The jewelry industry has focused its attention on palladium in recent months as the record high price of platinum made palladium an attractive alternative. While the biggest usage of palladium is for automobile pollution-control devices, jewelry now uses 14 percent of this precious metal.
Jewelry consumption of palladium is projected to grow 8 percent this year to over 1.2 million ounces. This increase in demand has spurred a 76 percent increase in price this year to $330 per ounce. The engine behind palladium’s growth has been China’s jewelry industry that now represents 69 percent of the world’s palladium jewelry. The United Statues now makes up 10 percent of the palladium jewelry market and organized marketing of palladium is just getting started.
“Palladium is going to explode on the fine jewelry market like no other metal ever has,” predicts Scott Kay, CEO of Scott Kay Inc.
Palladium is now a prime choice for high-purity, luxury white metal. With the price of palladium about half that of gold and a fourth that of platinum, palladium is not only less expensive than gold or platinum, but is also lighter and therefore more cost effective.
Consumers not only like the lower price of palladium jewelry, they also are attracted to the fact that palladium is brighter than platinum or white gold, is hypoallergenic for sensitive skin, does not tarnish, and does not need plating to retain the whiteness.
Montana-based Palladium Alliance International (PAI) is providing the marketing push to get the message out to the consumers. Formed in March of this year, PAI strives to position palladium as peer, rather than an alternative, to platinum and white gold.
Many jewelry designers feel that palladium is already a superior metal to platinum for jewelry design and expect that once consumers learn more about this beautiful white metal, demand will soar worldwide.