American Palladium Eagle Coin Legislation Stipulates Mercury Dime Design

September 26, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Silver 1916 Mercury Dime

Should H.R. 6166 become law, Weinman’s Winged Liberty design shown on this silver 1916 Mercury Dime would be featured on the obverse of a new American Palladium Eagle coin

A new bill introduced this week in Congress calls for the production of American Palladium Eagle coins that bear high-relief designs created by American sculptor Adolph A. Weinman.

House Resolution 6166, or the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, would add bullion and collector Palladium Eagle coins to the U.S. Mint’s American Eagle product line, which already includes the American Silver Eagle, the American Gold Eagle and the American Platinum Eagle.

H.R. 6166, introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) from Montana on September 22, 2010, stipulates that each Palladium Eagle coin would be struck in .9995 fine palladium, weigh one troy ounce and have a denomination of $25. The bill would authorize bullion coins, intended for investors, and the option for the Treasury Secretary to approve the production of proof and uncirculated versions for collectors.

Proposed Palladium Eagle Coin Design

Investors and numismatists around the world are already very familiar with at least one coin design by Adolph A. Weinman. The American Silver Eagle, the most popular one ounce bullion silver coin in the world with nearly 25 million sold alone this year, already features a likeness of Weinman’s "Walking Liberty" design. Silver Eagles have been around since 1986, but the design shown on their obverse is much older. It was first placed on the silver Walking Liberty Half Dollar which circulated in America between 1916 and 1947.

The obverse or heads side of the palladium coins would feature a likeness of Weinman’s "Winged Liberty" design. It was used on the obverse of the silver Mercury dime which circulated from 1916 to 1945, and is shown in the image above.

The Palladium Eagle reverse or tails side would bear a likeness to the reverse of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal that Weinman designed. English architect Sir Aston Webb was the first recipient of the AIA Gold Medal in 1907, according to the official site of the American Institute of Architects which says it is the highest honor awarded by the AIA.

Mandated Palladium Eagle coin inscriptions would include LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the denomination and weight of the coin, and the fineness.

The legislation has unique design language for the proof and uncirculated versions, calling for differing surface treatments for each year’s issue. Additionally, the only coin authorized for production at the US Mint facility at West Point would be the proof. While not specific on the topic, H.R. 6166 provides flexibility for additional inscriptions and it would seem likely that each proof would also bear the "W" mint mark.

Mintage and Price

Palladium Eagle mintage levels and prices would be determined by the Treasury Secretary. The only stipulation within the bill is that they can not be sold for less than their bullion value and cost of production.

A benefit to American coins struck in palladium would be their expected price points. The metal is cheaper than gold, but more expensive than silver. In fact, it is this very reason that they were recommended earlier this year as a means to cut into bullion Silver Eagle demand, and thereby improve the chances for 2010 Proof Silver Eagles. (The collector proof and uncirculated Silver Eagles and Gold Eagles were canceled last year as a result of the enormous demand for the bullion versions. For more on this topic, read the article: Proof Eagle Silver Coins Update.)

"A one-troy ounce palladium coin would offer the precious metals investor an interesting price point for market entry," Michael Clark, Diamond State Depository President, testified July 20, 2010, before the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy. "While gold presently trades around the $1,200 level, and platinum over $1,500, palladium is trading in the spot market in the range of $460 – $475."

"We do believe it is an ideal price-point for many investors," added Clark. "As a result of producing a palladium coin, we believe it would have the effect of reducing the burden on the Mint for Silver Eagle production."

Precious metals prices have increased since July, with gold now hovering around $1,300 an ounce, platinum near $1,645 an ounce, palladium around $560 an ounce, and silver around $21 an ounce.

For the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act to get enacted into law, it would have to win the votes in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and then get signed by the President. The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.


2 Responses to “American Palladium Eagle Coin Legislation Stipulates Mercury Dime Design”
  1. John Beaudry says:

    The correct bill number for the proposed palladium coin is H.R. 6166.

  2. Silver Coins Today Staff says:

    Thanks John. The article was changed to use the correct bill number.

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