It’s been a while since we wrote about palladium on our blog. Since we last wrote about this precious metal two years ago, its trading price has risen from about $700 to $800 on the London fix. That’s reason enough to revisit the topic of palladium. And because it is still very feasible to realize a good return from acquiring and recycling this often-overlooked precious metal, we are providing an overview of the basics in today’s blog post.
Palladium is one of the more valuable precious metals, currently trading at $819 on the London Fix – compared to $924 for platinum and $1250 for gold. Although it is rare in nature, palladium is not too difficult to find in many recyclable items, including automotive and industrial catalytic converters, and in alloys of gold and other metals.
Here are some other palladium basics to understand:
- Palladium can be found in a range of manufactured items. If you have items that are made of “white gold,” for example, chances are good that they are really made of an alloy of gold and palladium – and that palladium can be extracted by a qualified palladium refiner like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. Also, some jewelry items that appear to be made of platinum are really made of palladium. That was often done in the years around World War II, when the U.S. government restricted the use of platinum to military production.
- Palladium has been misunderstood, almost from the day it was discovered in 1802 by a British scientist named William Hyde Wollaston. Other scientists questioned his “find” and claimed that his discovery was really an alloy of platinum and mercury. It was years before Wollaston’s new metal was recognized and listed as an element with the symbol Pd and an atomic number of 46.
- Palladium is rare in nature and often comes from distant countries. The most extensive deposits are found in South Africa, Russia, Ontario and Montana.
Where Can You Find Palladium to Recycle?
Even though Palladium is rare in nature, you can find it in more recyclable items than you might expect, including:
- Palladium alloys used in manufacturing, which can include palladium sputter and sputtering targets, palladium sponges, and palladium flake.
- Palladium catalysts, which can include automotive catalysts, industrial catalysts, petroleum refining catalysts, and palladium foil catalysts.
- Palladium jewelry items, which can include rings, chains, bracelets and jewelry scrap.
- Palladium metal itself to be used in manufacturing, which can include palladium wire, palladium castings, palladium rods, palladium mesh, and palladium foil.
- Palladium resins, which are chemicals used in manufacturing processes.
- Palladium-plated items, which can include jewelry and decorative items.
Not Sure What You Have? Call Our Expert Palladium Refiners Today
If you have items that you believe might contain palladium, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more. When you call, be sure to mention this blog post and ask about free or discounted shipping costs we offer on palladium items that are sent to our labs for testing.
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