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Working with pure Palladium

has anybody worked with pure palladium? due to the high cost in
platinum and the moderate cost of palladium about $200 per ounce i
am looking in to using this material.

i have a few questions.

#1 is it soft enough for setting?
#2 can it be rolled?
#3 how does it react with the skin?
#4 should it be mixed with anything else?
#5 are there any web sites to see a break down of use?

thank you



Hi Jesse,

We got our first piece of palladium/ruthenium today and tried it for
a fat, diamond sprinkled ring. So far it looks great and works a
lot like platinum. I really like the bright white color. It seems
so light, after working with platinum. How does it hold up?


has anybody worked with  pure palladium?  due to the high cost in
platinum and the moderate cost of palladium about $200 per ounce i
am looking in to using this material. 


#1 It is too soft.

#2 It can be rolled easily.

#3 No skin reactions have been reported, and palladium is the
preferred gold for body jewelry.

#4 Palladium should be mixed to 950 Pd to provide some strength.

#5 web sites are beginning to show the possibilities of palladium,
and not just in gold either.

Daniel Ballard

Using palladium alloys to make jewelry is nothing new and I would
like to tell a little story about how and why I have come to the
belief that platinum and/or gold repairs and restorations should not
be attempted by the untrained. This happened well over 30 years ago.

After the my first 5 or 6 months on the bench, I was still not
allowed to do a lot of sizing. Mostly, I was doing bangle bracelet,
pocket watch, wrist watch case and chain repairs. Sizing was still
pretty much shuffled around myself and my peer who shared our double
bench. We worked on a quota system and were willing to attempt just
about anything that would increase our dollar production, but that
work that seemed to be productive was generally given to those with
more experience.

One day the fellow sitting next to me was given a job for a half
shank. He was pretty excited about this job. The metal appeared to
be platinum. In those days, a platinum half shank was a $35 job.
Soldering a chain was $1 and we were only awarded 1/4 of these
amounts as long as we maintained a decent speed in production. The
metal could be brought to a white heat before melting. He set about
rolling out some platinum. He dovetailed his joint and started to
weld it. The nipped end of the original shank melted away from the
new metal and he had a lot of trouble getting a good weld. In the
end, both side diamonds were burned beyond recognition and the
center diamond was badly milked. Turned out that it was a palladium
ring. A very costly error.

Some may suggest that only an idiot could have made such a mistake.
I don’t think that the man was any kind of an idiot. He studied
jewelry and had made jewelry his life before he was 19. At that time
I would have made the same mistake. I watched him do it and I was
just as puzzled as he.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler

I am about to begin assembly on some rings made of 18k W/G alloyed
with palladium, as soon as I get the raw castings back from Larry
Paul Casting in a day or 2. I have never worked with palladium, pure
or alloyed, before, and I am wondering if there are any particular
techniques to consider, or warnings to heed. I need to attach a
number of heads, and finish out the castings, before setting a 1/2
carat emerald cut diamond and 6 FC 10 pointers. I have been at the
bench for 36 years, so I have ample skill level at this , just never
had the opportunity come up to work with palladium alloy before. Any
advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ed in Kokomo