Palladium vs. Platinum: The Differences

Palladium vs. Platinum: The Differences

Curious about whether palladium or platinum jewelry is superior? You’ve come to the right spot.

In this helpful Twirl Weddings guide, I will compare these two types of white metals and address inquiries such as:

  • Which metal provides greater comfort?
  • Is palladium suitable for a wedding band?
  • Is platinum pricier than palladium?

Differences Between Platinum and Palladium

When it comes to Platinum versus Palladium, there are some key contrasts:

  • Platinum stands alone as its own metal, while palladium belongs to the platinum group metals.
  • Palladium is scarcer, whereas platinum engagement rings can be found more easily.
  • Platinum tends to be heavier, whereas palladium rings are lighter in weight.
  • Palladium jewelry often features diamond simulants, while platinum rings typically showcase genuine diamonds.
  • While all jewelers can handle platinum jewelry, not every jeweler is equipped to work with palladium.

Origin – Platinum vs Palladium


Platinum, a precious metal with a natural white color, has been known since the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, its discovery goes back even further to the 1700s when Antonio de Ulloa found it in South America. In fact, early civilizations had already been using platinum before its official recognition.

On the periodic table, platinum is denoted by the abbreviation Pt. Its name originates from the Spanish word “platina,” which means “silver.” Interestingly, the term platinum can also encompass a group of six metals known as the platinum group.

The metals belonging to the platinum group are:

  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Rhodium
  • Osmium
  • Ruthenium
  • Iridium

Out of these metals, only platinum, palladium, and rhodium are commonly used in crafting fine jewelry. Among them, platinum is the most abundant.

Similar to other natural metals, platinum is extracted from various locations worldwide, including Colombia, Canada, and the United States. It is typically found in alluvial deposits alongside other alloy metals, often present in nickel ore and other minerals.

During its initial use in jewelry, platinum was primarily accessible to the wealthy and royalty. Prior to that, yellow gold was the favored metal for jewelry pieces.

Platinum Engagement Rings at Brilliant Earth

Shop at Brilliant Earth

Nowadays, you can find platinum in many online jewelry retailers, although it may be less prevalent in physical stores. However, if you specifically request platinum, most brick and mortar jewelry shops can make arrangements to order it for you.

Although white gold rings are more commonly chosen for engagements and weddings, platinum remains a preferred choice for some individuals. Its unique characteristics and natural white hue make it a distinct and elegant option for those seeking a touch of luxury in their jewelry.


You may have observed that palladium belongs to the same group of metals as platinum. Similar to platinum and other natural metals, it is obtained through mining processes.

Palladium is actually rarer than platinum. However, like platinum, it is not typically found in exclusive deposits but rather in mines that contain other types of ores. The majority of palladium is extracted from nickel-copper mines.

The credit for its discovery goes to William Hyde Wollaston in the year 1803. The term “palladium” is derived from the name “Pallos,” which was given to an asteroid discovered around the same time.

While Russia is the primary source of palladium mining, it can also be found in countries such as the United States, Finland, Australia, Canada, and Zimbabwe.

Palladium Engagement Ring


Due to its scarcity, palladium rings are not easily found and are less common compared to platinum rings.

Although palladium jewelry has been in existence for a considerable period, its popularity has noticeably increased in the past two decades. One speculation for this surge in interest is the widespread use of the internet.

In addition to its use in jewelry, palladium finds application in various metal instruments, including electronics and dental tools.

RECOMMENDED: Best Rings for Men

Appearance – Platinum vs Palladium


Platinum made its grand entrance as the first white metal in the realm of fine jewelry. However, its allure was accompanied by a hefty price tag, making it accessible to only a select few. In those times, platinum was even rarer due to the absence of advanced mining tools and techniques that we have today.

The high cost of platinum prompted jewelers to seek out an alternative white metal that would be more affordable. Can you guess what that metal is?

Enter white gold jewelry. Once white gold emerged on the scene, platinum jewelry took a back seat in popularity.

Nevertheless, there are still individuals who prefer platinum for their wedding bands and engagement rings. One of the main attractions is that platinum rings maintain their original color.

Platinum is known for its 95% purity, which is why you will often find platinum jewelry stamped with the number 950. For platinum rings, this stamp is usually located on the inside of the ring’s shank. Sometimes, platinum may be marked with 900, indicating 90% platinum with a slightly higher proportion of alloy metals.

Platinum Rings at James Allen

Shop at James Allen

The remaining 5% of platinum jewelry’s composition consists of platinum alloy metals such as cobalt and palladium.

The purity of platinum allows it to retain its silvery-white color even with daily wear, unlike white gold jewelry that may require rhodium plating over time to maintain its appearance.

While platinum jewelry may not possess the same level of shine as white gold, its distinctive appearance is undeniably striking.

Due to its density, platinum is a heavier metal to wear. Some individuals appreciate this characteristic, while others prefer the opposite. It may not be the ideal choice for someone unaccustomed to wearing rings.


While belonging to the platinum group, palladium distinguishes itself from platinum with its unique color.

Platinum and white gold share a similar silvery white hue, but palladium exhibits a brighter shade of white compared to the other two metals.

