As more and more new metals are introduced in men’s jewelry, it’s easy to forget about one of the most unique and enduring jewelry metals on the market. Men’s palladium rings were among the first collections featuring an “alternative” metal in jewelry, and they were introduced by Benchmark, one of the nation’s top wedding ring designers. In this four-part series about designer men’s palladium rings, we’ll explore the history of the metal, what makes it so different from traditional and industrial jewelry materials, and why you may not have heard much about it.
Let’s start with the history of palladium, and how men’s palladium rings became so popular for wedding bands. Despite their longevity as a top pick for wedding ring buyers, palladium rings have not been as widely promoted as industrial metals like tungsten and titanium. One reason for this is that they’re a little more expensive than some of the edgier utilitarian metals. In fact, most jewelers regard palladium as a precious metal because it is mined right alongside platinum.
Because it is more difficult to melt for fine jewelry, palladium was often used as a “strategic metal” for military purposes, and then it was used later for setting diamonds. It wasn’t until much later on, when it was reformulated into an alloy metal known as PD950, that this metal was introduced in designer wedding band collections. The alloy, which contains 95 percent palladium and 5 percent ruthenium, produces a very brilliant metal that is even purer than white gold.
Men’s palladium rings are neither too light nor too heavy on the hand, and they have a brightness that is comparable to platinum. For men who cannot wear white gold, these men’s rings are a hypoallergenic alternative. Palladium is also strong enough to absorb sharp blows without scratching and will not wear away like gold often does.
For men who prefer to buy a precious metal for a wedding ring but don’t want to break the bank, palladium rings are ideal. What’s interesting to note is that palladium is just as rare and pure as platinum, but it cost much less because it is not yet in as much demand. Today, palladium is about one-fifth the price of platinum. As its popularity rises, the price may start to creep up, which could add value to a palladium wedding ring over time.
If you are in the market for a new wedding band and prefer a brighter white metal, then you may not be thrilled with the selection of industrial metals available today. Cobalt chrome and white tungsten come closest to palladium in color, but neither offers the luster and brilliance of men’s palladium rings. I strongly recommend that you check out the latest collections of designer palladium wedding bands and find out for yourself why this naturally white metal is a jeweler’s “dream come true”. It is no surprise that palladium is often considered the “quintessential metal for the modern man.”