What is Palladium?

Palladium is a chemical element with symbol Pd and atomic number 46. A rare silver-white transition metal of the platinum group, palladium resembles platinum chemically and is extracted from some copper and nickel ores. It is primarily used as an industrial catalyst and in jewelry.

Notable characteristics
Palladium is a soft steel-white metal that resembles platinum, doesn’t tarnish in air, and is the least dense and has the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals. It is soft and ductile when annealed and greatly increases its strength and hardness when it is cold-worked. Palladium is chemically attacked by sulfuric and nitric acid but dissolves slowly in hydrochloric acid. This metal also does not react with oxygen at normal temperatures.

This metal has the uncommon ability to absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen at room temperatures. It is thought that this possibly forms palladium hydride – PdH2 – but it is not yet clear if this is a true chemical compound.

New information next week on Palladium and how it can help white gold jewelry wearers.

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2 responses to “What is Palladium?

  1. Jill,

    I’ve learned a lot about Palladium from your blogs and I am interested in purchasing a palladium ring. But, what I am afraid of is Palladium will react and discolor easily, especially the water in my house has a high content of sulfur (well water). Should I be worry about it? I don’t mind spending a little more for platinum if I have to constantly worry about my palladium ring discoloring or react to certain chemicals. Please tell me more cons about the metal palladium, is it just as white as platinum?

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

  2. Please view our new blog for our answer to Janet’s question about Palladium.