For many couples, a wedding ring is not just symbolic of your love and union together as one, but it’s also a fashion statement that shows off your unique personality. Some people prefer wedding rings that are highly visible and flamboyant, while others prefer wedding rings that are more understated and subtle.
Certain materials that wedding rings are made of lend themselves more in one direction than the other. However, with metals like palladium and platinum, both are materials that are extremely versatile and can work well for most wedding ring styles, no matter your personality or taste.
Unclear about what the differences are? Keep reading for a thorough metal comparison of palladium vs platinum. You’ll be a pro before you know it!
What Is Platinum?
Known as a rare “precious metal,” platinum has been around for centuries and is a beloved favorite for many fine jewelry makers.
It's malleability and density make it an excellent choice for intricate designs with stone settings, or delicate filigree designs. It can also be polished to a beautiful shine, which many couples love. A sparkling solitaire in a shiny platinum ring is both glamorous and classic.
However, because platinum metal is so malleable, even as it ages and gets scratched, it simply fades to a well-worn patina that is equally as beautiful. In fact, some couples prefer the aged patina look over a shiny new polish!
Another key feature of a platinum wedding ring is that it’s naturally hypoallergenic with a whitish-grey color, and no plating with rhodium is required.
What Is Palladium?
Palladium is a metal from the periodic table’s Platinum Metals Group (PMG) but with a couple of key differences.
First of all, palladium is typically alloyed with other metals like gold or silver when fashioning jewelry, and sometimes ruthenium. When palladium is alloyed with gold it’s then known as “white gold.” While palladium is similar to platinum in that it's also a hypoallergenic metal, some people may have reactions depending on the alloys it's mixed with.
Palladium is actually stronger than platinum and white gold, making it excellent for diamond settings and for couples that want a ring that’s durable and can withstand the rigors of time.
Palladium is frequently used for making some of the finest jewelry—like wedding rings—you can find. Since palladium is available in a greater abundance than platinum jewelry, it was once more affordable. However, the cost of palladium has changed in recent years.
Which Is More Expensive, Platinum or Palladium?
In the recent past, palladium used to be less expensive than platinum, especially for fine jewelry manufacturing. However, with the significant increase in demand for palladium for industrial purposes, today there is not much difference from the price of platinum. While palladium ring prices are busy heading north, the price of platinum has declined and basically stalled where it’s currently at.
Reasons Why Palladium Is Priced Higher than Platinum
Palladium officially gained status as a “precious metal” way back in 2010. That means that any wedding ring or wedding band that weighs more than a gram is legally required to be hallmarked. This is achieved by adding a series of marks in the metal.
Palladium, much like platinum, is extremely rare. It’s gradually becoming more precious as the demand for it increases exponentially. The demand is significantly higher for palladium vs white gold or platinum.
Many people prefer palladium over platinum or white gold largely because of characteristics that work in its favor, like:
Pricing of platinum and palladium has shifted over time, with platinum prices following a continuous downward trend since 2014. The price of platinum per ounce has fallen from $1500 to the $900 range.
Meanwhile, the palladium price per ounce has increased from $850 to $2000 since January 2020. Despite the increasing demand for palladium, platinum is still dearer to many because of its weight, durability, rare availability, and beauty.
Any fine piece of jewelry—like our simulated diamond-studded wedding rings at Diamond Nexus—that can be made using platinum can also be made using palladium or white gold.
Note of caution: be careful using white gold with diamonds. It’s softer and you could risk losing your precious stones, whereas palladium and platinum are harder metals, making them more durable with less of a chance that diamonds will come loose from everyday wear.
Can You Substitute Palladium for Platinum in Your Wedding Ring?
Absolutely! The truth is, some couples prefer to save some of their hard-earned money and put those funds towards other things—like doing life together and creating experiences and memories. So begins their hunt for more affordable options for their wedding rings.
If frugal is your middle name and any of that sounds like you, you might want to consider bridal rings made of platinum vs. white gold or palladium.
Just remember that white gold jewelry is the most affordable, whereas palladium and platinum wedding rings are pretty comparable in cost. The smartest thing to do is decide what you’re looking for, settle on your budget, and then stick to your guns as you begin shopping.
What Makes Platinum and Palladium White?
Good question. The “whiteness” of white gold can vary according to the alloys used when making the ring, meaning it could be slightly off and look a bit yellow, especially as time marches on.
Palladium and platinum, on the other hand, are naturally white metals that can withstand oxidation and corrosion for a lifetime. Platinum is a touch whiter than palladium, but only by about one shade, so you would be hard-pressed to notice much difference.
Both of these metals are hypoallergenic and should remain white forever without tarnishing, which is why they remain so popular, especially for people with allergies or people who don’t like dealing with a lot of maintenance to keep their rings looking their best.
Platinum vs Palladium Hardness and Durability
These metals are renowned for their hardness, which contributes to overall durability. Though they are both difficult to scratch, it doesn’t mean they never get scratched. That’s just unrealistic. The wonderful thing is that even when they get scratched—which they will—it doesn’t take away from the ring’s aesthetic.
This is because both palladium and platinum jewelry age beautifully, with scratches developing into a subtle, matte-finish patina over time that only adds to the overall beauty of the ring. However, if you are one of the few that doesn’t like the look of patina, occasionally putting them on a non-abrasive polishing wheel can revive their original shine.
A white gold ring is much different by contrast. When damage or scratching occurs, the metal actually comes off the ring, so that it looks scratched. That means that unlike platinum and palladium jewelry, the metal doesn’t displace and create that pretty patina finish.
Sadly, the ring just looks banged up, like it’s seen better days. Although it only takes a quick dip in rhodium to get a white gold ring shining like new again. But if you don’t want to deal with the maintenance over time, choose palladium or platinum for your wedding band!
Platinum vs Palladium Strength
Palladium metal is a clear winner when comparing how strong the two metals are. However, platinum runs a close second in strength, which means that you really can’t go wrong either way. Both make great options for a long-lasting wedding ring.
Platinum vs Palladium Density and Weight
Platinum rings are sometimes sought over palladium rings because platinum is much denser than palladium (almost double the density), which means it weighs more. For some, that extra weight is preferred. Just keep in mind that the bulkier the ring, the heavier and less comfortable it will be.
Others prefer the lighter weight palladium wedding band instead. This is because it’s typically more comfortable to wear for everyday, especially if you are in a line of work that requires you to use your hands a lot. A heavy ring can be distracting and get in the way, whereas a lighter ring is barely noticed.
There is a con to that though. Yes, the lighter weight of a palladium ring is great if your style of ring is large and in charge, but if you veer toward the dainty in design, palladium can make it feel as though you aren’t even wearing a ring!
Another con to palladium vs platinum is that palladium is more modern. That means you need modern equipment to work with it and if you don’t have the right tools, trying to fashion jewelry from it is next to impossible. Many jewelers shy away from using palladium in their stock for that very reason.
At the end of the day, choosing palladium vs platinum for your wedding ring honestly boils down to our preference and what you find most comfortable to wear. Overall, both metals are very similar and exquisite. Shop platinum rings now at Diamond Nexus!
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions - it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.