950 Palladium: Fabricating Custom Earrings
This article examines manufacturing procedures used to hand fabricate 950 palladium earrings. These custom earrings designed by Lainie Mann feature cultured mabe pearls and pink sapphires set into hand formed and fabricated 950 palladium. The materials used in this project include.
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This article examines manufacturing procedures used to hand fabricate 950 palladium earrings. The 950 palladium for this article was purchased from Hoover & Strong. Their trade name for it is TruPd.
The materials used in this project include:
- 3×1 rectangular wire
- 14 gauge round wire
- 18 gauge round wire
- 24 gauge sheet
- Easy, medium and hard 950 TruPd palladium solder
Manufacturing methods and techniques covered in this project include:
- Bending and forming
- Filing, sanding and fitting
General 950 palladium information covered in this article includes:
- Cost analysis of using 950 palladium vs. 14-karat white gold and 950 platinum
- Tools and materials used for palladium
- 950 TruPd solder temperatures and composition
- 950 palladium refining suggestions
Cost Analysis - Palladium, 14-karat White Gold & Platinum
The 950 palladium wires for the featured earrings after assembly and finishing weighed 7.56 pennyweight. The market price for palladium was $185.00 per ounce or $9.25 per pennyweight without a metal suppliers mark-up. This chart compares converted and actual weights of these earrings if made in the featured alloys.
A marked benefit of palladium alloys is that their specific gravity is nearly half that of platinum. This factor opens a world of possibilities for designers to create a greater range of larger creations. The earrings featured in this article would have been weight prohibitive in platinum.
TruPd 950 palladium solder is supplied in three melting temperatures; easy, medium and hard. The flow temperatures of the solder are as follows:
- Easy - 2005F
- Medium - 2210F
- Hard - 2365F
According to Stewart Grice, Hoover & Strong's director of refining and mill products, the solders are palladium based with a total of 95 percent precious metal content. Hoover & Strong does not currently offer a plumb palladium solder.
Palladium Refining Suggestions
When refining palladium, Stewart Grice, Hoover & Strong's director of refining and mill products offers the following advice:
- Keep palladium filings separate from other precious metals filings. Hoover & Strong will perform a RAP (report all precious) on allotments when requested but for the best return, keep filings separate.
- Keep palladium hard scrap separate from other precious hard scrap. It will maximize your return and speed the settlement.
- Hoover & Strong will purchase pieces marked 950Pd outright.
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