As jewelry becomes more and more accessible to consumers over the Internet, different types of metals have been showing up as alternatives to the standard metals of silver, gold, and platinum. These new metals include titanium, stainless steel, tungsten, and palladium, a relatively new alternative to platinum. However, it can be difficult to find someone willing to resize palladium due to its unique physical properties. Read more to learn about palladium ring resizing.
What is Palladium?
Palladium is an interesting metal that is naturally silvery-white in color. Unlike silver, it does not tarnish when exposed to oxygen over time, making it an excellent choice for people who enjoy white metals. In contrast to platinum, it is less dense, with a lighter feel. It is slightly more scratch-resistant than platinum.
As a jewelry metal, palladium was only recently put into use due to a shortage of platinum during World War 2. Since platinum had been reserved for military use, palladium quickly became a popular alternative due to its similarity in appearance. After the war, palladium casting improved and it was considered a cheaper substitute for platinum engagement rings. As of 2019, the price of palladium has actually overtaken platinum and gold thanks to its value as a versatile metal for other industries, such as automobile manufacturing.
Why Won’t My Jeweler Do Palladium Ring Resizing?
There are a few reasons as to why some jewelers won’t touch palladium. Many palladium rings that were manufactured are often vintage, as production was high in the 1940s. As a result, many of these castings are often old and worn down, which causes complications when sizing. Due to its rarity in today’s jewelry market, many jewelers do not have the matching type of solder on hand to work with palladium. This means that any resizing work done on a palladium piece will leave some inconsistency in the metal, as the solder may be platinum or white gold solder.
Aside from these reasons, palladium is in the same group of metals as platinum. This means that palladium has very similar physical properties as platinum, which include a higher heating point and a tendency towards porosity. Jewelers who do not have much experience with platinum will turn down palladium as well, as they may not feel prepared to work on such a piece.
The Palladium Ring Resizing Process
- Evaluation: The jeweler examines the palladium ring and makes note of any stones and special finishes in the piece. Many palladium rings are plain bands, often with a matte finish to help conceal scratches from daily wear. It’s important that the jeweler recreates this finish after resizing to restore the look of the original piece.
- Sizing: The jeweler cuts open the ring at one area. In a ring with a design in the front, the jeweler will cut at the back of the shank to avoid altering the design. Once this cut is made, the jeweler adds or removes metal until the ring is the proper size, and closes it. If the jeweler is using a different type of solder than palladium solder, they will have to exercise additional caution. White gold solder has a tendency to recede during polishing due to the difference in consistency.
- Polishing and Finishing: Once the jeweler is done with the resizing process, they send it to polishing where the ring is buffed by a polishing wheel. This removes any rough and bumpy bits from the surface. For finishes such as matte and brushed, the polisher will re-apply the look to the ring, ensuring that it looks the same as it did when it first came in for resizing.
You’re all set on palladium ring resizing! If you’re interested in getting one sized just check out our ring sizing services below, select “Other,” and enter Palladium as your metal type.