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Platinum is often considered the best there is, and with good cause. It can make diamonds sparkle like no other metal can and is much harder than white gold. But if you can't afford the platinum price tag, than palladium is a good option to consider.

The main benefit of palladium over platinum wedding rings is price. Platinum is a much more dense metal than both gold and palladium, and thus weighs a lot more. Usually, you are paying for weight with precious metals. They are most often sold on commodity markets by the troy ounce. While the volume may be the same for both a platinum, white gold, and palladium ring, the weight and density of the platinum ring will be almost double, along with the price tag.

Both palladium and platinum offer superb stone security when setting diamonds, much better than that of white gold. The prongs have very minimal spring back and both metals seem to wear well for this application.

Wedding rings made of palladium and platinum are also both very pure metals, usually 95% pure with the remaining 5% being ruthenium or iridium. This is great for those who need hypo-allergenic rings, as both metals will be far less likely to cause allergic reaction than those of white gold. Palladium is usually marked 950PD while platinum carries the mark PT950.

In our experience, both metals wear well. Palladium is a naturally white metal, just as platinum is, and will look shiny and new as long as you clean and polish is regularly. Platinum also requires maintenance, though not as often. However, the maintenance is more intensive and takes longer when you get it done. Over many years the cost will be a wash, but platinum will likely save you a few trips to the jewelery store.

Chances are that if you're looking for a palladium or platinum wedding band you don't want to consider white gold. However, there are some options that have presented themselves with recent technology that give white gold the same advantages as palladium and platinum with a similar price tag. These new white golds stay white and don't need rhodium plating. They are often referred to as precise white gold rings. Our favorite is the new X1 white gold from Stuller. This is available by request in most our gold bands at Wedding Rings Forever. This metal ranks just below platinum on the "whiteness" scale and just above palladium.

For now it still seems that platinum is a superior choice for luster and wear. It is also a completely inert metal that will not react, meaning no oxidation or tarnish. However, the new X1 white gold and 950PD palladium will certainly be competitors coming into the future.