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Magnetic circular dichroism of Ni‐Pd, Co‐Pd, and Fe‐Pd alloy systems were measured in the 3p and 2p excitation regions of Ni, Co, and Fe and in the 4p and 3p excitation regions of Pd. It was found that the number of 3d holes and the orbital moment of 3d electrons show different values for the 3p and the 2p data. This suggests that interpretation of the sum rule for the orbital moment is not simple especially for itinerant magnetic systems. The observed difference, however, gives some additional information on the degree of localization of the magnetic moments. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.