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Friday, September 24, 2010

American Palladium Eagle Proposed

Legislation was recently introduced seeking the production of American Palladium Eagle bullion and collector coins. This comes two months after testimony was delivered at a House subcommittee meeting, which cited the desire among collectors and investors for such an offering.

The bill H.R. 6166 American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 was introduced on September 22 by Rep. Dennis Rehberg of Montana, where most domestic palladium mining takes place.

In 2008 and 2009, bills had been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate seeking palladium bullion coins carrying Augustus Saint Gaudens' design for the 1907 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle. One of the 2008 bills was passed in the House, but none of the others managed to move forward.

As was the case with previous bills, the current bill includes some unusual and oddly specific requirements for the palladium coins. On the other hand, it also manages to address some of the current issues which complicate other US Mint bullion coins programs.

The bill H.R. 6166 includes the following requirements for the proposed American Palladium Eagles:

- A study to analyze the market for palladium bullion investments must be performed by a reputable independent third party to ensure adequate demand for the offering.

- Bullion for the Palladium Eagles must be acquired from natural deposits in the United States, within one year after the month in which the ore was mined. If no palladium is available from this source or it is not economically feasible, other available sources may be used.

- The coins would carry a face value of $25 and contain one ounce of .9995 fine palladium. Size and thickness are to be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.

- The obverse of the coins would feature a high relief likeness of Adolph A. Weinman's Mercury Dime. The reverse would bear a high relief version of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Medal, also designed by Weinman. (Here is the only image of the medal that I could find.)

- Coins may be produced in both uncirculated and proof versions. (I believe uncirculated refers to "collectible uncirculated" versions as opposed to bullion versions.) If these coins are issued, to the greatest extent possible, the surface treatment of each year's proof and uncirculated coin should differ in some material way from that of the preceding year.

- Any United States Mint facility other than the West Point Mint can be used to strike coins minted in versions other than proof. If proof versions are struck, the proof coins shall only be produced at the West Point Mint.

Palladium is currently trading at $559 per ounce, representing a gain of 37.66% for the year to date. During 2009, palladium recorded a gain of 114.75%. The all time high price was reached in $1,090 per ounce was reached in January 2001.

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47 Comments:

At September 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting, more options are what we need. Thanks as always M for your info and blog !

 
At September 24, 2010 at 12:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better to have the mint adopt more rigid quality controls on the coins they are presently making with precious metal. Also, a new policy on returned coins is needed...

The mint could just remelt any problem coins returned. Why not? Just do it Mr. Moy?

Please, no more reissued seconds to collectors.
Thank you.

willie

 
At September 24, 2010 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like that will ever happen. They will simply keep re-shipping the junk coins until SOMEONE doesn't bother to return them.

 
At September 24, 2010 at 4:04 PM , Anonymous vaughnster said...

If these turn out as nice as they sound, I'm in for a few for sure.

 
At September 24, 2010 at 7:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it and would be a buyer, the lower price of palladium is a winner.

 
At September 24, 2010 at 7:30 PM , Anonymous Jimmy Bean said...

Despite the bill being sponsored by self-interested groups (what else is new?), I'm in. PA bullion would be very kewl and we have to keep up with the (RCM) Joneses. Unlike AU, PA is an industrial metal and has the potential to really appreciate.

PA is the best-performing commodity to date this year, outperforming gold, silver, coffee, wheat, you name it.

Although I continue to be disturbed by the recycling of classic coin designs, I'm realistic enough to realize that the mint and various design committees would f#$% it up even worse if they tried to use new designs - platinum bullion being pretty much the lone exception.

 
At September 24, 2010 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow, this is great. The mercury dime is my favorite coin, and if the proposed design goes through I would happily snag one of these coins. Kudos to Congress and the Mint for finally getting one right!

 
At September 24, 2010 at 10:08 PM , Anonymous vaughnster said...

Hang on, it's not a done deal yet!!

 
At September 24, 2010 at 11:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess they aren't going to issue any fractionals to make this great design accesible to less well-heeled collectors?

Nick

 
At September 25, 2010 at 5:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic designs are much nicer than the circuis coinage. Like the mercury dime design, but i'd really prefer the proof ASE!

