Forgive my second post on this topic, but my last post found few if
any of you even knew this new palladium jewelry is being sold. So in
the interest of saving us all nasty surprises at the bench or sales
QVC is selling 950palladium jewelry, and it looks a lot like
platinum. Every bench jeweler should be aware of this stuff and look
for the stamp “950Pall” plus whatever hallmarks are on there. Please
note palladium melts around 1400 or even 1300 C! I hope this note
keeps anyone reading from accidentally treating this material like
platinum or white gold by mistake. Professional jeweler magazine is
planning a good article or series on this “new” metal for jewelry. I
see some Russian manufacturers are going with 850Pd which may or may
not be a factor here in the USA anytime soon.
I overlooked a question from Noel about 950Pd jewelry from y first
post-Sorry Noel!- Yes we are working with it. We have a variety of
formulas in testing, and we are not YET publicly disclosing exactly
what is up in the final 5%. I say that mostly because like other
alloys the intended purpose changes the mix. Contact me offline to
discuss what we have available now at PMWest, despite the temptation,
I do try not to put commercial content in these posts.
When you look at the relative costs-As I write this palladium is
$194 per ounce on the NY market. Platinum is $881 per ounce. Then you
must consider the specific gravity of the metals. Palladium is about
56% the weight of platinum. If your model wax weighs just .5 dwt, and
you are casting platinum you need about 10.5 dwt of platinum at about
$45 per dwt. $472.50 just for casting grain. In 950palladium the
weight needed for the same casting is 5.9 dwt at $11.39 per dwt. Your
cost is about $63 for the casting grain. This is a seven fold
difference in cost!
Platinum has undeniable appeal. So perhaps white gold is what this
is really an alternative for. Today 950Pd runs about two dollars
less per dwt than 14k white gold, and much less than nickel free
palladium white gold. Confused yet? Me too at first.
Of course the new material will be demonstrated at my best
Thanks for the heads up Daniel, looks like QVC will be able to
educate our clients for us, sure saves us alot of work, Paul Bensel
I’ve used Stuller’s Pd white but presently have only some 14 Kt
sheet so I’ll need to order some additional stock.
Is 18 Kt. Pd. White gold sufficiently malleable to use as bezel
material or would it be better to order 22 Kt? Is there very much
difference in color between 14 Kt and 22 Kt Pd white gold?
looks like QVC will be able to educate our clients for us, sure
saves us alot of work,
Don’t know if I’d count on QVC educating anyone. They may create more
false impressions that’ll take more time to straighten out than
The third in my informal “how to deal with 950Pd jewelry” postings-
There are more solders available-95Pd plumb and the new medium flow
900Pd solder (not plumb but good color). 1100 an 1200 platinum
solders are now thought of and used for palladium and platinum work.
I have more detail on the new palladium alloys that are now out
there. Reports have come in that Pd/Ru is very really soft-maybe too
much so for some uses. Similar reports indicate any current 950Pd may
not fill small parts very well, so keep that in mind for spruing. If
needed we know how to make a better filling Pd alloy but that topic
is for another day, and is a custom batch anyway.
Some Pd alloys harden up really well, then anneal to very soft
states. When I was annealing coiled wire yesterday with a propane
torch, being very gentle I literally watched the metal relax with the
red/dark orange heat. I did dunk the coils into “blue alcohol”
(heavily fluxed alcohol) for a coating. The annealing slightly
disturbs the finish, easily fixed with very fine grit sandpaper.
I had a lady who does wire wrapping look at the annealed
material-and it may have been too soft. So, perhaps annealing should
occur a couple dies before you reach your desired diameter. For
example, draw down to 2mm, anneal, and then anneal at 1.2 mm not any
closer to .5mm for a stronger wire.
Be sure to use platinum rated safety glasses. Use platinum rated
crucibles. Use platinum polishing compounds and put palladium filings
or scrap either completely separate or with scrap platinum, not with
the gold, which might raise your refining fees.