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Palladium or Platinum for a three-stone ring?

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luthergirl

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I am having a custom three-stone ring made by a local jeweler and need to make a decision on the metal in the next few days. It is a round expert selection stone from whiteflash with side trapezoid diamonds. Not an overly complicated design, but some metalwork.

I am really torn right now between platinum and palladium and am looking for some opinions. I like the heft of platinum, but I like (from what I have read) that palladium shows less scratching. Overall, I just want a ring that is going to stand the test of time and one that I do not need to worry a ton about. Is one stronger?...will one hold the diamonds more securely?...Is platinum really better or just more well known? If it was your ring what would you do?

I am planning on having a plain metal band for my wedding band and I think it makes most sense to have both the e-ring and wedding band in the same metal.

Any help or knowledge is appreciated.

Thanks for reading!
 

luthergirl

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Thanks so much Garry! I appreciate your insights on the color and what I''d like a year from now.

The total cost difference between the two metals is about $750, so it is isn''t tiny--but not my determining factor as I want to think long-term.
 

MeddlingKids

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I wouldn''t necessarily say that the color is going to be much different between Palladium and Platinum. Several researchers have said Palladium will actually keep it''s bright color longer than Platinum will. I am currently wrestling with the same decision. However, the $1000 price difference between the two (along with my girlfriend''s preference for a lighter setting) may push me toward Palladium.
 

JohnQuixote

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Date: 2/7/2007 1:09:44 PM
Author: MeddlingKids
I wouldn't necessarily say that the color is going to be much different between Palladium and Platinum. Several researchers have said Palladium will actually keep it's bright color longer than Platinum will. I am currently wrestling with the same decision. However, the $1000 price difference between the two (along with my girlfriend's preference for a lighter setting) may push me toward Palladium.
When you say Palladium are you talking about 950 Palladium (95% Palladium) or 18K Palladium WG (75% Palladium alloyed with 25% Gold)? If it's palladium wg it will be more scratch-resistant but unplated it will be darker than the 950 platinum alloys and/or Palladium 950. Some manufacturers choose to rhodium-plate their palladium wg (like the more common nickel wg) for this reason. Here's an article with a photo of unplated palladium wg next to a ring that's rhodium plated:

http://journal.pricescope.com/Articles/47/1/An-Overview-Of-Common-Alloys-Used-In-Jewelry.aspx

If they are talking about Palladium 950 it's usually alloyed with ruthenium and will appear as white at Pt950/Ru.
 

Adylon

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Hey John when you put 25% gold in that other thread I thought it was a typo and you meant to say 75% gold 25% palladium. If it is 75% palladium and 25% gold that should make a much better blend for whiteness. I''ve never seen any 18K gold alloy (white, pink, etc.) that didn''t look yellowish to me so I have always been skeptical of "18K Palladium WG" because I always thought it was mostly gold. But if it''s mostly PD that''s a different story. I think you guys should call it 750PD250AU or something instead of "18K Palladium White Gold", it''s very confusing :) I''ll have to look into that blend and play around with it.

Thanks.
 

MeddlingKids

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Hi John,

Sorry, I was referring to Palladium 950. So it will be as white, but not more durable than Platinum? Also, I recall hearing something about Palladium''s sensitivity to several acids. Can you ellaborate on this, if true?

Thanks
 

oldminer

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John;

Good description of an increasingly confusing topic. There is also white gold alloyed with palladium. This has the no nickel benefit along with less cost than platinum or palladium WG, good durability and less weight than platinum. I don''t know if this white gold alloyed with palladium comes only in 18kt, 14kt or both, but I know it poses some special problems for jewelers in repairs and re-sizing.
 

MeddlingKids

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Can anybody list some of the other issues with Palladium 950 when compared to its Platinum counterpart? I know this is going to sound silly, but I feel like I''m giving my girlfriend something "cheap" if I go the Palladium route.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 2/7/2007 1:50:48 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

Date: 2/7/2007 1:09:44 PM
Author: MeddlingKids
I wouldn''t necessarily say that the color is going to be much different between Palladium and Platinum. Several researchers have said Palladium will actually keep it''s bright color longer than Platinum will. I am currently wrestling with the same decision. However, the $1000 price difference between the two (along with my girlfriend''s preference for a lighter setting) may push me toward Palladium.
When you say Palladium are you talking about 950 Palladium (95% Palladium) or 18K Palladium WG (75% Palladium alloyed with 25% Gold)? If it''s palladium wg it will be more scratch-resistant but unplated it will be darker than the 950 platinum alloys and/or Palladium 950. Some manufacturers choose to rhodium-plate their palladium wg (like the more common nickel wg) for this reason. Here''s an article with a photo of unplated palladium wg next to a ring that''s rhodium plated:

http://journal.pricescope.com/Articles/47/1/An-Overview-Of-Common-Alloys-Used-In-Jewelry.aspx

If they are talking about Palladium 950 it''s usually alloyed with ruthenium and will appear as white at Pt950/Ru.
Interesting John - all the pure palladium I have seen is greyer like very good white gold after it has been worn.