 
At September 25, 2010 at 6:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion it seems the Mint really wants to do away with the silver proof ASE's for good. A one year skip is barely tolerable, two years and it's all over. The year is 3/4 over. Maybe they'll start a new Presidential Silver Eagle series depicting each president on the obverse and their favorite snack food on the reverse.

 
At September 25, 2010 at 6:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mint had better not do away with the proof ASE. A proof bullion coin is just something that a national mint should make available to collectors.

Nick

 
At September 25, 2010 at 7:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see no purpose in minting coins in a metal that does not have universal acceptance. The Mint should be concentrating its efforts on American gold and Silver Eagles for collectors. If investors have interest in palladium, let them collect polonium instead.

 
At September 25, 2010 at 7:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A one oz. Palladium is gonna be at least around 7 or 8 hunerd dollas by the time all is said and done. Out of reach for the average collector. If they are gonna do one it ought to be a 1/2 and 1/4 oz. Good grief why don't they concentrate as others say on silver and smaller gold coins the average collector can afford. The mint is turning into an elitist operation. High dolla stuff for the people with money and brass and tin plated circus tokens for everyone else. Is Congress really giving people what they want or are they turning the mint into a private collectors club???

 
At September 25, 2010 at 9:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously. Bringing the Mercury design back, in a PGM coin is a great idea, but like "Anonymous" above said, unless it's in fractionals then it is really just a sop to wealthy precious metals speculators, not collectors. Eventually the economy will recover, and a lot of the people buying precious metals coins will lose interest in Mint products. All that will be left is a corps of disgruntled numismatists. How much harder would it be for the Mint to at least do a .5 oz version of the palladium coin?

 
At September 25, 2010 at 9:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We want ASEs! How many posts can we make saying this. We demand collectable coins for under $100! Now!
Now, Mr. Moy!
ASEs!
Let's see, the gold first spouse collection or both of our automobiles.......
They want us to buy 5oz circius coins from third parties. WE WANT ONE OUNCE PROOF SILVER EAGLES........DO YOU HEAR US??????
DO YOU HEAR US???????

 
At September 25, 2010 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just received my 2010 uncirc sets. Here is a thought for an interesting error. How about a 2010 cent (business strike or satin finish) on a 2009 bronze planchet? Or for that matter a 2009 business strike on a 2009 bronze planchet.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any good coin auction sites other than eBay? There do not appear to be many good alternatives.

Please let me know.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster below:

Grow up. If you want an ASE so bad, there are bullion coins out there.

Amazing how little children can throw a tantrum when their sustainment ($$ ka-ching!) is taken away from them....

===================
Anonymous said...
We want ASEs! How many posts can we make saying this. We demand collectable coins for under $100! Now!
Now, Mr. Moy!
ASEs!
Let's see, the gold first spouse collection or both of our automobiles.......
They want us to buy 5oz circius coins from third parties. WE WANT ONE OUNCE PROOF SILVER EAGLES........DO YOU HEAR US??????
DO YOU HEAR US???????

 
At September 26, 2010 at 4:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To he who has to name call, "little children" I happen to also think the mint has sold out the average collector. We don't need over-priced palladium coins. Give the average collector silver and fractional gold. That is what the mint should be doing, "serving the common man, or woman", not the special interests. I don't collect ASE's but understand their frustration. I am busting my butt to collect the spouses, and I choose to do so.
Palladium?
Why, purely and simply because a politician wants to get a little pork for his state.
In every way the mint has sold out. or ignores the little guy. Blatantly raising prices, ignoring collector requests, poor quality control, probably shipping out others returns. ....Oh yeah there are those, someday to be released 5 oz. "quarters" that we're expected to buy from a third party that will cherry pick out the best. The mint is becoming a pawn of the politicians and a source for the wealthy to get their bullion in collectible form. I too am sick of the mints practices, and the politicians game playing.
Get some back bone Mr. Moy!

 
At September 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all whiners:

If you're not happy with the US Mint, don't buy.

No one is forcing you to buy from the US Mint. So no need to whine.

Period.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 4:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As annoying the " whiners " may seem to you , they are free to exspress their view on this blog. You should find another blog if you cannot put up with that.

PERIOD

 
At September 26, 2010 at 5:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We want to buy.
We want to buy what we can afford.
Proof Silver Eagles represent affordable pride for Joe the plumber collectors like most of us are.
What do I do with advise telling me not to buy gold, platinum and now palladium when I was never interested in them (unless I unexpectedly come into some money)?
I really can't relate to those who collect the gold/ platinum coins. It would be nice to have that disposable income.
Guess I'm a child that needs to grow up and stop complaining that MY mint paid with tax money doesn't give a damn about most of us.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the whining continues...

