Definition of palladium
- … this political persecution being, somehow or other, the grand palladium of our liberties …
- —Washington Irving
- … lend authority to the view that the true palladium of every people is its language …
- —Ferdinand Schevill
Pallas Athena was one of the poetical names given to the Greek goddess Athena (although it's no longer clear what Pallas was supposed to mean), and the original palladium was a statue of Athena that was believed to have the power to protect the ancient city of Troy. When an asteroid belt was discovered between Mars and Jupiter, most of the asteroids were named after figures in Greek mythology, and one of the first to be discovered was named Pallas in 1803. In the same year, scientists isolated a new silvery metal element, which they named palladium in honor of the recently discovered asteroid.
Palladium is a metal used in manufacturing electronics and other items.
Palladium is a rare metal that is silvery white. It is part of the platinum group.
Because of its high melting point and corrosion resistance, palladium is used in a variety of products, though it is most common in the manufacture of catalytic converters and electronics that help make microchips. Accordingly, it is necessary for the production of computers, cell phones and other electronics and transportation devices. Dentists and jewelers also use the element. It can be more durable than gold plating.
Investors can invest in palladium via ETFs, futures and options, as well as in physical bullion, bars, wafers and coins. Because it is a commodity in the investing world, investors should be very careful about managing the associated high risk.
Often, palladium investors are very mindful of changes in emissions standards. Because palladium acts as a catalyst for oxidation in catalytic converters, demand for the metal increases when emissions standards increase.
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