Price – Platinum vs Palladium

All precious metals, including gold, palladium, and platinum, have fluctuating daily spot prices. However, when it comes to fine jewelry, the spot price doesn’t directly determine the cost. The price is primarily influenced by the specific design and characteristics of the jewelry piece itself.

For instance, a delicate platinum engagement ring is likely to be less expensive than a wider channel-set platinum engagement ring, as the latter requires more metal for its construction.

Unlike gold, platinum is not commonly divided into lower-grade parts to reduce costs. Even platinum with a composition of 900 parts per thousand is rare, although it does exist.

Another factor that contributes to the cost is the density of platinum. Creating an engagement ring or wedding band with platinum requires a larger quantity of the metal compared to other metals. This density also adds to the overall weight of the jewelry piece.

RECOMMENDED: Best Wedding Bands for Working Men

In the past, palladium engagement rings and wedding bands used to be priced at about half the cost of platinum. Despite this discount, they were not in high demand for jewelry purposes.

However, the platinum group metals, including palladium, gained popularity in the production of vehicles. Due to the scarcity of palladium compared to platinum, its demand increased, resulting in a rise in price.

Since approximately 2014, palladium has reached a price level close to or even higher than platinum. The demand for palladium in non-jewelry applications is what primarily drives up its value. As a result, we lack the resources to produce large quantities of palladium engagement rings and wedding bands.

Although there has been an increase in the availability of palladium jewelry pieces over the past 15 years, it still hasn’t become a mainstream choice for engagement rings.

Determining the exact price range of palladium engagement rings is challenging due to the limited options available, even online. These rings are often mixed with different diamond simulants like cubic zirconia or moissanite.

Considering the difficulty in finding palladium engagement rings, you should expect to pay quite a bit for them. For example, check the prices of the palladium rings at Allurez.

Palladium Engagement Rings at Allurez

Shop at Allurez

I found a ring that features a split shank crafted from palladium and adorned with a diamond weighing 0.59 carats.

To provide an alternative option, I’ve designed a similar ring with the same carat weight in platinum, available at

Although the precise measurements may differ slightly, both rings are priced similarly. Therefore, the price of a platinum or palladium ring is quite comparable, and it shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in your decision-making process.

RECOMMENDED: Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia

Value – Platinum vs Palladium

Despite their rarity, platinum engagement rings do not hold a significant intrinsic value due to the relatively small amount of the metal used in their production. To make the value truly worthwhile, one would need to possess a substantial amount of platinum jewelry.

When it comes to the long-term value of fine jewelry, it generally does not appreciate significantly. The focus on high resale value is primarily centered around the gemstone rather than the setting itself.

In terms of reselling, it is generally easier to find buyers for platinum rings compared to palladium rings. Online retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile offer upgrade programs that allow customers to trade in their platinum engagement rings for upgraded versions.

Blue Nile has even partnered with CIRCA, an organization that accepts engagement rings in exchange for cash or store credit.

In general, it is not advisable to purchase jewelry with the intention of investing or reselling it, as the original value is unlikely to be fully retained unless you have a rare gemstone.

Aside from monetary considerations, it is important to consider the long-term durability of ring metals. Most of us wear our wedding rings daily for many years, so it’s crucial to choose metals that can withstand the test of time and minimize the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Both palladium and platinum are stronger metals for jewelry compared to gold. Some engagement rings may feature a white gold main setting with a platinum ring head.

When it comes to durability, platinum is less prone to breaking compared to palladium. However, palladium jewelry offers better resistance against scratches, with a hardness rating of 5.75, while platinum has a rating of 4.5.

Due to its softness, platinum may require occasional polishing over the years. Fortunately, polishing is not one of the more expensive jewelry services.

It’s worth noting that not all jewelers are equipped to work on palladium jewelry. Finding a jeweler who can handle palladium might pose a challenge, and the cost could be higher compared to working with more conventional metals.


Still unsure about whether platinum or palladium is the better choice for you? Well, if I had to make a decision, I would opt for platinum.

Why, you ask?

Firstly, platinum offers a wider range of choices. Not all jewelers are willing to repair or work on palladium jewelry, which can limit your options.

Secondly, most platinum engagement rings come with the option of warranties, providing an extra layer of protection for your precious piece.

Thirdly, platinum rings often qualify for trade-ins or upgrade programs. This means that if you ever want to switch up your ring in the future, you’ll have more flexibility with platinum.

Furthermore, if you ever find the need to resell your ring, platinum generally holds its value better than palladium.

Ultimately, the key factor is that platinum provides more options when it comes to engagement rings. While palladium is a great metal in its own right, it hasn’t gained the same level of popularity and is in lower demand. This can limit your choices for ring settings and make it challenging to find the perfect ring.

Additionally, not all jewelers offer custom-made palladium engagement rings. And if they do, the cost is likely to be higher compared to ordering a platinum ring online. This somewhat contradicts the notion of palladium being cheaper, wouldn’t you agree?

However, both platinum and palladium are durable and can last a lifetime if properly cleaned and polished when necessary. So in terms of longevity, both metals perform well in the long run.

Leave a Reply