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Thread: Platinum Vs. Palladium

  1. #1

    Platinum Vs. Palladium

    11 years ago I was in the market for wedding rings. Platinum was the metal of choice back then and my wife insisted on having a diamond band set in platinum to match her engagement ring. As ever, things turned out to be a bit dearer than I anticipated so our local jeweller who was making our rings suggested using Palladium for my ring as a cheaper alternative to platinum. Back then Palladium was the poor mans Platinum.

    But over the last decade, and more recently Palladium's value has risen to be worth more the Platinum and Gold. So as it stands it seems that now Platinum is the budget Palladium, with manufacturers like Rolex using Platinum on higher end pieces will any brands now switch to the more valuable metal?

    Palladium Yacthmaster anyone?

  2. #2
    It is supply vs demand. Most of it is used in auto industry to control pollution.

  3. #3
    Some brands have been using it for a while. I remember trying a palladium Ulysse Nardin several years ago and I think Cartier have dabbled.

  4. #4
    Grand Master
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    Even taking account of precious metal prices, the contribution towards the total cost of a watch is still fairly low as a percentage.

    Palladium has always been expensive, but fortunately it can be reclaimed and recycled effectively. It’s been used as a catalyst in chemical processing (hydrogenation) for many years, and since the early 90s in vehicle catalytic converters.

    When choosing rings I would always opt for platinum instead of white gold or palladium.

  5. #5
    I think there was an interesting post about this relatively recently. If I recall correctly the comment at the time was that the 'same' ring in both metals will weigh more in platinum, and despite being lower value per oz., because it weighs more, the one in platinum will cost more?

  6. #6
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Saturday Night at the Platinum - hasn’t the same ‘ring’

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    I think there was an interesting post about this relatively recently. If I recall correctly the comment at the time was that the 'same' ring in both metals will weigh more in platinum, and despite being lower value per oz., because it weighs more, the one in platinum will cost more?
    Palladium is probably more comfortable too - I have a platinum wedding ring from my happy day around somewhere.
    It's just a matter of time...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Saturday Night at the Platinum - hasn’t the same ‘ring’
    I like the cut of your jib, young fella me lad.

  9. #9
    Grand Master
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    Platinum has a much higher density than palladium (21.4 vs 12.0) so for a similar size of ring you’re buying significantly more metal. Didn’t know that, I assumed they’d be similar.

  10. #10
    Master
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    This is unscientific, but a friend had a palladium wedding ring made and incredibly quickly it went from shiny to dull and scratched. I think at the time he had a fairly active job and would have been using tools, so he might have destroyed other metals equally quickly, but it made me think twice about it.

    Much more interesting are some super hard, and presumably more scratch proof new alloys. For instance, one made by combining titanium and gold, resulting in something four times harder than titanium. That sound ideal for a watch, and might be an interesting pale gold colour too.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36855705

    However that presumably also means harder to work, so I guess it's no surprise if manufacturers continue with what they know, using the tools they already have that are designed for the job.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    This is unscientific, but a friend had a palladium wedding ring made and incredibly quickly it went from shiny to dull and scratched. I think at the time he had a fairly active job and would have been using tools, so he might have destroyed other metals equally quickly, but it made me think twice about it.

    Much more interesting are some super hard, and presumably more scratch proof new alloys. For instance, one made by combining titanium and gold, resulting in something four times harder than titanium. That sound ideal for a watch, and might be an interesting pale gold colour too.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36855705

    However that presumably also means harder to work, so I guess it's no surprise if manufacturers continue with what they know, using the tools they already have that are designed for the job.
    Palladium is harder than platinum and gold so yes they may well have scratched too. Could be how the scratches look to the eye.

    Tungsten carbide rings are available and pretty much scratch proof.
    Last edited by Kingstepper; 21st October 2019 at 18:00.

  12. #12
    Goes to check on rhodium collection...

  13. #13
    Master
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    My brother in law had a fiancé who insisted she was allergic to gold(!!!) and had to have a platinum ring. He fell for it too!

  14. #14
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post

    Tungsten carbide rings are available and pretty much scratch proof.
    My wedding ring is tungsten carbide - as new 6 years in.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  15. #15
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK View Post
    My wedding ring is tungsten carbide - as new 6 years in.
    I can think of a rude comment - but will keep it to myself as this is a public forum!

  16. #16
    Craftsman hoopsontoast's Avatar
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    We got married last year, and my wife wanted Platinium as she already had a Platinium Engagement ring, something to do with different materials reacting. For mine I went with Palladium as it was around half the price per gram IIRC, if not half the price certainly a lot cheaper.

    We made ours ourselves (a 2-day course) which was great fun!

  17. #17
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanm_3 View Post
    My brother in law had a fiancé who insisted she was allergic to gold(!!!) and had to have a platinum ring. He fell for it too!
    Funnily enough some people are allergic to ‘gold’ - obviously it’s not the gold itself but other metals that make up the alloy, particularly in lower caratage jewellery. If you think about it, 10ct gold is actually composed of 58% of other metals. Plenty of them can cause adverse reactions on skin.

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