Palladium is a relatively new metal as far as its jewelry uses are concerned. It is a member of the PGM family of metals; this group consists of platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These are all white metals and they are the most precious in the world. Platinum has been by far the most popular choice for white jewelry in the last 10 years although the prices have grown much too costly for some consumers. White gold is a good price alternative to platinum but it has many problems with yellowing and also causes skin irritations.
Palladium is found naturally white and needs no plating to keep it looking white as long as the jewelry is made with at least 95% palladium (.950 palladium). Some jewelry is made with a gold and palladium mix and won't cause skin reactions however, the jewelry will still require rhodium platinum and will turn yellow between plating sessions. If you are unsure, ask the jeweler you are working with if the jewelry is pure palladium or a gold/palladium mix. Jewelry made with .950 palladium is a good substitute for white gold because it is similar in durability to platinum but it never yellows like white gold.
Palladium isn't as white looking at platinum however, it looks very close. If you are considering palladium jewelry be sure to select a jeweler who understands palladium and is qualified to work with it. The metal is so new to the jewelry industry and not all jewelers are trained to set stones in it, size it, or polish it. Andrews Jewelers employees and jewelers have all been fully trained and informed on how to work with palladium.