In 1803, William Hyde Wollaston discovered palladium in South America. This discovery prompted him to name it after the asteroid, Pallas, which had only been discovered a couple years prior. Incidentally, the metal has close ties to Greek mythology since Athena accidentally killed the nymph, Pallas, and later usurped her name. Though, when thinking of palladium, do not link it to goddess’ war victories. After all, when choosing palladium for your wedding jewelry and accessories, pull from the goddess’ wisdom and rationality, instead.
As its name might give away, palladium is part of the platinum group metals (PGMs). It shares many qualities with platinum, ruthenium and iridium, to name a few, although palladium is the least dense of its PGMs cousins, with the lowest melting point as well. It is malleable and also softer than white gold. In its raw state, palladium tends to be warmer, brighter and whiter than platinum but very difficult for non-professionals to tell the two apart. Though it is found in different parts of the world, e.g. South America, South Africa, the U.S. and Russia, it is a very rare and highly coveted metal.
While the metal had many practical uses it was only in 1939 that jewelers realized its luxurious aesthetic qualities. Since then 950 palladium alloys is standard in jewelry making. Other benefits of the metal include how lightweight it is, which is conducive to highly intricate and complex designs, it is very easy to add gemstones and other accessories and it has a brilliant shimmer. It is also far less expensive than platinum. Above are just a few beautiful examples of palladium’s versatility in some exquisite pieces of designer jewelry.
As recently as 2005, according to The Ganoskin Project: Jewelry Manufacturing Methods and Techniques, the purchase of palladium rose to 54% across the world. In response to the high demand, Palladium Alliance International (PAI) was born. This international alliance will raise the profile of palladium as the luxurious, precious and distinctive metal of the future. With PAI by its side, palladium will be the new symbol of love, promise, individuality and sophistication.
If you are a bride that wants to stay infinitely modern, without paying the infinite price tag, consider palladium and let Athena’s goddess wisdom be your guide.