Palladium is a soft
silver-white metal that resembles
platinum. It is very valuable and is getting more
popular with gold investing.
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Palladium is a soft,
silvery-white metal that shares many of the
characteristics common to the PGMs, such as a relatively
high melting point and high density. Although high for a
metal, palladium's melting point and density are the
lowest of the PGMs.
Palladium, much like
platinum , is very resistant
to oxidation and corrosion , and has excellent catalytic
properties. This is mainly due to the fact that
palladium has an abnormal - and astounding - ability to
absorb hydrogen gas at a rate of 900 times its own
One of the first
unique applications for palladium, which still
continues, was in developing photographic prints. The
process, known as 'platinotype', which can use either
platinum or palladium, was
used as early as the late 18th century.
But palladium, like
all PGMs, was inhibited by its rarity and high price.
This began to change after the discovery of large stores
of the metals were discovered in South Africa in the
1920s and Canada in the 1930s. Not long after this,
palladium and platinum began to be used in dental alloys
breakthrough for palladium, however, came in the 1970s
when automobile emission standards were implemented in
the USA. Demand for palladium increased dramatically.
Palladium's ability to absorb carbon monoxide and purify
hydrogen made it integral to automobile catalytic
Growing interest in
palladium as an investment tool has also led to exchange
traded funds, which are backed by physical palladium,
being traded on the London and New York Stock Exchanges.
Palladium futures are traded on the New York Mercantile
Exchange and palladium bullion is also one of only four
metals to have an ISO currency code (the others are