Silver is considered one of the most important metals in the world. It is used for a wide range of applications. From jewelry to medical devices, this precious metal has a number of benefits. For example, it has high conductivity.
Among the many metal alloys available in the market, silver/palladium alloys have gained a lot of popularity since 1973. The alloy’s low cost, luster, and durability make it ideal for applications requiring a hard metal that does not tarnish.
However, this material does not offer the advantages of other white metal alloys, such as rhodium plating, which requires constant maintenance. Additionally, silver/palladium alloys tend to be less durable than alternative alloys, and have a visible solder seam. This seam fades with wear, especially on highly polished surfaces.
Other alternative white metal alloys include platinum, which is more expensive, but also has a higher hardness. Platinum can be plated with rhodium to improve the surface finish and increase the durability of the metal. Unlike palladium, platinum has a white color.
Palladium is lighter than platinum, and has a lower malleability. This makes it harder to work with, and takes longer to polish.
In contrast, platinum is extremely long-lasting. It is hypoallergenic, and has an exceptionally high electrical conductivity. Moreover, it has a natural white color. Therefore, it is a good choice for prong settings. But it does require more labor to produce, so it is not a cheap alternative.
Furthermore, silver/palladium alloys do not allow for a smooth, seamless joint, as the solder would melt before it could flow. This problem is particularly noticeable in textured rings. On the other hand, a smooth joint can be produced with an alloy such as sterling silver, which has a warmer tone.