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A palladium ring for your bride?

September 12, 2008 3:40:07 PM PDT
Getting married is a big commitment, and so is shelling out two months salary for an engagement ring. With precious metal prices soaring, there's a new kid on the block - a more affordable metal - that is gaining in popularity.First comes love, then comes the ring. But these days, precious metals are expensive, and that news has a rather forbidding ring to it. So at the biggest jewelry exhibition in London, they're rolling out palladium. It is a precious metal that's like platinum in many ways, except it's new on the jewelry scene.

Palladium is around one-third the price of platinum, and it's tough to tell the difference to the average eye. Traditionally, most palladium has gone to the car and electronics sectors. It weighs slightly less than platinum, but the biggest difference is price.

"The reason it's come to the forefront is the tremendous price increase of platinum," Bien Jewelers' Gary Williams said. "So people were looking for alternatives, but wanted something that was considered to be a precious metal."

Platinum and palladium have both gotten more expensive recently, platinum, more so. It cost just under $700 an ounce back in 2003. These days, it can go for $2,000 an ounce. Palladium costs just more than $300 an ounce.

"We want to sell platinum because it is a better metal," Bessange Jewelers' said. "But obviously we are going through a credit crunch and people haven't got the money to buy it."

Back at the jewelry exhibition in London, you can buy any precious metal you want. So any palladium takers?

"I'd have a platinum ring," one female customer said. "Especially if I wasn't buying it!"

And certainly, your mother hopes you won't have to.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jamie Roth

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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