Palladium Eagles to Join American Eagle Silver, Gold and Platinum Coins

December 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 was signed into law by the President on December 14.

Silver 1916 Mercury Dime

The American Palladium Eagles will feature Weinman’s Winged Liberty design shown on this Mercury Dime

Following a marketing study that demonstrates bullion Palladium Eagles can be sold by the United States Mint at "no net costs to taxpayers," the coins will be issued not more than 1 year later.

The CBO estimates that bullion Palladium Eagles would generate less than $500,000 a year in excess of production costs.

The American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, H.R. 6166, went through a fast track. It was only introduced in September, and was quickly approved in the House and Senate by the end of November.

The Act, now Public Law 111-303, authorizes not only bullion Palladium Eagles, but numismatic proof and uncirculated versions as well. In that regard, the series will be similar to the other American Eagles — the silver and gold were introduced in 1986, and the platinum coins debuted in 1997.

The bullion versions will be like the others, minted to "provide affordable opportunities for investments in precious metals, and for other purposes."

Palladium is often half the price of gold, which means the coins should offer some competition for buyers who want to invest in medium range bullion coins.

“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. “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.”

The proof and uncirculated coins will be unique as compared to the other precious metals coins. The act states “to the greatest extent possible” that they should have different surface treatments each year.

Palladium Eagle Designs and Specifications

The Palladium Eagles will feature one of the most interesting designs in the American Eagle coin family. The obverse or heads side will bear the "Winged Liberty" head design created for the Mercury Dime by A.A. Weinman. The reverse or tails side will feature the reverse of Weinman’s 1907 American Institute of Architects medal.

Weinman’s "Walking Liberty" currently resides on Silver American Eagles. That design was originally used on the silver Walking Liberty Half Dollar that appeared in U.S. circulation from 1916-1947.

Coin inscriptions will include IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the denomination and weight of the coin, and the .9995 fineness.

The denomination will be $25 and the weight will equal one ounce. The diameter and thickness of the coin will be left up to the United States Mint.

Public Law 111-303 also mandates that the Palladium Eagles be produced from palladium mined in the U.S. or its territories. Stillwater Mine in Montana is the only American location where palladium is mined.

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