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Palladium jewelry craze hits China

PalladiumnuggetChina this year has experienced a massive 55% increase in consumer demand for palladium jewelry, while demand for the metal from jewelry manufacturers in China is expected to increase by 70% to 1.43 million ounces, according to Michael Steel, a Johnson Matthey spokesman.

In many countries, palladium is viewed as a second-choice substitute for platinum and gold jewelry, but China's growing ranks of affluent consumers view palladium as desirable in its own right, he said.

Palladium and platinum are both members of the platinum group of metals and typically are found together in ore deposits.

Chinese consumers tend to prize metals for their purity and high levels of palladium purity are available in China, he said.

Jewelry makers and sellers, for their part, welcome the trend because palladium has low price volatility and is much cheaper than platinum, making for attractive profit margins.

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