Palladium and platinum are both members of the white metal family and look very similar to each other. While both are common materials for wedding rings and other high-end jewelry, many people cannot tell the difference just by looking at them. Palladium is one of the newer precious metals and, like platinum, is 95 percent pure. However, there are several distinct differences that may make you choose one over the other.
Platinum is far more rare, with all of the earth’s supply being only the size of a swimming pool. Ounce-per-ounce, platinum weighs about 60 percent more than gold and is significantly heavier than palladium. This heavier weight is considered by some to be a sign of true quality, while others find it uncomfortable and a hindrance when wearing jewelry. Like palladium, platinum resists tarnishing and is very hard to damage.
One of the biggest advantages of palladium is that it’s not as dense as platinum. This quality means that it is less expensive and jewelry made with it is much lighter. This lightness makes it an ideal option for large jewelry pieces or rings with large settings. Palladium is also hypoallergenic.
References and ResourcesGemvara: Guide to Precious Metals -- Palladium
Blue Nile: Jewelry Education Palladium
Gemvara: Guide to Precious Metals -- Platinum