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Diamond And Jewellery Blog | Poggenpoel

"Problems With Palladium" - A Fairytale

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Feb 5, 2015 11:35:35 AM

Why Do Certain Jewellers Badmouth Palladium?

The usual suspects… ignorance, spite and high blood-alcohol levels. 

Jokes aside, there seems to be some bizarre occasional badmouthing of palladium in South Africa by certain jewellers. It’s completely unfounded and I’d like to share my thoughts on it. 

For starters: Don’t Take MY Word For It Either

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If you have a mini-headache, rash or cramp - don’t Google it. As I’m sure you’ve learnt… you’re always 5 minutes from death. Dr. Google might be a terrible GP/Oncologist but it’s still a great tool for gathering information on most non-medical topics. 

Thanks to Google you don’t have to rely on any jeweller’s opinion on palladium, or anything else for that matter. You’re a simple Google search away from blog posts (like this beauty), scientific studies, customer feedback and industry reports on palladium. It’s worth your time to research this fantastic metal on you own. After 30 minutes I’m sure you’ll be convinced that palladium is an excellent metal choice for an engagement ring.

Ok, But Why Do Jewellers BADMOUTH Palladium?

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For starters you have to understand that palladium is a vastly superior metal to white gold, especially for use in engagement rings and other frequently worn pieces. It has all the benefits of platinum, none of the problems you encounter with white-gold… and it’s cheaper than both these alternatives. From a buyer’s perspective it’s an absolute no brainer.

It does have one major drawback… palladium is incredibly difficult to manufacture in (properly) and takes a hell of a lot of work, research and experimentation by the manufacturer to master.

If a jeweller starts reciting the “problems with palladium” they’re not always lying per se. They most probably tried manufacturing in the metal, experienced great frustration, ultimately failed and abandoned the project altogether. It’s like a chef informing you that fillet is actually charcoal-ish in taste and brittle based on the fact that he tried BBQing a nice steak by chucking it directly into a blazing fire and left it there for 4 hours. Thats not being fair?!

Furthermore, outsourcing palladium work is harder than you would imagine. With palladium being a fantastic offering and extremely difficult to master, the jewellers that have nailed manufacturing in this metal generally don’t do work for other jewellers. Offering palladium quickly becomes a major competitive advantage. I can only speak for poggenpoel.com, but we’ll never do any form of palladium work for other jewellers.  

The Simple Test

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I’m not saying that palladium should be every jeweller’s first love and top recommendation. There are valid reasons to occasionally recommend other metals to prospective customers. I just think its idiotic for a jeweller to badmouth a close to perfect metal (palladium) if they don’t understand how to work in it. 

If you’re stuck in a conversation with an anti-palladium jeweller simply ask them if they work in palladium.

Although most will claim they do, there will be two giveaways that transparency has taken the backseat: 

1.) A jeweller might not “like” palladium but due to the massive demand for palladium rings it would be extremely odd if they worked in the metal but can’t show a single sample. 

2.) You won’t find a single palladium manufacturer without a laser welder. It’s a crucial piece of equipment. If you have your doubts… simply ask if they have a laser welder. It’s a question we hear every day. 

A couple of hundred years ago people were tortured and executed for claiming the earth was round. Today it’s an undisputed fact. In the not too distant future the palladium naysayers will be stuck red-faced trying to cook up a new story about how they were misunderstood and actually agreed all along that palladium was the metal of the future. 

Remember, badmouthing and lies in jewellery stores aren’t victimless crimes… customers end up paying inflated prices for inferior products. As simple as that!

Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Palladium