harder, it is also more brittle.

If we're considering 10, 14 or 18karat gold, it's not really an issue- but it also means that platinum's superiority is really unchallenged.

 

If the choice is palladium of white gold, I'd advise going with gold

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I just had another thought - the price of platinum has more than halved in six months, and it is now about as expensive as gold in pure metal form. While platinum will continue being more expensive because of the manufacturing processes, perhaps the differential now is not as high as it used to be?

Edited by davidelevi

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I have picked out an engagement ring and am now trying to decided on which metal. I was planning on going with white gold since platinum is out of our price range. However I have been reading more and more about palladium. Does anyone have a palladium ring, and how do you like it? Also what are the recommendations?

 

I am a doctor and soon to be rancher's wife, so I will be hard on my ring. I ride horses, barrel race and rope cattle almost every day, so I want a ring that will stand up to that kind of abuse. Hopefully not scratch easily and be easy to clean. The ring is a wide band with diamonds channel set - no prongs or anything sticking up.

 

Thank you for your help.

Dr. J.

 

I have a 3 carat radiant cut simulant bezel set in palladium. I do construction for a living and my ring still looks great. I even use my ring as a bottle opener. The palladium has held up great for me. Just my $.02

cheers.....

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I have always loved gold, and platinum, so I've never felt the need to explore paladium.

I just spoke with our factory about specifics.

1) Palladium is almost the same price as 14kt white gold

2) Paladium has virtually no scrap value, as opposed to white gold, which does

3) white gold looks better than paladium

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To follow up David, I have made a lot of rings in palladium.. But only at the insistence of the client.. I don't care for it as a jewelry metal and feel that it is simply a "fad" just like the previous two times it appeared (during WWII and again in the 1970s oil crisis) with gold/platinum prices were climbing.. Now with platinum sitting right at the same price as gold, why work with 'stop gap' metals that only serve to reach a price point rather than art??

Edited by Feydakin

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Hey there Dr J. -

My wife and I both have platinum rings, but not after doing a hefty amount of research on what precious metal is best out of the several top choices out there. I was in the same kind of boat that you are in, looking at other precious metal options for our rings.. but I ended up splurging on platinum. It's worth every penny - and you can simply pay it off over time if you're really worried about the cost.

 

I preach the virtues of platinum, esp. for your circumstance because it has the surface strength of palladium and gold, but its ability to be restored surpasses either of those materials. So while all of the aforementioned metals are about equal in durability and strength, you should invest in something that can be restored after the great deal of wear and tear that you will be putting your rings through.

 

Palladium and gold cannot be restored as easily/well as platinum can. That alone, given your situation, should be the deal-breaker. I'm quite active myself - lots of hiking, working outdoors, and recently doing home renovations... I couldn't imagine the frustration of having to worry about doing those things because of possibly scuffing up my ring.

 

You and your wife will be wearing your rings for the rest of your lives. That's a long time, buddy! It's worth the investment!

 

If you want, take a look at this chart that I came across when doing my own wedding ring research.

choosing_chart.jpg

 

Also, if I have persuaded you to go the same route I did, and get platinum.. take a look at Engagement Guide.com

 

I really liked doing my shopping and research online b/c it allowed me to escape the pesky sales associates at jewelry stores. It's worth at least taking a look at. Would love to hear from you when you decide what you're going to go with!

 

All the best of luck,

 

Rich

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Can you elaborate on what it means to "restore" a platinum ring, and what the differences would be compared to restoring a gold ring? By that I mean, what kind of wear or damage is repaired when a ring is "restored," who would perform this restoration, and by what method is it restored? Does this simply mean that it's easier to polish back to an original look than other metals, or is there some other process applied that does something else to "restore" the metal?

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Hi All!

Rich- you obviously did some valuable research, but there are some points I disagree with.

1) Considering "restoration possibilities" is quite misleading.

A gold ring can be restored to look brand new.

Platinum does wear better- in other words: if we are comparing two rings of the same style- one 14 ( or 18)kt gold, the other platinum- and these rings are worn for many years, the platinum will show a lot less wear- but the gold one could be restored, no problem.

 

2) I would never suggest folks buy a piece of jewelry they can't afford, and pay it off over time.

That's just a personal thing- but it's important to me.

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One thing to know (and I am surprised so many jewelers leave this out . . . ) platinum AND palladium are softer than 14k white gold. Therefore they WILL scratch easier and develop what is often called a patina, or thousands of ity bitty scratches. It kind of gives the ring a dull, antique look. I personally prefer 14k white gold because it is harder and in my opinion and experience stays shinnier longer. Yes, it has to be rhodium plated, but then again, a platinum ring needs to be repolished to look new too. All metals require some maintenance to stay looking new. But I would guess most jewelers would charge less to rhodium plate than to repolish a platinum ring given the time consuming nature of polishing platinum.

