950 Palladium: Stock Mountings and Findings
The reintroduction of white, bright and light palladium for use in the jewelry industry has quickly introduced an expanding assortment of palladium stock items offered in a variety of palladium alloys. These alloys contain 950 parts of palladium and 50 parts of other metals (this portion of the alloy may vary among suppliers).
The most common alloy component is ruthenium, which, along with palladium belongs to the platinum group of noble metals. Ruthenium usually comprises about 4.8 percent of the 5% mixture, leaving room for trace elements of other metals that improve working, wearing or casting characteristics. This alloy combination is suitable for general purposes such as casting and fabricating and has an as-cast Vickers hardness of about 110 to 130 depending upon the specific mixture.
This article covers 950 palladium methods and techniques for:
- The assembly of mountings and findings
- Sizing up
Other 950 palladium alloys may include in their 5% mixture metals such as nickel, copper, silver, cobalt, and various combinations of these. These alloys will range in working characteristics for various bench and manufacturing tasks.
It is very important to know about the 950 palladium alloy that you are working with and to become familiar with their compatible features. Because the ingredients of 950 palladium alloys vary, so may factors such as color and working characteristics. For the best results when sizing, servicing or building jewelry pieces at the bench, use like materials.
This article features stock pieces (in this case, a cast mounting and a die struck setting) that were provided by R-Findings, Rochester, NY. They have a large selection of 950 palladium mountings, findings, sizing wire and solder. The provided R-Finding’s palladium products are made from a 950 palladium and ruthenium alloy that is mixed with trace elements of other metals.
Polishing Palladium Made Easy!
Brenda Warburton of Austin and Warburton in Ann Arbor , MI uses a very effective ONE-STEP polishing process for palladium jewelry. After doing fine abrasive pre-finishing, she uses white Bendick Rouge from C. R. Hill Company to produce a fine finished luster. This amazing rouge eliminates fine scratches and reveals the natural bright, white color of palladium.
Palladium Jewelry Manufacturing: Frequently Asked Questions:
Does 950 palladium jewelry require rhodium plating?
NO! Palladium is bright white. For the whitest, brightest results when polishing palladium use white jeweler’s rouge and then white 8,000 grit platinum rouge as the final step in the polishing process. The acquired finish after these two polishing compounds are used will rival rhodium plated white gold. Palladium however will keep its natural whiteness over time, unlike most white gold alloys which depend on rhodium plating to become white and to maintain whiteness over the years.