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Experience Working with 950 Palladium

Original post by Hratch

Response from Mark B. Mann, Technical Consultant to Palladium
Alliance International

With my technical consultation role for the Palladium Alliance
International, I have been researching, designing and manufacturing
palladium jewelry extensively for the last few years. I have written
articles on these subjects that are posted here on the
Orchid/Ganoksin website. This has been an incredibly comprehensive
and enjoyable experience. The recent posting about working with 950
palladium from Hratch has prompted this response.

“Earlier on I had cast a few pieces in NYC in palladium 950 ; the
metal was about 5 shades darker then hoovers and when i came to
working with them the HS metal stayed bright after annealing with a
slight pink shadow that I took off with a scotch brite pad, now the
NY casting after annealing actually went even darker in patches and
stayed darker I could not get it off with the abrasive wheel. the NY
one is noticeably bluer then the Hoover and strong alloy.and I mean
Blue that is not coming off, and i can’t really abrade it too much
since the pieces have very fine textured surfaces part of the

Rough palladium castings will have differing appearances depending
upon how they were cast, exposure to the atmosphere and how they were
processed after casting. When using a torch on palladium for melting,
annealing or soldering and so on, the metal will take on a surface
oxidation. The color of the surface oxidation ranges but is mostly a
blueish violet. The amount of surface discoloration depends on the
intensity of the heat being applied for the soldering or annealing
temperatures and length of time the heat the piece was subjected to
the heating process. This surface discoloration cannot be removed by
pickling so to remove it I use a reducing flame from a natural gas
and oxygen torch. The flame is adjusted with equal amounts of gas and
oxygen and will remove the oxidation from a palladium article of
jewelry within a few seconds. Unlike platinum which holds its
polished luster when heated, palladium will oxidize. After the
oxidation has been removed, it will be dull and require re-polishing.

To see an article posted on this website showing a piece that has
surface oxidation, click on this link:

To see other articles here at the Ganoksin website about working
with palladium

Library > Fabrication > Palladium Fabrication

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more

Mark B. Mann
Technical Consultant, Palladium Alliance International

A great big thank you to all who replied to my thread and questions.
there was a lot of help from a few people, I wish I had known about
the learning curve of palladium instead of assuming or implied to
that it is similar workings to platinum. in actuality it comes down
to the details of the technique for working with palladium seems
quite different then any of the royal metals. it’s in it’s own class.
forming, soldering,finnishing,acid etching, even annealing.and not to
forget the many different alloys of the 950… all that makes it
harder to switch or use the material. there were 2 very good threads
one of Mark’s and the other of Teresa Frye that explained a lot. I am
all for the use of the material but it is good to have more info, and
thanks to Orchid that we can actually do this. I joined the Palladium
group and I will contact T and M of list for any more info if and
when I need any

Thank you so very much