Palladium Sterling Silver - another option

30th March 2018

If you want a truly white precious metal that is tarnish resistant then most people think of Platinum. This young lady shrugged convention in more ways than one and made her engagement ring in Palladium Sterling silver.

 The desired design

The desired design

A wedding with no wedding ring.

I like people that shrug convention and this young couple certainly have. The first thing they informed me was that the engagement ring would also be the wedding ring. 

They wanted me to quote on this ring in white gold that they had seen on the internet. Two rows of diamonds that crossed over, one white and the other black.


Quoting with an explanation

I quoted to make the ring in white gold but also informed them that because white gold is more a grey colour than white it needs to be rhodium plated every year or so depending on wear. In between platings the ring will appear a varying shade of the white she desires.

She neither desired the expense or inconvenience of having to have the rings periodically rhodium plated. She wanted to look at options.
 

A naturally white precious metal alloy

The two options we looked at were Platinum and Palladium Sterling Silver and she chose the latter. Once again we do something unconventional by making her engagement ring out of a Silver alloy.

Regular Sterling Silver contains copper and it is the copper content that leads to the tarnishing that most have seen.  Palladium Sterling Silver has the same pure silver content but replaces almost all the copper with Palladium.

Palladium is one of the Platinum group of metals and unlike copper is tarnish resistant. It is used in many white gold precious metal alloys. 

 
The six platinum-group metals are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum. They have similar physical and chemical properties,[clarification needed] and tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits.
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum_group
 
 The thinned out inside of the ring.

The thinned out inside of the ring.

Design

Most of the mass produced jewellery today is thinned out to give you the customer as little as possible. A subject I have touched on many times before.

The ring in the photo they supplied you can clearly see had been gutted on the inside resulting in very thin edges and a ring that will not last the test of time.  We would not be thinning out the inside of the ring I make and we will also widen and thicken the base of the ring.

As this ring was to be worn everyday the customer wanted the most durable style of setting for the diamonds. We changed the setting style from grain to channel set to achieve this.

 
 Channel set  on the left and grain on the right.

Channel set  on the left and grain on the right.

 

The ring to the right above also has the claws and edges of the black diamond section ruthenium plated to achieve the black appearance. This would wear off over time and by using larger black diamonds and channel setting we would avoid the need for re-plating the metal black.

The finished ring

As with all my rings I made a size draft to confirm the design and the finger size prior to making the actual ring. The ring contains 42 diamonds with a total weight of .21 carats.

My next task will be to make the groom`s wedding ring in a Palladium Sterling Silver design with rose gold features. I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Easter break.