When people think of expensive metals, usually gold, silver, or platinum come to mind. However, palladium is a rare and beautiful silvery-white metal which can be used for a variety of practical purposes.


Chemical Properties

In the Periodic Table Palladium is called “Pd” and has an atomic number of 46. It is a soft ductile malleable white metal.

Palladium has multiple uses because of its electrical conductivity and its chemical stability. A platinum group metal that is valued for its catalytic properties, it is also considered a soft metal. Because of its makeup, it can be used electronically as well.


In 1802 William Hyde Wollaston found a deposit, and had it in pure bullion form in 1803. Palladium got it's name from a recent meteorite called “Pallas”.


Palladium is found primarily in South Africa and Russia (similar to platinum but does occur in minor deposits in Canada. It can be found in its pure form but is usually mixed with other precious metals.


Palladium's largest single use is in catalytic convertors in automobiles. This accounts for 90% of the palladium market and is the largest contributing factor in regards to palladium's spot price.

Palladium’s use in Electronics

Palladium has become a good alternative to gold plating in electronic devices. The largest use of the rare, lustrous metal in electronics is multi-layer ceramic chip capacitor, which is a component designed to assist with controlling the electronic current flow through the parts of a circuit. It assists with the flow of the current by storing electrical charges until it is needed.

Palladium is an excellent conductor and is also used to link components inside electronic devices. In order to work properly, connectors are plated with a layer of precious metal for conductivity. Palladium can also be used for plating connectors and lead frames in hybrid integrated circuits for their conductive tracks. Palladium can also prevent silver from moving on conductive silver-palladium tracks, which are located inside hybrid integrated circuits.

Palladium as an investment

Another use of the rare and attractive metal is also used for coins, but has rarely been used for coins that are in general circulation. Some mints and companies offering collectors merchandise have begun making limited edition coins containing palladium. Palladium has become a promising investment in the world today. There are several aspects of palladium investment to consider before making a financial commitment. Palladium investments can be done by investing in physical metal, investing in mining stock, and investing in palladium futures.

Medical uses of palladium

Palladium also has its medical uses – to fight cancer in particular. Palladium-103, which is a radioactive isotope of the metal, has been proven to be an effective form of cancer treatment. The small seeds are used in various ways. The rice grain sized seeds are implanted into the prostate of patients with prostate cancer with hollow needles. After emitting radiation for several months, the seeds become inactive and do not require removal. Small seeds of Palladium-103 have also been used in preliminary breast cancer treatments.

Dental uses

Palladium can be mixed with copper, zinc, gold, or silver to produce alloys for dental crowns, bridges, and inlays. By using palladium, strength and durability are improved.

Water purification

Purifying groundwater because of toxic substance contamination is another palladium can be used. Palladium can be considered a strong and very promising catalyst for the water purification process. The benefits of using palladium is that it works fast and is able to treat the water with in-well reactors, so there is no need to pump the water to the surface for cleaning and treatment.


Palladium can be used by itself or alloyed with gold or silver to make jewelry. Palladium is more precious than silver, so that effects its pricing. Its color is whiter than platinum as well. It is lighter weight than platinum, about half its weight, jewelry of more intricate designs with heavier gemstones can be created from palladium.

Petroleum refining

Another important use of palladium is its ability to serve as a catalyst in various refining processes. Palladium can be used as a catalyst in catalytic reforming, which is used to produce high octane gasoline for automobiles. Palladium can also be used for hydro processing, which can be either the hydro cracking or hydro treating techniques.


Palladium has been used in photography alongside platinum since the mid 1800s. Since the beginning of photography, palladium has been used in the photographic process. Palladium prints have been known to produce warmer tones, which some people prefer, and no heat warmer is required for the process. Palladium printing became more popular after 1910.

During World War I, platinum was difficult to acquire so more and more people turned to palladium for photographic purposes. Even after the war the cost of platinum remained extremely high.

Because of the lower price of palladium, and also because it was more readily available, many people continued to use palladium for photographic purposes.

Hydrogen purification

Palladium is also used in hydrogen purification. Palladium can absorb hydrogen. When used as a thin membrane, hydrogen can permeate it, while all other gases are being blocked at the same time.

Palladium prices

Palladium is rare, and has a variety of uses. Therefore, it should be easy to recognize palladium is in high demand. Current palladium prices are remaining steady. The current palladium buy rates are the following current spot rates - $23.4295 / pd or $728.70 / oz. As with any precious metal, storage fees are charged on the monthly basis.

Palladium bullion are in various forms, such as palladium plates, ingots, coins, and bars, which were created and formed for investment purposes. The bullion can be sold and melted so they can be properly used for any of the metal’s multiple purposes.


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