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What is Palladium? - in the goldsmith industry

Discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, palladium is becoming increasingly popular within the jewellery industry. This chemical element is a rare, natural, lustrous silver-white metal and does not need to be plated. As palladium is a part of the platinum group of metals, it shares many of the same chemical properties as platinum, one of them being they are both naturally hypoallergenic materials. It is a hard-wearing metal and does not tarnish. However unlike platinum it is softer and a more dense material, similarly to gold it can be beaten to become extremely thin which can allow bigger and more bold jewellery designs. Palladium is an affordable metal and a great substitute for white gold and platinum, it is a sophisticated material and in its own right a more elegant one. As time goes on palladium is becoming more popular for wedding bands and engagement rings.

Since 1939 palladium has been used in fine jewellery as an alternative for platinum. From 1st January 2010 it became a legal requirement for palladium to be hallmarked at an assay office that is if it weight over one gram. Whether it is 950 or 500 the assay office certify the standard of palladium used.

Although the metal itself isn’t new, working with it in an effective way in jewellery is the result of advanced development. Palladium can now be cast, due to modern technology leaving room for us to create new bespoke ideas. 950 Palladium works best for jewellery and is tactile enough for craftsmen and jewellers to create with.

It is a common assumption to think that all palladium rings cannot be resized, this is false as it depends on the style you wish to go for. Before choosing palladium for your choice of metal remember that it is becoming increasingly influential, not all jewellers are experienced in working with palladium. We at Dytham Jewellery Designers have been handcrafting with this metal for a number of years.

Advice from us would be to clean palladium yearly by a professional just like you would clean other fine jewellery.

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