If you have been following precious metals (for investing, for a project, or because you simply find them interesting), you have probably seen the trend that palladium is starting to turn into the new platinum. Both of these metals have been in high demand in the metal industry, but it looks like one is finally replacing the other. This article breaks down what makes each metal so different, as well as why this replacement matters so much.
What Is Palladium?
Palladium is a chemical element that has the atomic number 46, and it is a shiny silver white metal that is also a noble metal. That means that it won’t erode from exposure to air or gasses, which is a massive benefit. It is a rare and very expensive metal, and its expense puts it up there with the other four precious metals, including platinum, gold, and silver.
What Is A Platinum?
Platinum is the second most valuable among the four precious metals, is slivery white, ductile, and malleable, and is also an extremely rare noble metal. Platinum is also much softer than palladium because it is very malleable, making it the perfect choice for palladium wedding rings.
Why Is Palladium Replacing Platinum?
With both of these metals being extremely rare and also extremely valuable, you might think that they would continue to be neck and neck in the race of supply and demand. However, palladium is replacing platinum, and here is why.
Almost all of the palladium is being refined and extracted to be used in the exhaust system of cars, this is due to its hardiness and durability, especially around high heat. It is also being used in hydrogen fuel cells, which is a technology that seeks to replace fossil fuel based vehicles as well.
This is one of the reasons why palladium is replacing platinum, because of the various changes in the regulations for vehicle emission standards. Petrol vehicles that use palladium in their catalytic converters are much more in demand than diesel vehicles that use platinum in their converters.
Despite this platinum isn’t out of the fight yet. Because the demand has gone up so much, along with the fact that palladium is much more expensive than platinum, many automakers in the market are actually switching to platinum for their catalytic converters. It will be interesting to see what wins out in the race between these two metals, or if something else that has a much higher supply will come and knock both out of the race.
What About Wedding Rings?
Of course, car engine parts aren’t the only place that you are going to have to wrestle between palladium and platinum. If you are out shopping for a wedding ring that will stand the test of time as well as the rockier points in your marriage, then you will need to look through both options. Because platinum can hold up against impacts that can dent the ring, while palladium is resistant to scratches.
Platinum is a very common choice for wedding bands and engagement rings, because they have a strong shine, good hardiness, and durability as well. However, they are expensive to get and that means that several couples are finding themselves looking at palladium options as well.
A palladium wedding ring is far less expensive than a platinum wedding ring and it is also very desired by couples. For men, palladium wedding bands are desired because they are dense and slightly heavier than gold, and are seen as more masculine. However, most men and women do find that they enjoy heavier rings over lighter ones, so the best thing for you to do is test a few rings and metals out, and see what you think.
Research And See What You Find
Whether you are looking for a wedding ring, a car exhaust system, or just want to explore the world of precious metals and how the market sees them, there’s a lot to look at when it comes to palladium and platinum. Despite their similarities, they’ve also got a few key differences that might tip your favor one way or the other.
Make sure you do your research and figure out which one of these metals is going to be the best for you and your needs, but no matter which one you pick, you will be very happy with your choice! Especially if it is for a wedding ring, because you can never be unhappy with that choice!