The History and Uses of Palladium

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The History And Uses Of Palladium

Silver-colored precious coins.

Palladium is a metal known for its corrosion-resistant and ductile characteristics, which makes it an excellent candidate for jewelry. It also is an ideal pick if you are looking to invest in precious metals because it is a rare element with indispensable uses. How was palladium found, and how is it used? Read ahead to find out.

How Was Palladium Discovered?

Palladium was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, the chemist who also discovered rhodium. He named the discovery after Pallas, a bright asteroid that was newly discovered at that time. The finding was accidental as he was working on extracting platinum from an ore when he discovered the new metal. Palladium is purer and more durable than gold, making it the element of choice of precious metal investment companies.

In 1939, palladium was used in jewelry for the first time in place of platinum. Both metals have similar properties and are used in making white gold. Palladium is the rarest of the four precious metals, namely gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. The United States only has a single mine, while other reserves are found in South Africa, Russia, and Canada.

Uses Of Palladium

Many precious metal investment dealers work with palladium for its diverse usage in the industrial sector.

Automotive Industry

The metal is used in catalytic converters in car engines to turn exhaust fumes into harmless compounds. The incomplete combustion of a hydrocarbon produces exhaust fumes containing carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in the car engine. Both have adverse effects on public health and the environment. Palladium present in car engines catalyzes the conversion of these harmful gases to harmless compounds.

More than 80% of palladium mined is used in car batteries for catalytic conversion. Its widespread use in the automotive industry and rare quantity sometimes spike its prices higher than gold, making it a favorite amongst precious metals exchange investors.

 Inside a car engine.

Dental Industry

Palladium is used in restorative dentistry to replace crowns and bridges. Its lightweight and affordability make it a more viable option for dentists to use in alloys. It is also soluble, corrosion-resistant, and has mechanical properties that make it biocompatible. Even in gold alloys, the metal is used in trace amounts to improve the alloy’s resistance to corrosion.

Electronics Industry

Palladium, along with other metals in the platinum family, is used to coat electrodes within batteries to conduct electricity. The relative non-reactivity and durability of the metal make it appropriate for use in electronics. Cell phones contain metal in their multi-layered ceramic chip capacitors that help mobile devices retain charge by storing electrical energy. A typical smartphone in the United States can b expected to have 0.015 grams of palladium.

Metal is also the choice element for watchmaking. Palladium holds its lustre longer than gold or platinum. Lustre is the quality of a pure metal that gives it its shine. Since palladium can be extracted more purely than gold and other metals, it is ideal for watchmaking and jewelry because it does not tarnish easily.

A silver-colored stopwatch.

Chemical Manufacturing

Palladium acts as a catalyst – ̶  a substance that speeds ups a reaction  ̶  for many chemical reactions. The metal is attributed as a catalyst for the well-known Wacker process that produces acetaldehyde, a raw material for many industrial products.

Precious Metal Investment

Last but not least, palladium is a valuable asset for investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios. Precious metal companies deal in palladium exchange for its advantages to a buyer’s portfolio. Stricter pollution laws and the overall consciousness of the public toward clean energy are making the use of this metal more important, leading to high demand.

Silver-colored coin with an engraved lion.

Palladium is a high-demand and low-supply precious metal with widespread use that makes it an excellent candidate for your investment portfolio.

If you want to invest in palladium coins, we are a precious metals exchange company that helps you buy the best gold, silver, and other precious metal coins with easy and transparent processes. Our palladium products can be found here.

Get in touch with us to know about investing in precious metals.

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