 
At September 26, 2010 at 10:07 PM , Blogger HBGuy said...

For all of the "anonymouses" concerned about availability of "inexpensive" products from the US Mint, may I suggest that the Presidential $1, National Park $0.25 and State Quarter series, along with numerous mediocre silver commemorative offerings, are available right now, today, for your investing pleasure.

A Palladium bullion coin is not only a very good potential seller for the Mint (probably comparable in number to the Pt Eagles, given Pd's rarity), as well as an important support to the only domestic source of Pd, Stillwater Mining in MT. It is also an excellent investment option for those that want to diversify out of gold and silver.

I'm NOT crazy about the Mercury dime theme, but even a Pd bullion round would be better than the current paucity of investment options. I love the RCM's Pd Maple Leafs, but they're VERY difficult to get and they're not minted every year.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 11:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

HBGuy,

I think people are aware of those crummy items you've mentioned. They want something that is pleasing and affordable. We're sick of the presidential royalty program and the million rotating quarter designs, in which the supernova may occur before the program ends.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 11:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know anyone who has gotten rich from investing in coins. Sure, they may have made a pretty penny with some purchases. But they never tell you about their losses. And I'm sure we all have experienced some of those(e.g., Presidential dollar rolls, some mint sets, etc.).

Investing in coins can be a hobby and be fun, but certainly, don't expect to get rich or make a living off of it....

 
At September 27, 2010 at 6:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the average collector could afford the proof American Silver Eagle even with a price increase from '08, but even a Palladium Eagle may be priced a bit to high for many. There seems to be a swelling discontent for both the high price of US Mint collectable precious metal coins (the gold spouse and platinum proofs) and the over-kill of the variety of coins. The proof American Silver Eagle would be a good idea to keep collectors collecting. The US Mint should find a way to make this happen this year. Not sure about they guy/gal accusing folks of "whining" when clearly the "whiners" probably represent the feelings of most collectors (not necessarily readers of this blog).

-JBL

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another offering from the mint that I will not be purchasing as I don't have that kind of disposable income.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the first-year Palladium coin may sell too many speculative copies to make it worth much of a collectible premium. It will likely be tied too close to the price of the metal, and that could be quite risky. Palladium has had some pretty violent price swings this year. As I recall, it was down to $2xx earlier this year, from $4xx just a few months before. Now, it's back up to $5xx, but it could always retreat again.

With the high premiums the Mint charges for coins, I just can't see taking that risk.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they make a 1/2 oz. version. I'd also like to see bullion versions made.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The price swings for palladium were worse in 2008. It was $475 on 6/20/08, $164 on 12/5/08, pretty much climbed all during 2009 to finish at $393 on 12/30/09, opened 2010 at $421 on 1/4/10, and climbed to $562 last Friday, after a drop back to the $400's in the late spring and during the summer.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the major issue is recycling the classics. They should be left alone and upheld for what they are. How about a new design with the same 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, 1 formats. The fractionals would definitely be affordable. Though I would prefer to stick to Au and Ag. Pt tends to be too gaudy for my tastes and well beyond my wallet.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 8:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the guy who said that the "whiners" probably represent the feelings of most collectors, most of the people complaining sound like investors. This is shown by the comment made by the one bashing the Presidential $1 and National Park quarters. For one thing the Presidential dollars are not meant to be invested. They are worth a dollar. They are meant to be spent. I have been using them in everyday transaction and I am finding it much easier. I have not yet received them in change, but I imagine that would be easier to just drop them into my pocket rather than having to take the time to stuff them in my wallet. And before anyone complains about them being heavy, tighten your belt and suck it up. As for the National Park quarters, this first run actually has some pretty good looking coins in it. What the future holds, no one can tell. Just don't be so quick to write it off as horrible just yet. People collect these coins because they LOVE to collect coins. Not because they are looking for an investment opportunity. And American coins in general are a lot better looking than most, considering what I have from the Euro. As for the other COLLECTORS, what does everyone think of design choice and what do think would be better?

