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Palladium was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, and its name refers to the Greek goddess of wisdom, Palladion or Pallas Athena. It is a soft silver-white metal similar to platinum, with a fairly low melting point; annealed it is soft and ductile, while cold-worked it is harder and more solid. It is considered a native element, and is present volcanic rocks such as peridotite or norite. It may also be found in association with nickel or copper deposits. Russia is the principal exporter of palladium, with a 44% share of global production, followed by South Africa (40%), Canada and the United States.

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