Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, December 17, 2010

American Palladium Eagles

On December 14, 2010, the bill H.R. 6166 was signed into law, which will likely result in a new series of American Palladium Eagles.

The US Mint will be required to mint and issue the one ounce .9995 fine palladium bullion coins, provided that a marketing study demonstrates sufficient demand for the coins exists. The new coins would need to be issued in quantities that the Secretary "may determine to be appropriate to meet demand", beginning within one year from the submission of the marketing study.

The designs for the American Palladium Eagle would be high relief likenesses of the work of Adolph A. Weinman. The obverse design of the Mercury Dime would be used, paired with his reverse design for the 1907 American Institute of Architects Medal.

Here are the two designs side by side.

Given the problems the US Mint has experienced in recent years meeting demand for gold and silver bullion coins, as well as this year's problems with issuing the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, was creating another bullion program a good idea?

The legislation does provide some greater flexibility for the US Mint than past programs. The purity of the coins and the bullion weight are specified, but the diameter and thickness are left to the discretion of the Treasury Secretary. This flexibility may have been provided in response to the challenging diameter originally stipulated for the ATB Silver Bullion Coins, which led to early production problems

The legislation states that the Secretary of the Treasury shall acquire the palladium used for the coins through the purchase of palladium mined from natural deposits in the United States within one year after the month in which it was mined. However, the palladium may be sourced from other available sources if this is not feasible or if no such palladium exists. This allowance may have been provided in response to the challenges the US Mint has encountered sourcing gold and silver under the requirements sets for other programs.

On the other hand, the collector versions of the Palladium Eagles carry some very specific requirements. For some other bullion programs, specific authorization or requirements for numismatic versions are not included, but rather these coins are struck on the Treasury Secretary's general authority to create numismatic items.

For the Palladium Eagles, both proof and uncirculated versions are are specifically authorized. It is also included that to the greatest extent possible the "surface treatment" of each year's proof or uncirculated version must differ in some material way from the preceding year. Based on this requirement, there would be an alternating or possibly ever-changing appearance for the collector series.

At this point, it's not clear how the US Mint might handle this requirement in practice. Will the coins alternate in proof and reverse proof? Would different background effects be used? (The Perth Mint has used frosted or shimmer backgrounds for Silver Koalas.) Would uncirculated coins be brilliant or satin? Gilded or colorized?

Finally, there are some odd requirements for the US Mint facilities to be used in striking the Palladium Eagles. For bullion and uncirculated coins, any facility other than West Point may be used. While for proof coins, only the West Point Mint must be used.



At December 17, 2010 at 5:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will look great in high relief. I'll take one!

At December 17, 2010 at 5:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another classic brought back!! I'll take it .

At December 17, 2010 at 5:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm call calling APMEX right away to lock in my price!

At December 17, 2010 at 7:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll second the positive comments. The classic design's are very nice indeed. In a non-negative side comment, I do wonder why nothing in a very long time has approached the old standby's. Surely design artists don't lack talent, so why must the Mint always resort to dredging up the old classics in order to sell something? None-the-less, if the old classics, repetitive Bison's, etc. are the only way to move these items, I'm still in for the addition to my collection.

At December 17, 2010 at 7:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful design.
I think it's a winner.
Anyone have any idea when it will be made available?

At December 17, 2010 at 7:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also wonder why there are no designers today who can do work as inspiring as the old classics they are reusing.

Somewhere I read that it is because today our country doesn't have the positive attitude and self-confidence that it had 100 years ago. Too much self-loathing and multi-culti criticism of all this nation has accomplished.

At December 17, 2010 at 8:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just look at TV - the average usage is 8 hours a day with 5 hours of intensive watching. There were none of these distractions 100 years ago. So artists focused on art, imagination, and skill, and we were given great designs. As much as I like the presidents facsimiles on coins I think they are easy to make. Nonetheless there are still some great designs sometimes seen on the modern commemoratives.

At December 17, 2010 at 8:24 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

For one, do realize that anything retro or coin experiences from one's youth will always give those experiences more resonance than anything you see or feel about today's coins. For instance, Morgans weren't popular in their day and thought of as ugly, but they are VERY popular today and thought of as a "classic" design.
Secondly, designs in the past were made in coin environments in which they were not competing with 56*2 separate designs ( i.e., quarters ). As an analogy, think about TV decades years ago. Was "Bonanza" or "MASH" really that good of shows, or was it the best thing on when you only had three choices? Or maybe in another way, with only 3 choices, more attention was put on the content that was put forward.
As of today's designs, I do think the Union Shield on the penny will eventually be pretty popular. And I think the designs for the ATB quarters are TONS better than the state quarter series... though, as we would all agree, they need to STOP with these constant series of XX different themed designs for coins.
The only other thing I would note is that today's art is more about "literalism" rather than "allegorical". Stop giving me REAL people on my coins... give me symbols.

At December 17, 2010 at 8:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said , Lasloo ..Seconded

At December 17, 2010 at 9:31 AM , Blogger HBGuy said...

