• March 28, 2023


Last Updated on 6 months by The Mintly Team

What Is Palladium?

Discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, Palladium is named after the asteroid Pallas, in turn, named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, Pallas.

Palladium - WikipediaPalladium is a shiny, silvery metal used in many types of manufacturing processes, particularly for electronics and industrial products. It can also be used in dentistry, medicine, chemical applications, jewelry, and groundwater treatment.

The majority of the world’s supply of this rare metal, which has the atomic number 46 on the periodic table of elements, comes from mines located in the United States, Russia, South Africa, and Canada.

  • Along with platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium, the metal is part of a group known as platinum group metals.
  • Palladium is a precious shiny gray-white metal that resists corrosion, is extremely ductile, and is easily worked.
  • It is more durable and harder than gold and is also more expensive per ounce.
  • Pure palladium is malleable, but it becomes stronger and harder once someone works with the metal at room temperature.
  • The bulk of the world’s palladium supply comes from Russia, South Africa, the U.S., and Canada.
  • It is 30 times rarer than gold and not tarnished by the atmosphere at ordinary temperatures.
  • Relatively small amounts of palladium alloyed with gold yield the best white gold.
  • Palladium has no known biological role. It is non-toxic.
  • Natural abundance: It has been found uncombined, in Brazil, but most are found in sulfide minerals such as braggite. It is extracted commercially as a by-product of nickel refining or a by-product of copper and zinc refining.

Where is it used?

  • How Can You Tell if Palladium Is Real?Due to its ductility, it is used in many electronic and industrial products.

  • Palladium can be rolled into sheets, which are then used in applications like fuel cells and solar energy.
  • The metal and its alloys serve as substitutes for platinum in jewelry and electrical contacts; the beaten leaf is used for decorative purposes.
  • It is used in the electronics industry in ceramic capacitors, found in laptop computers and mobile phones. These consist of layers of palladium sandwiched between layers of ceramic.
  • It is used also in dental alloys, some dental fillings, and crowns.
  • Palladium coatings, electrodeposited or chemically plated, have been used in printed-circuit components, and multilayer ceramic capacitors.
  • Most of it is used in catalytic converters automobiles, fuel cells to generate power, jewelry, dental fillings, and electronic components.
  • Metalworkers can create thin sheets of palladium down to one-two hundred fifty thousandths of an inch. The sheets are then used in applications like solar energy and fuel cells.
  • White gold is an alloy of gold that has been decolorized by alloying with another metal, hence used palladium for jewelry.


Jewelers first incorporated palladium into jewelry in 1939. When mixed with yellow gold, the alloy forms a metal stronger than white gold. In 1967, the government of Tonga issued circulating palladium coins touting the coronation of King Taufa Ahau Tupou IV. This is the first recorded instance of it being used in the coinage.

Why are investors putting money in palladium bullion coins?What Is Palladium Worth?

As of July 27, 2022, the price of this metal is slightly over $2,021 per ounce, making it more expensive than gold at more than $1,728. Palladium price has steadily been increasing since the mid-90s except for a dip in 2003 and 2008.

How much Palladium is in a Catalytic Converter?

The largest industrial use of it is in catalytic converters because the metal serves as a great catalyst that speeds up chemical reactions. This shiny metal is 12.6% harder than platinum, making the element also more durable than platinum.

Most of it is used in catalytic converters automobiles, fuel cells to generate power, jewelry, dental fillings, and electronic components. Catalytic converters convert the toxic gases from automobiles into less harmful substances.

The amount of palladium in a catalytic converter depends on the size of the converter, which is dependent on the type of automobile. In general, though, 2-7 grams of palladium are used in a catalytic converter.

The metal catalyzes to convert polluting hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide in the exhaust to water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Finely divided palladium is a good catalyst and is used for hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions. Hydrogen easily diffuses through heated palladium and this provides a way of separating and purifying the gas.

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