I have heard you can’t cast palladium. Is this true?
No. However, special techniques and equipment are needed. Palladium Alliance International conducted a casting study with FEM to determine these parameters. In short, for best results you will need casting equipment with a protected atmosphere for both the melting and casting parts of the operation to prevent palladium from absorbing gas and developing porosity.
Why can’t you weld palladium like you can platinum?
You can weld palladium in a laser welder with an inert gas cover. Best results are obtained with lower power settings, longer delays and medical grade argon as the cover gas. However, at the bench, you need to solder it.
No. Use good jewelry techniques and it will finish fine. Treat it like platinum or stainless steel, not like gold, and you will get an excellent, bright white finish.
No. It is naturally white and the color is homogenous. Palladium does not benefit from any plating processes. In fact, palladium is used as a pre-plate on nickel-white-golds just prior to rhodium plating.
I’ve heard that there is a problem with diamonds falling out of palladium. Why is this?
This was a problem a few years ago due to poor manufacturing processes employed by a caster and poor design technique used by a manufacturer. If you use palladium’s strengths (quick to work harden, easy to set, light and strong) to your advantage, you can easily create designs that will look good for generations. Also, use reputable casting companies that stand behind their product and are aware of the PAI/FEM casting study.
Is it hard to set diamonds in palladium? How about engraving?
Most setters prefer palladium as it sets with no memory — bezels and prongs stay put. It is also easy to engrave.
Can palladium be machined?
Palladium is easily machined with lubrication and diamond or polycrystalline cutters.
Isn’t palladium much grayer than platinum?
This observation is often true for 14k and 18k palladium-white-golds, but 950 palladium is much whiter than palladium white gold. Indeed, when asked to distinguish pure palladium from pure platinum pieces, consumers often say the two look identical.
Is there a place to buy palladium mill products?
Yes. Stuller, Hoover & Strong, David H. Fell and Co., Johnson Matthey, John C. Nordt and Kemp Metal Products are just a few examples of companies that stock palladium products. From findings to sheet to tubing, as well as solder.
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