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I am a doctor and soon to be rancher's wife, so I will be hard on my ring. I ride horses, barrel race and rope cattle almost every day, so I want a ring that will stand up to that kind of abuse.

 

I wouldn't wear any jewelry doing these types of activities.

 

It's like saying, which car will look good after I drive it through the mud and run it though the woods? Which one will hold up best to branch scratches.

 

Precious metals and gemstones are not made to be worn in these instances if you want it to keep looking beautiful.

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Dr. J,

 

Did you ever decide on palladium vs white gold? I am looking myself, and I am trying to make the same decision. Do you know the price differences in these metals?

 

Thanks,

 

tod01

 

I have picked out an engagement ring and am now trying to decided on which metal. I was planning on going with white gold since platinum is out of our price range. However I have been reading more and more about palladium. Does anyone have a palladium ring, and how do you like it? Also what are the recommendations?

 

I am a doctor and soon to be rancher's wife, so I will be hard on my ring. I ride horses, barrel race and rope cattle almost every day, so I want a ring that will stand up to that kind of abuse. Hopefully not scratch easily and be easy to clean. The ring is a wide band with diamonds channel set - no prongs or anything sticking up.

 

Thank you for your help.

Dr. J.

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There are sites you can go to to check the current market prices on precious metals, and I would imagine that since Palladium has been in common usage for jewelry for a couple years, you might be able to get a market price on that.

 

I'm sure you've read through the thread, but here's my add'l 2 c on it:

 

Palladium is lighter--about 1/3 as light as Platinum but in the same family. It is however, softer, but hardens more, like Platinum, with some wear. White gold is alloyed to be white, which is really more a dingy white, which is why it is routinely plated with Rhodium, which is also in the platinum family, to make it whiter. The Rhodium will wear and need to be polished and reapplied. Platinum and Palladium both scratch easily, which means that it'll lose the shiny white look and start to take on a steely-grey look, which some people prefer. I like it b/c it has a bit of an antique-y look to it-but if you want it shiny, you just have it polished. Palladium being lighter tends to price close to gold. It's really a matter of personal preference. I would, however, reccommend AGAINST tungsten or titanium as they can't be sized or cut, should it need to be removed b/c of damage or injury, since you've implied that you'll be doing considerable hard work with your hands, and that can be dangerous!

 

Good luck!

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Um - Laurie - titanium can be cut. It's no harder than steel; just a lot lighter. Sizing and resoldering (or properly welding) is also possible, but it requires a lot of skill and special equipment.

 

Tungsten carbide is a different matter; it has to be cracked, and it ain't easy. Resizing is totally impossible. On the other hand (quite literally) a friend's fingers were saved by a tungsten carbide ring when some "'~@! closed a safe door with her hand still on the edge of the safe. Not much damage to the ring, either.

Edited by davidelevi

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I've always been advised about titanium NOT being able to be cut--like in an ER--that they've got tools for cutting silver/gold/platinum, but that those tools cannot cut titanium. And sizing means machining, so yes it can be done, but practically, not so much.

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I'm afraid you have been advised wrongly. Titanium alloys are broadly comparable in mechanical characteristics to high performance steel alloys, except for weight. Much stronger than silver, gold and platinum, but easily within the ability of a corundum disc saw to cut. Otherwise, they should have provided the same advice about steel. See http://www.matweb.com for properties of some steel and titanium alloys.

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I have picked out an engagement ring and am now trying to decided on which metal. I was planning on going with white gold since platinum is out of our price range. However I have been reading more and more about palladium. Does anyone have a palladium ring, and how do you like it? Also what are the recommendations?

 

I am a doctor and soon to be rancher's wife, so I will be hard on my ring. I ride horses, barrel race and rope cattle almost every day, so I want a ring that will stand up to that kind of abuse. Hopefully not scratch easily and be easy to clean. The ring is a wide band with diamonds channel set - no prongs or anything sticking up.

 

Thank you for your help.

Dr. J.

 

 

We've been selling palladium for quite a while and our clients love it.

Now as far as standing up to roping cattle and barrel racing and never taking off your jewelry. I would say go with tungsten. :)

 

No precious metals can take it. They all get scratches. I don't remember the other queens using their jewels in that manner. :) They saved all the hard labor for the slaves.

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We're not a big fan of palladium because of its lightweight and tendency to run grayish-white in coloration.

 

Stick with gold or platinum.

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White gold is more widely serviceable than platinum, meaning that more jewellers are able to resize and repair white gold jewellery. In addition to this, platinum’s higher melting temperature pose a risk to gemstones  and diamonds that may get burnt when repairing platinum jewellery. However, modern tools such as laser welders and an experienced platinum jeweller eliminate these problems.

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I would suggest starting your own thread, rather than posting apparently at random on an old, unrelated topic

 

Also, giving us more details would help. "3 carat diamond" covers stones in all shapes, colours, clarities and whatever else, costing from over $300k to well under $10k...

Edited by davidelevi

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