Most interesting to hear about palladium jewelry. Its a great metal.
I have worked with palladium often, and I love the metal. Its
endlessly soft, takes a good polish, is easy to set into and
sometimes in the correct light has a purplish sheen under the silver
color. It has less of platinum’s angst factor, and as far as I am
concerned, has a better color too.
That said, there are a few downsides.The biggest one at the moment
is the general lack of knowledge about the metal…When you start
explaining that ‘this is the metal that makes white gold white’ etc,
you get the “glazed” look from your customer. Also, if your piece
doesn’t have the gold or platinum stamp, then the value in the
customers mind drops a good few measures.
A strange thing with this metal is that when you anneal it, then
after quenching, when you bend it, an audible =91crack’ can be
heard, and it feels like there are little glass rods inside when you
bend it more. It only does that once after annealing and then it
works normally until you anneal it again.Something to do with
crystal lattice and grains I suppose. (Ahem, James, please?) I am
glad to hear others are using it in jewellery. I would love to know
what to other 5% of the alloy is. I don’t really think it is too
soft for general jewellery use. (my opinion)
Another thing I have been messing with is to mix palladium with fine
silver in a 10/90% solution.It works out to about one dollar per
gram. It has about the hardness of normal sterling silver I can roll
it from the ingot to .2 mm without cracking. I have not cast it and
I am still playing with it to see how it tarnishes. So far it looks
very resistant.( I live in the Caribbean, by the sea, so tarnish is
a major hassle for me.) Especially with mixed metal pieces. I doubt
it has any commercial value, other than to make your stuff more
esoteric and arty, maybe. It’s got a very nice color,though.
Cheers, Hans Meevis