Friday, June 20, 2008

Did anyone but yours truly catch the "product placement" of palladium in Iron Man? Not as jewelry (darn it) but as a high tech metal that was removed from the missiles and re-cast for the Iron Man suit. Not bad for a new metal. I wonder if DJS (the palladium marketeers) had anything to do with that...

Friday, June 06, 2008

What about those alloys

It is being reported that some palladium rings are too brittle to size much. These reports coincide with Pd/Ru/Ge alloys that have been extruded. Beware platinum family alloys with palladium! They can be brittle. They are excellent for continuous cast like seamless bands, and they stamp really well.

But as we all know lost wax casting is different. Just like gold, the best fabrication alloys are not often the best casting alloys. To a lesser extent this is true of platinum. The traditional blend of 9o0%Pt and 10%Ir was the casting mix, and 95%Pt 5%Ru was the fabrication/stamping blend. It's no coincidence that Ru is the tricky one to cast overall.

The disclaimer here is that at least one caster, (TechForm){ swears by the Pd with Ru blend. Different casters use differing plasters and methods, so these are general rules that certainly have exceptions.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Palladium Panel at JCK Las Vegas

The MJSA Education dept. and put on one heck of a panel for palladium. The panel included one of my favorite jewelry designers Lisa Krikawa, two very good casters, Linus Drogs of Au Enterprises and Teresa Freye' of TechForm. An excellent metallurgist and executive at Hoover & Strong was there, Mr. Stewart Grice. MJSA was kind enouch to include yours truly as well.

The news is we got questioned about how to better work with Palladium rather than "what is this stuff like?" In other words, the market is maturing, becoming aware of the material and how to best make use of it.