Never heard of palladium? You’re not alone. Most folks in the market for an engagement or wedding ring don’t know what palladium is, but it’s one of our favorite metals to use for wedding jewelry for many reasons. Palladium is often compared to platinum and has customers wondering: what’s the difference between the two? Both are unique, yet similar in several ways. Let’s look at how platinum vs palladium compare in appearance, cost, durability, and comfort.
Platinum and palladium are both naturally white metals that will stay white forever. The difference in color between palladium and platinum is very minimal. Platinum rings are generally about 1 shade whiter than palladium, but there truly is a very small difference. Unlike white gold, both platinum and palladium are not rhodium plated since they are naturally a bright white color. This is a great feature of both metals because it means much less maintenance than a white gold ring which could develop a yellow tinge without regular re-plating. Also, because both palladium and platinum rings develop a patina finish over time, that means even less maintenance.
What is Patina?
Patina refers to the look that platinum and palladium rings develop over time. When platinum and palladium rings get scratched, the metal moves from one part of a ring to another. Over time, this gives the rings a matte-finish appearance, also known as patina. This is different than white gold rings because when white gold is scratched, the metal actually comes off of the ring and overtime the ring develops a scratched surface instead of a patina. Most people are excited for their ring to develop a patina finish because of the beautiful look it gives to a ring. However, if you don’t like the look of the patina, you can always have both a platinum or palladium ring re-polished which will bring it back to its original shiny state. Alternatively, you can opt for a white gold ring which doesn’t develop patina.
Palladium vs Platinum Cost
1/29/20 Update: Wow! The Palladium market has jumped recently, with the cost of pure Palladium exceeding that of Platinum. Because the metal market is quite volatile, this may change. However, at this time, Palladium’s pricing is now similar to that of Platinum – our Palladium rings are priced just a bit lower than Platinum due to Platinum’s density.
Summer 2019 Palladium Cost Comparison: This is where palladium is the front runner: palladium rings cost almost half the cost of platinum rings. However, this does not mean palladium is an inferior metal to platinum. In fact, many of our customers that are not budget-conscious select palladium over platinum since it isn’t inferior in any way. The primary reason platinum rings are more expensive than palladium rings is because platinum is much more dense than palladium (almost twice as dense)! This means to make the same ring, we need to use more grams of platinum than grams of palladium (almost twice the amount)! So, this is also why platinum rings are heavier than palladium rings (almost twice as heavy)!
Palladium vs Platinum Durability
Hardness (and scratching)
Palladium is a harder metal than platinum, which means a palladium ring is harder to scratch compared to a platinum ring. Regardless, like any engagement ring, both rings are still going to get scratched so this shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Additionally, as mentioned above, both palladium and platinum rings will develop a patina finish. This is because when palladium and platinum scratch, the metal moves to a different location on the ring (as compared to 14k gold, where the metal is scratched off forever) which creates the patina finish which most people love. As mentioned, if you don’t like the patina finish then re-polishing your ring will help restore the ring to near its original shiny look for both platinum and palladium. All Do Amore Rings include free lifetime polishing so if you purchase your ring from us, don’t worry, you’re in great hands if chose to have your ring re-polished.
More good news: both palladium and platinum are strong metals that are great for an engagement ring or wedding band. Of the two metals, platinum is stronger than palladium, but again both metals are strong enough to be used for engagement rings or wedding rings that are worn daily.
Weight of a Palladium Ring vs a Platinum Ring
As mentioned above, because platinum is more dense than palladium, platinum rings will be heavier than palladium as well (almost twice as heavy). Some people love the heavier weight of platinum rings, but some find the lightness of palladium rings to be more comfortable (palladium rings are slightly lighter than 14k gold rings). It’s really personal preference. In general, for non-bulky engagement rings or wedding bands, the weight of platinum should not be overwhelming and the ring should still be comfortable on the finger. However, if you have a very bulky engagement ring or wedding ring, platinum may feel heavy on the finger. Similarly, for delicate engagement rings or wedding bands, the lightness of palladium may make it feel as if you are wearing nothing on your finger. Some people like this, but if you have a very delicate ring and want to be able to feel some of the weight on your finger then platinum may be a more ideal choice.
Is Palladium or Platinum Better for Allergies?
Great news for those who have sensitive skin or metal allergies: both platinum and palladium are known as hypoallergenic metals. Additionally, none of our palladium or platinum rings have any nickel content in them, which is generally the main culprit of allergies in engagement rings and wedding rings. Saying this, if you are someone who is very sensitive to metals, it may be good to check with your doctor or allergist. Platinum has also been used in jewelry much longer than palladium has been, so your doctor may feel more comfortable suggesting that as a choice.
The Only Con To Palladium
Palladium is considered a modern metal in the jewelry world, and without the right equipment can be tricky or impossible to work with. For this reason, many jewelers don’t feel confident creating, maintaining, or resizing jewelry made of palladium. We at Do Amore love palladium, and work with it all the time, so if you order your ring through us then don’t let workability sway your decision. In fact, while worldwide less than 1% of rings are made of palladium, more than 20% of our ring sales are palladium rings and we can maintain and resize palladium rings without any issue whatsoever!
Final Thoughts and Summary on Palladium vs Platinum
If you still can’t decide between palladium and platinum, don’t worry. They are both spectacular metals. In 2020, with the metal market as it is, it may make sense to go for platinum, due to its density and flexibility in terms of widespread recognition. However, those wishing to save a few dollars can definitely still check out our palladium pricing (which remains lower!) Remember, at the end of the day, all rings require some minimal upkeep and maintenance. So, make sure you purchase your rings from a company that has a lifetime warranty and will polish, clean, and resize your rings for free for life, like we do. If you have any questions on your ring’s metal choice, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. We’d love to help!