 
At September 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:48 am:

I am complaining, but I am not an investor. I just collect for me and my kids. Although the state quarters peaked some interest in collecting, I personally think the parks/ America the beautiful program has been a negative with folks now not caring to keep up with all of the changes. I do think the phrase "circuis coinage" may be appropriate when you look historically at our American coins over the 200+ years.

I have never sold a coin in my life, but I appreciate art and history and think American amateaur numismatists do deserve the proof silver eagle and less of the constant rotating of designs and very expensive only options for proof Eagles/ Buffalos/ Mercury palladiums?.

I was one that also felt and feels that the mint does have a certain "aggenda" that unfortunately gets in the way of offering nice commemoratives. I saw some really nice designs for the 100th anniverary Scouting commemorative and ended up not purchasing any of the "PC" coins that went to productions since I didn't think it represented the past 100 years of Scouting well.

I won't even discuss the "no white guy" '09 proof platinum since I can't afford to collect any platinum proofs regardless of disign.

I'm a recent blogger, but may decide to collect and blog other collectibles if the Mint continues to ignore the average collector.

While I am whining, I still can't see the Mint justifying the price increases for the mint and proof sets this year.

-JBL

 
At September 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

JBL

I do agree with you on the "PC" driven coins recently. In the attempt at damage control, the mint has missed out on a lot of good designs. I am still hopeful something good will come, though I probably won't be for much longer. I do like the America the Beautiful quarter series though. I like it better that the State quarters. I hope that I will not be disappointed in the years to come. I have been a collector for 5 or 6 years and I am sure that I speak only for myself, but I enjoy collecting the new designs as well as the old. I am also pretty upset about the lack of silver proof eagles last year and more than likely this year as well. The mint certainly needs to get it together. Investment should have an equal standing with the collectors. It should not come first. If the mint doesn't make the bullion coins, investors will find silver else where anyway. Hopefully the CCAC will win out and get the Mint to put out better designs and eliminate the "PC" junk. Maybe the next Director will have a little more backbone and turn things around, but one can only hope. I just hope the designs for the commemoratives of the future a worthy of what they are commemorating. I have a feeling a large amount of people will drop out of collecting because of the Mint's ridiculousness, and I would hate to see that happen.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

JBL

I do agree with you on the "PC" driven coins recently. In the attempt at damage control, the mint has missed out on a lot of good designs. I am still hopeful something good will come, though I probably won't be for much longer. I do like the America the Beautiful quarter series though. I like it better that the State quarters. I hope that I will not be disappointed in the years to come. I have been a collector for 5 or 6 years and I am sure that I speak only for myself, but I enjoy collecting the new designs as well as the old. I am also pretty upset about the lack of silver proof eagles last year and more than likely this year as well. The mint certainly needs to get it together. Investment should have an equal standing with the collectors. It should not come first. If the mint doesn't make the bullion coins, investors will find silver else where anyway. Hopefully the CCAC will win out and get the Mint to put out better designs and eliminate the "PC" junk. Maybe the next Director will have a little more backbone and turn things around, but one can only hope. I just hope the designs for the commemoratives of the future a worthy of what they are commemorating. I have a feeling a large amount of people will drop out of collecting because of the Mint's ridiculousness, and I would hate to see that happen.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 11:54 AM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

When you're dealing with a manufacturing company that is 100% owned by the Gov't and managed by a 100% Gov't appointee for the sole puposes of creating 100% Gov't products, you have a 100% certainty that it will be 150% politically driven. All of the topics that we have hashed out on this board over the last couple of years prove that. The Palladium Coin is just the latest example of politicians doing there very best to use their power to bring attention and prosperity to their constituents - impacts to the rest of the country be damned.

Like the majority, I love the ASE coins. Simple in design, yet elegant in presentation. And, while it is virtually the same every year, it just never seems to get old; i.e., a Classic!! However, I had commented on this Board in early 2009 that we probably would not see any more numismatic specimens of this coin again. At the time, the bullion coin sales were spiraling out of control, and the Mint had just announced the ATB Program with the 5 oz. coins.

Here we are, 20 months later, and again, as much as I hate to say it, we're not going to see the ASE PR and UNC coins: 1) Demand for the ASE bullion is still high enough to keep them a priority over PR and UNC options. 2) At this moment, the Mint is focused on pushing the 5 oz ATB bullion out the door. 3) Any of the required special legislation to ensure PR and UNC coins just isn't more important to our representatives than the quickly approaching election break.

