The Rise of Palladium Vs. Gold: How Did This Silver Metal Overtake Gold?


The story of how palladium took over from gold has a lot of twists and turns.

First, let’s start with their occurrence. Gold and silver are two naturally occurring elements that were used as money for centuries before other metals were adopted as currency. Palladium is a relative newcomer to this group, but it’s been around since the middle of the 20th century.

Another thing that makes palladium so special is that it isn’t just a metal—it’s an element. Palladium is part of the platinum group of metals (PGM), which includes osmium and iridium. This means that it takes more energy to extract it from rocks than it does to extract gold from its ore deposits.

So how did this new element overtake gold? Let explore:

What is Palladium?

Palladium is a rare, silvery-white metal that is used mainly for catalytic converters in automobiles, electronics, and fuel cells. It is soft metal and has exceptional absorption capacity for hydrogen gas which makes it suitable for use as a catalyst. It is also used in jewellery production and in chemical industry. Platinum is used in the medical field as an anti-cancer agent.

Gold and Palladium: Which is More Popular?

Whereas gold is primarily a yellow-orange colour, palladium tends to be whit e or silvery Gray.

Gold and palladium are both precious metals, but they’re used for different purposes. Gold has been the metal of choice for jewellery and investments since ancient times. Palladium has been more popular among car owners, who use it in catalytic converters to reduce tailpipe emissions and improve fuel economy.

Palladium is much less dense than gold, which has been trusted by investors and used by consumers for thousands of years prior to the discovery of palladium. Gold was also significantly more expensive than palladium during that time, but times have changed.

The Reasons Why Palladium Overtook Gold:

In terms of price, palladium is about $1,000 more expensive per ounce than gold. On December 10, 2018, palladium briefly surpassed gold in value. People’s opinions of palladium are shifting because of the sudden shift in value perception.

  •   The two biggest countries in the PGM industry are South Africa and Russia. Some investors are concerned that these two nations won’t be stable enough to produce a steady supply of PGMs. For instance, in February, the world’s largest producer of palladium, experienced flooding at its Oktyabrsky and Taimyrsky mines in Siberia after it discovered subterranean water entering the structures. Operations had to come to an end until the problem was fixed. In the meantime, the Covid outbreaks in South Africa are causing lockdowns, which are slowing down mining operations. A further lockdown in South Africa is probably going to result in an increase in PGM prices.
  •   Palladium is one of the best-performing commodities, with a price increase of 398.25% since 2016. This price increase exceeds that of platinum, silver, and gold.
  •   The biggest consumer of palladium, the auto catalyst industry, saw a 19.8% increase in demand in 2021, while supply increased by 5.4%. Demand for the precious metal increased 42.3% in the jewellery industry. The demand for gold, on the other hand, was down 23% from the first quarter of 2020, coming in at 815.7 metric tonnes for the quarter.

Things That Will Drive Palladium Demand in the Future

– Rising Demand for High-Tech Products – With the growing demand for high-tech products, such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices, demand for palladium will grow. With a high ratio of corrosion resistance, palladium is seen as a good choice for products that need protection from chloride and perchlorate ions, which are salts formed when water contacts certain kinds of electronic devices.

– Growing Automobile Industry – As the auto industry transitions to electric vehicles, demand for lithium-based batteries may decline. In response to the decline in lithium-based batteries, the demand for palladium could increase.

– Rise in Collectible Demand – Another factor that could drive demand for palladium is the growing demand for collectible coins and investment-grade collectible coins.


Palladium has a Knoop hardness of 400 as opposed to 200 for gold. Palladium is also more durable because of this. Despite, seeing a rise in popularity of Palladium, gold is still the most popular precious metal, and it has a long history of use.