History of Palladium

History of Palladium
As well as platinum, palladium does not have such rich history and tradition than gold and silver which have been highly prized precious metals since the ancient times. Because palladium is one of the platinum group metals its history is very closely tied to history of platinum.

Palladium's close ties with platinum also clearly indicate its discovery in 1803. Palladium was discovered by English chemist and physicist William Hyde Wollaston while he was developing method for processing platinum ore. English scientist named the newly discovered metal after asteroid Pallas which in turn was named after epithet of the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena.

Although today palladium has many uses that was not the case for almost two centuries after its discovery. Its discoverer Wollaston could not find market for his stocks of palladium, while Norton Johnson who established a gold refining company advertised palladium for use in chemistry, medicine instruments and as a substitute for steel. However, at the beginning of the 20th century palladium was very rare, while its production was still mostly limited to methods similar to Wollaston's. For that reason palladium was used only in a limited way.

Great importance for wider use of palladium had the beginning of palladium production by the International Nickel Company of Canada in 1930, however, crucial for its use comparable to today's was the demand for catalytic converters in automotive industry in the 1970's and especially in the 1990's.

According to its history it is probably not a surprise that palladium has also a short history in the financial sector. First palladium bullion bars and coins for investments were offered in the late 20th century, however, palladium investments are not even close to popularity of gold and silver investments.


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