Palladium is a white precious metal that has been in the jewelry market for about 10 years but has only taken off as a genuine substitute for white in the past five years. One of the reasons is that it is very difficult for a relatively unknown precious metal to gain the kind of trust for jewelry manufacturing that gold has already built up over the years.
The other difficulty is that Palladium can be a much more challenging metal for jewelers to work with because of its higher melting temperature and harder surface. Many jewelers still shy away from casting this new metal because like platinum it is tricky and the results are not quite so predictable.
That being said Palladium has some positives that are just now coming to light as it gets to be a more well-known metal for the end customer. Women have been relatively conservative in their style of engagement rings and bridal jewelry but they do like its durability versus 14 karat and 18 karat white gold. This metal belongs to the platinum metal group and shares some of the same properties as platinum but without the high price.
The spot price of platinum in the international markets is about $1500 and gold is about $1200 versus Palladium's $450 per ounce. This leads to some substantial savings for women who are getting their first engagement ring or first anniversary ring and cost is a concern. What appeals to women also is the fact that Palladium like platinum does not need to be rhodium plated to maintain its bright white luster unlike any karatage of gold which requires periodic plating using rhodium. Despite all these attributes the white gold wedding ring still remains the most popular type of bridal jewelry.
Palladium also has a similar specific gravity to that of gold and so it feels just like gold when you put it on your finger. The heft that you feel with a gold piece of jewelry is virtually identical to that of this metal. The heft of platinum on the other hand is quite high and many women don't particularly care for this quality of platinum especially when the engagement ring setting is a bulky design and requires more metal to be made. In this way the white gold diamond wedding ring has made a name for itself among brides to be as the go to metal of choice and in second place comes palladium only because of its relative obscurity when it comes to the buying public.