Palladium has gone up 50% in price since August, and is now nearly the same price for jewelry as platinum!

talk-admin

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#1
Hi all,
For years we have been recommending palladium as a much better alternative to white gold for rings and jewelry, and one that was rarer than platinum (15x rarer to be exact!) but ironically, cheaper.
Those days of palladium being a relative bargain are now officially over as palladium has gone up and up in price the past six months (50% increase) and as of today, is now nearly equivalent to platinum for jewelry use, and more expensive than platinum on a per oz basis.

For reference, here's the pricing changes on spot metal (not exactly the same for jewelry, b/c you have to blend in alloys like ruthenium) but gives an idea of the trends happening):

Platinum = 818/oz (about the same for August 2018)
Palladium = 1347.40/oz (was $900/oz in August, or 50% increase).

For jewelry, platinum weighs 1.75x as much... so to fill a mold requires more +75% more platinum by weight (same volume, but nearly double the weight).
Thus basically platinum and palladium are now at nearly equal pricing (vs palladium being much lower for many years!)
Platinum = $818 * 1.75 = $1431
Palladium = $1347

Anyway, if you have purchased palladium jewelry over the past few years, it's just gotten a lot more valuable!

Also, with platinum back in the mix, definitely want to point out that all our Timeless platinum rings are done with High Pressure treatment after casting...here's why:

Normal cast platinum, 50x:


Platinum after High Pressure Enhancement - done for all our BTD Timeless rings, such as the best selling Regal Tiffany style ring:




High Pressure Enhancement for BTD Timeless rings
Best regards,
Less
 

talk-admin

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#2
Just to add to this - after a bit of reading, what's apparently driving this is the growth of the auto market in China, as there are now many first time ever car customers with China's expanding middle class. Most gas cars uses palladium for the catalytic converter. Diesel tends to use platinum. Europe is basically ending all diesel cars, so that means more gas cars in Europe and with the growth of cars in China, you have a strong and growing demand for palladium, with not as much demand for platinum.
Thus, steady price growth.
In theory, this may continue through 2020, as there is not enough palladium being mined to meet current demand.
 
#3
Hey Less...not quite the same subject - but, I have a metal question - I was reading about Cadmium in jewelry - is not just costume jewelry but, is actually alloyed in some precious metals? And used for the solder joints in chain and in jewelry repair or ring sizing. Does this mean just by wearing our gold chains - or our sized gold, silver or platinum rings etc. - that we are absorbing cadmium? How about from our older handed down type pieces? I thought it was only costum jewelry to worry about...now I’m staring at all of my pieces as suspect be it 14kt, 22kt, platinum or silver
 

talk-admin

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#4
Hey Less...not quite the same subject - but, I have a metal question - I was reading about Cadmium in jewelry - is not just costume jewelry but, is actually alloyed in some precious metals? And used for the solder joints in chain and in jewelry repair or ring sizing. Does this mean just by wearing our gold chains - or our sized gold, silver or platinum rings etc. - that we are absorbing cadmium? How about from our older handed down type pieces? I thought it was only costum jewelry to worry about...now I’m staring at all of my pieces as suspect be it 14kt, 22kt, platinum or silver
Hi FloweringEarth!
I did some quick research on this.
1 - For precious metals, cadmium is never (that I am aware of) used as an alloy.
2 - The main reason cadmium shows up anywhere is because it helps metals to flow better when molten...which did however lead me to a surprise that
3 - Cadmium is definitely used in many solder compounds for precious metals! I was surprised about this, though given that it helps metals flow it makes some sense. I checked in Stuller's catalog and while most of the solders are cadmium free, they also had explicit 'cadmium based' solders. Basically you could pick cadmium free or with cadmium for most metal solders (platinum, gold, etc).

In our case, most of our rings are all 'unibody' or no seam designs so we don't do much soldering, but I'd say for any given jewelry it's 70/30 (70% no cadmium, 30% with) in terms of whether any ring that uses solder has cadmium in it or not for the solder joint just based on the % in Stuller catalog. Presumably older jewelry may be higher % of having it as they may not have known cadmium was dangerous.
I did learn that the bigger danger is actually when they are doing the soldering (i.e. when heated, you can breathe it in - yikes) and not as much when it's cold and inert.
Anyway, great question as I learned a bit and was surprised to see Cadmium solder available.
Hope this helps,
Less
 
#5
Hi Less! Thank you so much - I was thinking especially, with chains...is each link soldered usually and when I am wearing them all day - am I laying toxic metal against my skin being as much of my chain type jewelry - are pieces I’ve owned for years....as in ...perhaps before the concerns regarding the use of cadmium. Also, I’m hoping what you said about the seams - such as resizing our rings (along with all the solders involved in chains) once the seam is cold....is not really an issue?
 
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