Frederick Goldman’s ArtCarved division recently unveiled four bridal lines in palladium, a member of the platinum family. The jewelry includes the Floral, Petite, Surprise, and Geometric collections of solitaire and three-stone engagement rings and anniversary and wedding bands. Retail prices for wedding bands start at $250; engagement ring semimounts start at $450.
According to ArtCarved, palladium is a lot like platinum, except in price. It’s the same color as platinum, shares durability qualities with platinum, is hypo-allergenic, and contains no nickel or cobalt. Also, unlike white gold, palladium isn’t rhodium-plated and is kissing cousins with the priciest metal on the market. And with platinum prices near $1,300 an ounce at press time, palladium is a deal by comparison—just $350 an ounce.
The downside to palladium is that jewelers can’t market rarity as they do with platinum. In 2005, there were 8.4 million ounces of palladium available worldwide versus 6.6 million ounces of platinum, according to Johnson Matthey. Worldwide demand for palladium left an excess of nearly 1 million ounces, while platinum’s demand outpaced availability by 100,000 ounces.