Rare and lustrous silvery white precious metal. Discovered in 1803 and named for the asteroid Pallas, an alternative name for the Ancient Greek goddess of Wisdom, courage and inspiration; arts crafts and skill. Part of the Platinum group of metals, Palladium has a low melting point and is the least dense of the Platinum-type metals, making it a good choice for a precious metal to work into jewellery.
Used since 1939 as an alternative to Platinum and in white gold, Palladium is lighter than Platinum but, like gold it can be beaten very thinly. Palladium alloy White Gold is more expensive than Nickel alloy White Gold and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Like all other precious metals, Palladium is hallmarked by the Assay Office, this has been a legal requirement since 2010.
Historically, Silver ornaments and utensils have been used since the 4th century BC. Ancient Romans produced silver from lead-silver mines, smelters and refineries where natural deposits were found in in Britain, Spain, Sardinia, and across Europe. it's availability led to its introduction as the basis of their coinage. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain explored South America, mining rich deposits discovered in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. The widespread availability of Silver meant that rarer Gold eventually replaced it as the monetary standard.
Silver continued to be used in ornaments, tableware and some coins. The enduring relative scarcity, attractive appearance and malleability has made Silver a suitable choice for use in jewellery, ornaments and silverware.The Silver used in modern jewellery is known as Sterling Silver, which is an alloy with 7.5% copper bearing the hallmark '925'. This is preferable to using pure silver, as the durable alloy is much softer and less hard wearing whilst retaining the attractive qualities of Silver.
Silver has a pleasing natural colour but, like White Gold can be coated with the Platinum-family metal Rhodium to give a brighter effect. Silver, whilst still valuable, is considerably less expensive than gold.