I do not know what the alloys were - but Palladium was very commonly used for settings for 2 or 3 decades about 1950''s to 1970''s in Oz. So I see many well worn settings and they are no where near as nice a color as well worn Plat.
 

JohnQuixote

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Date: 2/7/2007 2:33:33 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)


Interesting John - all the pure palladium I have seen is greyer like very good white gold after it has been worn.

I do not know what the alloys were - but Palladium was very commonly used for settings for 2 or 3 decades about 1950's to 1970's in Oz. So I see many well worn settings and they are no where near as nice a color as well worn Plat.
Makes sense. Here in the states we saw a similar upsurge in palladium because during WWII platinum usage became restricted to military purposes.

It's possible the palladium you were seeing could have been <950 or a different alloy (?) There has been a lot of experimentation. Not many people we know work in 950 Palladium, though the jewelers who do swear by it (it's a stone setter's dream). Also possible the palladium you saw had a patina and needed a polish.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 2/7/2007 2:49:33 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

Date: 2/7/2007 2:33:33 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)


Interesting John - all the pure palladium I have seen is greyer like very good white gold after it has been worn.

I do not know what the alloys were - but Palladium was very commonly used for settings for 2 or 3 decades about 1950''s to 1970''s in Oz. So I see many well worn settings and they are no where near as nice a color as well worn Plat.
Makes sense. Here in the states we saw a similar upsurge in palladium because during WWII platinum usage became restricted to military purposes.

It''s possible the palladium you were seeing could have been <950 or a different alloy (?) There has been a lot of experimentation. Not many people we know work in 950 Palladium, though the jewelers who do swear by it (it''s a stone setter''s dream). Also possible the palladium you saw had a patina and needed a polish.
That is my point John - palladium does not look good after it has been worn - platinum does.
Will try to find some good old worn examples from our appraisals or repair business and take some side by side photo''s
 

JohnQuixote

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Date: 2/7/2007 2:59:21 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)



Date: 2/7/2007 2:49:33 PM
Author: JohnQuixote



Makes sense. Here in the states we saw a similar upsurge in palladium because during WWII platinum usage became restricted to military purposes.

It's possible the palladium you were seeing could have been <950 or a different alloy (?) There has been a lot of experimentation. Not many people we know work in 950 Palladium, though the jewelers who do swear by it (it's a stone setter's dream). Also possible the palladium you saw had a patina and needed a polish.
That is my point John - palladium does not look good after it has been worn - platinum does.
Will try to find some good old worn examples from our appraisals or repair business and take some side by side photo's
That would be great Garry. It might be a tall order, but a brand new 950 Pall-Ru next to a worn one of the same alloy would be helpful since that seems to be a common mix among those producing it. Here at least.
 

oldminer

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Palladium used in the WWII era turned a dullish grey color after years of use. Platinum jewelry of the traditional sort does look nicer over time when compared to the WWII alloy material. How the newest alloys of Pd fare today may prove very different. I''d sure like to know how wearing the newer Pd alloys works out over time.
 

scarlet16

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I thought I should chime in here since I think I''m one of the few people on here who chose palladium over platinum. I received my ring in April 2006 and am totally in love with the ring. I do have to say it (mine is 950 palladium) is slightly, minimally darker than platinum or rhodium dipped white gold.

Here''s a link to the ring 10 months ago. I will try and get photos of it today. Keep in mind since my ring has A LOT of detailing that may minimize the color difference.

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/i-think-im-in-love.43736/
 

Adylon

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That's a very nice ring... It has so much detail work will look darker naturally or show the color of the alloy more because not every nook and cranny is highly polished. The tumbler does a good job cleaning up all those little spots and a good jeweler can clean it up even more but it's not going to be as bright looking as if it were all high polished.

