Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rhodium Plating-The Mystery

I just got off the phone with Neal Bell. No special problems were found or special procedures needed to plate the palladium ring. Very puzzling. Since we have not duplicated the problem, we can only guess at what it might be. One thing is for certain-Rhodium plating requires a very clean surface, and all normal procedures must be strictly adhered to. Please post what your results have been, successful or not. If you simply want to send out your plating work I highly recommend Red Sky Plating. You can contact Neil@redskyplating.com.


Rhodium plating 950 palladium./Kraftwerks

Some reports have come in that 950palladium is proving difficult to rhodium plate. What happens is a sizing is done with solder that leaves a gray line. This is a good reason to get solders made for 950 palladium. Like our PD-E here at PMWest.

The reported problems have been a cloudy look to the rhodium. Not wanting to let something like this go unsolved, I called my best connection in the plating world-Neil Bell of Red Sky Plating. We spoke and he kindly agreed to try a sample I sent to him. This was a very busy time for him, as he was preparing for the Santa Fe Symposium.
I have received the sample ring back and it looks great.

Soon (today I hope) I will talk to Neil and get the details on what he does to get good results.

Kraftwerks is this weekend. its your best chance to get to see and work with 950 palladium.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How we can work this together...

As the Palladium experience blog gets started, please keep in mind that the blog is set up as a place for users to send us reports of how it’s going out there. We hope to interview major players in the market for hints about what’s to come.

Of course to avoid blog spamming all posts go through me. I assure you posts will all be included short of way off topic or hostile. Later as we develop some regular contributors we will assign them passkeys.

I want to mention that one of the demonstrations at Kraftwerks is all about fabricating with palladium. Rob Fainberg, one of the early fans of Alabaster Pd will be working at the bench for us at Kraftwerks. The dates are September 30th and October 1st, 2006.

This is your best chance to see palladium be worked on and to have a chance to work with it yourself before the next shows. If you want to work it sooner, you'll have to buy some.

If you know of an event featuring palladium, just let me know.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How to Stamp Palladium Jewelry

A common question-How should I stamp or "hallmark" palladium jewelry?

The FTC guidelines about palladium are intended for use with platinum, and might be out of context for use. However, Pd and Pall are commonly recognized abbreviations for palladium. There is no minimum palladium content guideline from the FTC. To my knowledge all the new palladium jewelry is 950Pd or more.

According to a recent article in the MJSA Journal PAI is working on a guideline from the FTC. What we suggest for now is to stamp all palladium jewelry either 950Pd or 950PALL.

This will avoid any confusion on the part of the jeweler or the consumer.

How white is white?

When we talk about "whiteness" in a jewelry alloy, we should use a recognized scale. the CIE lab system works well. On a scale of zero being black and one hundred being white-Pure silver rates a 93. Platinum alloys run at about 87. 950 palladium alloys run at abour 84 or 85, while most white golds run from 78 to 83.

The human eye is different than a labratory. that's why we have them. With a very high polish palladium and platinum look very similar or perhaps the same. Not identical to my eye, but very close. To another persons eye the palladium may look better.

Better, not "whiter" is what sells jewelry now isn't it?

Daniel Ballard

Announcing Palladium Experience

The blog for users of palladium for making jewelry. we provide a place where jewelers can post their questions and answers to one another. In conjunction with 950pd.com (and more alliances to follow later) we hope to help jewelers know what they need to as palladium jewelry begins to sell through the American market. we will publish technical specifications for alloys such as suggested casting temperatures and annealing instructions.