Studying the interaction of metal ions with RNA is challenging because of the fast dynamics of the system and the intricate interplay between structural and functional roles of metal ions. NMR spectroscopy is an exceptional tool to investigate such interactions in solution and allows for a detailed description of both metal ion binding sites and binding modes in complex and dynamic RNA structures. We recently applied heteronuclear NMR to study the metal ion binding properties of a three-way junction RNA (D1κζ) which plays an important role in group II intron splicing, and observed metal ion binding in both κ and ζ regions of the construct. Here we concentrate in more detail on the ζ region (D1ζ) using NMR to investigate the interaction with Mg(II), Cd(II) and cobalt(III)hexammine. Our data confirm Cd(II) induced macrochelate formation at the 5′-end triphosphate, suggest an overall similar behaviour for the two divalent metal ions, but with much clearer changes in chemical shifts upon Cd(II) addition, and reveal only little changes upon cobalt(III)hexammine addition, allowing to discriminate between inner- and outer-sphere binding. Moreover, we observed distinct differences when we titrated the sample with Cd(II) in the presence of either KCl or KClO4 as background monovalent salt.