Anybody Remember The Palladium in NYC?

Palladium…It’s not just the name of a nightclub. It’s also a very valuable precious metal.

From coast to coast, and even abroad in places like New Zealand, nightclubs have donned the name “The Palladium”.”

The moniker “palladium” has been used for everything from roller rinks for teens, to small nightclubs for adults, to the most famous Palladium of all, the disco in NYC. The club was a mainstay on the New York club scene from its 1985 star-studded opening until it closed in 1997 when it was bought out and demolished. The Palladium NYC hosted some big acts like the Stones, Ramones and the Grateful Dead who played multiple shows there cementing its place in history as one of the iconic clubs that helped shape the music of today. The name is synonymous with opulence, excess and abundance.


It’s no wonder they chose that name. It comes from something that is known for the same thing. They drew the name from the platinum-group metal known as palladium. Platinum-group metals (PGM’s) are platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. And unlike the demise of The Palladium in NYC, the value of the precious metal continues to grow and grow.

Palladium was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston and has a melting temperature of 2,830°. It survives the cremation process. It is silver in color like all other PGMs and is widely used in catalytic converters on automobiles as a chemical catalyst to reduce toxic gases from exhaust. It is also used quite a bit in dental prosthetics because it’s very malleable and won’t tarnish or break.


Palladium usage in dental prosthetics is why you may hear a lot about it from your metal recycler. Palladium has traditionally been a low-cost alternative to platinum and a good metal to fuse to porcelain used in teeth restoration.  For example, 20 years ago in mid-1999 the spot price for palladium was around $320 per troy ounce. Today, the price is down about $150 from where it was just two months ago, and it’s still hovering over $1,300 per troy ounce. Other industrial needs are certainly driving this price up as well.

The reason dentists fuse porcelain to palladium is to give a dental prosthetic, especially toward the front of our mouths, a more natural look. As a result, a lot of the porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns can contain a decent amount of palladium.

High palladium prices are great when you’re selling it via metal to be recycled, but not so great when getting a crown put in at the dentist. Fortunately, there are metal-free options for dental prosthetics these days and plenty of palladium already in people’s teeth that can, eventually, be recycled. 



Kevin McKayComment