Palladium is a cousin of Platinum. I have already posted a thorough explanation of the differences between Platinum and White Gold, so we know that Platinum family metals are naturally white. Palladium is a touch darker grey than Platinum, only noticeable when it has a softer finish, or the polished surface has abraded over time. the wear and aesthetic qualities are quite similar to Platinum, making it a dream for setting and keeping your heirloom gems secure.
So what's the dif you ask again? Palladium is much less expensive than Platinum for a number of reasons: The weight of Palladium is much less than Platinum, it is also much less expensive per ounce. In the end, you pay less per ounce for a piece that also weighs less than its cousin in Platinum.
Every metal has unique working properties, and Palladium needs to be treated as it demands. Many craftsmen become accustomed working with their metal of choice, and label anything else as difficult. If any of this were easy, who would need me to create their dreams? Learning about, and adjusting to the working properties of a new metal opens up a whole lot of doors to become more creative, practical, frugal, fashionable...just another option for those who dare.
Other metals that we have been selling much more this past year are geared towards mens' fashion and wedding rings:
Titanium has been in jewelry stores for quite some time, but never really was much of a factor until gold and platinum soared in value. Titanium generally has a brushed grey finish, but is occasionally polished. It scratches like most metals, and it is easy to restore the finish. Titanium is very light and very hard. Some men like the light aspect, others want for a bit more substance, ala Platinum. In the event of an emergency (or post marital digital obesity) a ring may be cut off, albiet with a great bit more effort.
Tungsten Carbide is another alternative metal which has become quite popular as of late. This material is actually sintered. A ring blank is created by compressing tungsten and carbon powders under high heat. This material is exceptionally hard. Diamond coated tools are used to lathe and polish the surface. This means that a Tungsten Carbide ring will be as bright and smooth on your 50th anniversary as it was the day your Bride first put it onto your finger. The color of Tungsten Carbide is a dark, glossy black. This metal is very heavy, so the substance thing is never an issue. Tungsten Carbide is so hard that it cannot be cut off of a finger in the traditional manner. It is, however, very brittle. If a ring needs to be forcibly removed, a good squeeze with vice grips or a firm tap with a hammer will shatter a ring into many little pieces. A drop on a tile floor or the accidental whack of a hammer will also cause this unanticipated effect.
Both of the above described metals have their limitations as far as manufacturing, so the styles tend more toward the machined look. Both are much less expensive than their more precious counterparts.
Quiz to follow.