According to the latest Numismatic News Article, production of the 5 oz. ATB bullion started last week. The series will be produced and released sequentially, 100K copies per coin through the end of the year. While the Mint brought in new presses to produce the coins, their labor base is fixed and will be unable to work on another manufacturing line. Based on the latest figures - cost of metal, production costs and mark-ups should put these hockey pucks right around $135 a crack. To make matters worse, the article also indicated that the Mint has been contemplating a "collector" version of this series. Over a year ago, I had posted to this board that the Mint might garner more interest among a wider customer base if they had created 1 oz. sized, PR versions of these coins. Just the right size to convey the perspective of each coin's reverse. A 5 oz. "collector" coin is likely to be in excess of $200 and affordable to only a slightly larger group of collectors.

The other news that further impacts the future of the numismatic ASE's is the recently approved coinage legislations. Specifically, the 2011 "9-11 Memorial Medal," to be produced on Silver blanks by the wagon load at the Philly and the West Point Mints!! Yet another impact to manufacturing assets. As much as I love the ASE coins, and as much as they mean to me personally, I honestly believe that 2008 was the last year of the ASE PR and UNC coins.

As for those politically driven Palladium coins - sadly, they're going to happen. Cronyism and Quid Pro Quo be dammed!! Although the Mercury obverse is reflective of American coinage, I don't think it's reflective of the Spirit of America. After all, Mercury was a Roman god, demi-god, or children of the corn. The Weinman obverse from the AIA medal; I can take it or leave it. I am talking with my architect buds to see if I can find a better picture. But, based on the one picture that Michael has been able to find, this eagle almost looks like an high school football mascot that just finished a cheer!! Probably some better artistic / heritage options out there for yet another, nearly unaffordable collector coin.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 1:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are collectors and there are investors, let us all live together, this is not our blog. It is Micheal's, who by the way does a great job with the articles and putting up with us all.

teebark

 
At September 27, 2010 at 2:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't feel good about sinking larger bucks into buying palladium.

In dire conditions, you might be able to trade a 1 oz silver bullion for food, or even a gold piece. Most average people have either seen or heard of them. But imagine walking into your supermarket, filling a basket to quench hunger, and handing the clerk a token piece telling her it's 'palladium' worth.....(xxxxx). LOL, that's not going to work too well. Half can't count or read properly, you can't expect them to accept your palladium slug.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 4:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A proof one ounce America the Beautiful coin would have been very nice, very collectible, and reasonably affordable. More importantly it could have brought home the history and artwork to the average American.

A 5 ounce coin won't be nearly as attractive, is cost prohibitive, and too damn big to actually display as a set. so who was it for? Certainly not the average collector. And....that is exactly the point.

 
At September 29, 2010 at 1:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the blogger that left this, Are you an elitist? or a horses a$$?

Half can't count or read properly, you can't expect them to accept your palladium slug.

September 27, 2010 2:39 PM

 
At September 29, 2010 at 6:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

VABEACHBUM you do realize what is called the "Mercury" dime design, is really Lady Liberty? It was not intended to represent the Roman god, just picked up a nickname that stuck.

I kind of want to see it on a larger canvas than a tiny dime. I'd prefer silver, but would be in for Palladium. If the later, I'd hope they made fractionals so collectors of all means could get a taste.

 
At September 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

Yes, I was aware. As a matter of fact, "Numismaster" just posted a well written, detailed article on the Mercury dime and the other Liberty coins introduced during the period. The article can be found here:

http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=14210

Definitely worth the 4-5 minutes it takes to read.

My perspective on the proposal to use this Liberty for the obverse is skewed, but only because the size of the dime makes it so hard to appreciate the artistic qualities of the rendering.

I will have to agree that the larger canvas of the Palladium (or any) coin in combination with the right "strike" could result in a very detailed, visually stunning version of this particular Liberty.

 
At September 30, 2010 at 5:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article, thanks for posting the URL.

 
At October 3, 2010 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

not the mercury dime obverse! Why cant we just design a new obverse that features liberty? I love the Mercury dime but I really do not want any more old designs resurrected for new bullion coins. I love the idea of Palladium coins just now the design

 
At October 4, 2010 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reverse of the Maggie Taylor depicts a nurse with a numismatist after learning the new pricing on USMint gold products!

 

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