The best way to do a comparison of all the alloy colors would be to take a flat or rounded band, have them all high polished and then lightly brushed and then take a photo, that way when they're brushed you'll see all the variations in color much more. When it's polished they just pick up all the white and dark reflections, especially in a white photobooth where all the panels that reflect are giving off bright white light.
 

firebirdgold

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We custom ordered an engraved wedding band for me in Palladium. Platinum was just too expensive. I was shown a ring they had in palladium and it was a very close color match to my e-ring. In fact it looked like a better match then all the platinum bands I tried. My e-ring is an antique PT900/IR e-ring from the 1930''s.
5.gif
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Polished and brushed finishes still do not replicate the effect of lots of wearing.

There are other factors where different metals take on different textures.

Dave suggests the new alloys are improved - may be - but i doubt 5% substitution can make a huge difference other than in the brand new metals ability to take a high polish.

I still favour platinum.

But I prefer as a second best - a very low carat platinum pladium 9 karat white gold we have as a propritary product here from 1 of my suppliers. For family friends and very good clients I have used this alloy for diamond rings where there are budget problems. It costs about as much as 14k white and by its SG I would guess there is some platinum there too as it is denser than 9 nickel white
 

luthergirl

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Thank you everyone for all of your responses, it has been helpful and informative!...though I haven''t made a final decision yet! If I did use palladium, I believe it would be 950 palladium, I didn''t know they did 75% palladium and 25% white gold--Thanks John & David-- I''ll ask! Is one of these "better" to use?

Garry-I would love to see any pics that you have.

Scarlet-It would also be great to see your ring after about a year of wear.

Meddlingkids, when do you have to decide whay metal you are using?

Indie-I''d love to see pics of your band when you get it.
 

MeddlingKids

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Date: 2/7/2007 8:48:41 PM
Author: luthergirl
Thank you everyone for all of your responses, it has been helpful and informative!...though I haven''t made a final decision yet! If I did use palladium, I believe it would be 950 palladium, I didn''t know they did 75% palladium and 25% white gold--Thanks John & David-- I''ll ask! Is one of these ''better'' to use?

Garry-I would love to see any pics that you have.

Scarlet-It would also be great to see your ring after about a year of wear.

Meddlingkids, when do you have to decide whay metal you are using?

Indie-I''d love to see pics of your band when you get it.
I''m hoping to decide on the band by the end of this week. I''ve essentially already picked out the diamond. I did things backwards, eh?
 

luthergirl

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Date: 2/7/2007 9:11:30 PM
Author: MeddlingKids

Date: 2/7/2007 8:48:41 PM
Author: luthergirl
Thank you everyone for all of your responses, it has been helpful and informative!...though I haven''t made a final decision yet! If I did use palladium, I believe it would be 950 palladium, I didn''t know they did 75% palladium and 25% white gold--Thanks John & David-- I''ll ask! Is one of these ''better'' to use?

Garry-I would love to see any pics that you have.

Scarlet-It would also be great to see your ring after about a year of wear.

Meddlingkids, when do you have to decide whay metal you are using?

Indie-I''d love to see pics of your band when you get it.
I''m hoping to decide on the band by the end of this week. I''ve essentially already picked out the diamond. I did things backwards, eh?
I saw in another thread that you were doing a scott kay ring-which one is it? Are you leaning towards platinum or palladium? I still am trying to sort it out
 

MeddlingKids

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Date: 2/7/2007 9:51:17 PM
Author: luthergirl

Date: 2/7/2007 9:11:30 PM
Author: MeddlingKids


Date: 2/7/2007 8:48:41 PM
Author: luthergirl
Thank you everyone for all of your responses, it has been helpful and informative!...though I haven''t made a final decision yet! If I did use palladium, I believe it would be 950 palladium, I didn''t know they did 75% palladium and 25% white gold--Thanks John & David-- I''ll ask! Is one of these ''better'' to use?

Garry-I would love to see any pics that you have.

Scarlet-It would also be great to see your ring after about a year of wear.

Meddlingkids, when do you have to decide whay metal you are using?

