Search terms: "Palladium working," "work hardening palladium," "cold working palladium," "palladium swords," "palladium phosphorous" and more!
One for the experts here. I'm writing a fantasy book for an RPG. Technology and culture-wise it's the 1790s, with a few fantastical trappings. However, one of the big differences I wanted was that iron and steel are rarely used; instead, platinum was common and found itself utilised for average metalwork (swords, cutlery, clothing etc.)
Platinum, however, has a terribly high melting point and isn't particularly strong. Instead, I'm wondering about palladium. Its melting point is rather high, but I know that in China they needed temperatures near that in order to refine the phosphorous heavy ores they dug up.
My questions are therefore: is palladium able to be made into swords or weapons using late-18th century technology? Is palladium useable as a weapon (for instance as a rapier, sabre or katana)? And if neither of these are possible, which metal element could possibly do the job and replace iron or steel?