Palladium’s Progress

In early 2006, the well-known platinum jewelry designer Scott Kay sent a letter to fellow jewelers singing the praises of palladium. The price of palladium was $371 per ounce and though buzz had been minimal, Kay predicted it would be the top white metal for the industry within two years. A closer look at the inner workings of palladium production, as well as feedback from suppliers and retailers, suggests that palladium may be well suited for filling a growing niche and expanding possibilities for the jewelry industry. The Stillwater Mine is located in Nye, Mont., and operates on the Johns-Manville (J-M) Reef, a natural ore deposit that hosts an abundance of platinum group metals, or PGMs. JCK had the opportunity to tour the mine, witnessing the work of miners who log 10-hour shifts underground in rock access tunnels. Within the ore they mine lies the treasure: shiny traces of PGMs.

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