Indie-I''d love to see pics of your band when you get it.
I''m hoping to decide on the band by the end of this week. I''ve essentially already picked out the diamond. I did things backwards, eh?
I saw in another thread that you were doing a scott kay ring-which one is it? Are you leaning towards platinum or palladium? I still am trying to sort it out
It''s the knife-edge solitaire 2.5mm setting for a princess cut diamond. It has two surprise diamonds underneath the setting facing front and rear. It looks very nice, yet subtle. Honestly, I don''t know which one to get. I like what I am hearing about Palladium, but I may go Platinum for ease of finding a wedding band eventually. Also, Platinum is more familiar for most jewelers to work with.
 

oldminer

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Back when I used to do jewelry repair work and ring sizing, we''d often get an older version palladium ring to work on. When you heat up palladium it turns dull grey. When platinum is heated, it returns to an unchanged, polsihed state. Palladium, though a noble metal, does get surface oxidation or fire scar on it where platinum heated to the same temperature doesn''t.
It must be the small amount of alloy or just the nature of palladium

The fact that palladium does grey out when heated also probably is the same reason I feel it greys out under normal temperature over time more so than platinum. It is in the nature of the metal, I suppose.
 

Adylon

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You''re right when heated it does oxidize and discolor, but I don''t think it greys under normal wear, that would be news to me.

When heated to something like 600 degrees it oxidizes and just needs to be quenched in water to remove the oxidation, if it''s left to cool down slowly it will remain discolored and need to be polished. I''ll find out exactly, I don''t work with the metal hands on, this is just based on what other jewelers have told me.
 

MeddlingKids

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Date: 2/8/2007 3:29:20 PM
Author: oldminer
Back when I used to do jewelry repair work and ring sizing, we''d often get an older version palladium ring to work on. When you heat up palladium it turns dull grey. When platinum is heated, it returns to an unchanged, polsihed state. Palladium, though a noble metal, does get surface oxidation or fire scar on it where platinum heated to the same temperature doesn''t.
It must be the small amount of alloy or just the nature of palladium

The fact that palladium does grey out when heated also probably is the same reason I feel it greys out under normal temperature over time more so than platinum. It is in the nature of the metal, I suppose.
Do you get similar results with the newer Palladium (950) mix?
 

luthergirl

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Date: 2/8/2007 3:29:20 PM
Author: oldminer
Back when I used to do jewelry repair work and ring sizing, we''d often get an older version palladium ring to work on. When you heat up palladium it turns dull grey. When platinum is heated, it returns to an unchanged, polsihed state. Palladium, though a noble metal, does get surface oxidation or fire scar on it where platinum heated to the same temperature doesn''t.
It must be the small amount of alloy or just the nature of palladium

The fact that palladium does grey out when heated also probably is the same reason I feel it greys out under normal temperature over time more so than platinum. It is in the nature of the metal, I suppose.
That is really interesting...i did not know that. Thank you to the experts that have chimned in, it is SO helpful to get opinions/information/thoughts from those who have direct experience in the topic and are well respected (and from around the world!).

I saw the final version of the wax today--i had a few changes to make to the first rendition and i LOVE the changes, it is getting very exciting. I think at this point I am leaning towards platinum...I think I will make a decision before saturday.
 

luthergirl

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Date: 2/8/2007 2:35:45 PM
Author: MeddlingKids

Date: 2/7/2007 9:51:17 PM
Author: luthergirl


Date: 2/7/2007 9:11:30 PM
Author: MeddlingKids



Date: 2/7/2007 8:48:41 PM
Author: luthergirl
Thank you everyone for all of your responses, it has been helpful and informative!...though I haven''t made a final decision yet! If I did use palladium, I believe it would be 950 palladium, I didn''t know they did 75% palladium and 25% white gold--Thanks John & David-- I''ll ask! Is one of these ''better'' to use?

Garry-I would love to see any pics that you have.

Scarlet-It would also be great to see your ring after about a year of wear.

Meddlingkids, when do you have to decide whay metal you are using?

Indie-I''d love to see pics of your band when you get it.
I''m hoping to decide on the band by the end of this week. I''ve essentially already picked out the diamond. I did things backwards, eh?
I saw in another thread that you were doing a scott kay ring-which one is it? Are you leaning towards platinum or palladium? I still am trying to sort it out
It''s the knife-edge solitaire 2.5mm setting for a princess cut diamond. It has two surprise diamonds underneath the setting facing front and rear. It looks very nice, yet subtle. Honestly, I don''t know which one to get. I like what I am hearing about Palladium, but I may go Platinum for ease of finding a wedding band eventually. Also, Platinum is more familiar for most jewelers to work with.
That sounds beautiful--different, yet classic. Does your GF know about the ring? I agree with you, I like what I am hearing about palladium, but I think I am going to go with platinum due to what I have heard here, and because I think my jeweler is more familiar with the metal.
 
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