These will be highly sought after coins and the design is excellent in all respects. Palladium has significantly outperformed all other PMs since 2008 in terms of price appreciation, and is apt to continue to do so as the auto sector continues to recover.

I do hope the Mint will produce a limited quantity of the proof coins so as to preserve their value, but this may be a non-issue given that the only domestic source of palladium is Stillwater Mining's two properties in MT.

This coin should be a HUGE success.

At December 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is this suppose to come out?

At December 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in for a couple. Does anyone know if they will be UHR? That would be sweet too.

The classic designs are the best!

At December 17, 2010 at 11:48 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

"When is this suppose to come out?"

Within one year of the submission of the required marketing study.

At December 17, 2010 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the article and the comments on ‘classic’ coin designs, I often wonder if it is only the small statistically insignificant numismatic inclined portion of the population that that cares, or even notices the specific designs on circulating US coinage. There was just an article I read that was surveying the public about the new reverse of the Lincoln cent and a large majority of the people had no idea it changes, or that there were four special reverses last year. Seems even fewer people realize the mint switch to the ATB series on the quarter, and a week doesn’t go by where someone doesn’t try to pass of (or mistaken) a Sac or Presidential dollar for real gold!

In my opinion, as the county continues to assimilate various cultures and nationalities into our melting pot, that the coin designs also don’t start to assimilate as well. I think we are probably past the point of ‘classical’ designs in modern coins (with the exception of bullion and commemoratives) and will start seeing truly ‘modern’ designs like we see in Europe, Canada, the UK, etc. The day of the sculpture artist is over, and the day of the GCI and computer aided CAD type art is here and is the future as 99% of people really don’t care who or what is on the coin, or how ‘artistic’ it is. They just care that it spends.

At December 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM , Blogger Curtis said...

With palladium at around $800/oz it looks like these coins will be price out of reach of the average collector. I hope they do fractionals so everyone like me can afford one. As for the Mercury design, it is my second favorite of the early 20th but I would rather see a great original designs for our modern collectables. I realize that the state/atb quarters are original designs but I think these multiyear multicoin per year programs are not good for the hobby, to much to fast. Give us 6 great original coins (10 if you count bullion) and leave them alone for the next few decades.

At December 17, 2010 at 12:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It bothers me that the only laws Congress has the ability to pass are new coin legislations. Yet, I will probably buy one if they use the "Winged Liberty Head" design.

At December 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one will be a huge success. Great classic design. In the budget of more people than UHR gold. The Mint's website will crash for sure.

At December 17, 2010 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reverse design is hideous, but the obverse design is classic. I'll be ordering.

At December 17, 2010 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think of Morgans as ugly. I think Barber's are usually ugly too, but when they have NO wear at all and maybe some attractive toning, they can look OK, but cost a buttload to obtain.

I don't understand why people pay so much money for old, ugly American coins.

At December 17, 2010 at 3:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then you're in the wrong site!!

At December 17, 2010 at 3:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reverse looks like something lifted straight from a Japanese horror movie.

At December 17, 2010 at 3:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the classics. Its just too bad they can't do them on silver for the average collector. The mint could do commemoratives on all the old classic designs in silver and they would sell out with large mintages.

At December 17, 2010 at 5:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW ! Nice design.

I like the idea that each year will bring a change which could add to the future rarity.

I like the reverse prrofs.

At December 17, 2010 at 6:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anons discussing the attractiveness of classic coinage, for the most part I would say the only good classic coins are the ones minted from 1900-1945 (with a few exceptions). When people say classic coins, they usually think of things like the mercury dime, the buffalo nickel, the walking liberty half dollar, etc.

Before that, American coins were unimpressive (with the exception, IMO, of the Flying Eagle and Indian-head pennies). The Barber dime, quarter, and half-dollar are ugly, uninspired crap, and I don't really believe the Morgan silver dollar is all that much better - the peace dollar seems artistically superior in every way. The whole reason we got the designs of the early 20th century was because Teddy Roosevelt recognized this and did something about it.

As to why we don't see coins like we had in the age of classic coins, it's not because we don't have any talented artists, it's because fashions have changed and because the government has to approve anything that comes to them, so even if a modern-day Weinman were to come along, he'd probably get rejected in favor of a more PC design. I too would like an end to using the presidents on our coins - the only presidential coin I like all that much is the JFK half-dollar.

So historically, American coinage has not been that exciting. We should consider ourselves lucky to have lived relatively close to the era of great coins, as we can still collect many of them for semi-reasonable prices!

At December 17, 2010 at 6:38 PM , Anonymous Charleston Voice said...

Palladium has no history of being a monetary metal like gold and silver. Why not tungsten as it is being substituted now for gold?

At December 17, 2010 at 7:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prospect of a potential reverse proof finish is one of the few things to look forward to in this new series. I can't tell you the "oh's" & "ah's" we've gotten when quests have seen the 2006 RP ASE's under illumination with a jewelers light. LOL. Reverse proofs are in a word STUNNING. I find it hard to believe the current bargain prices one can still buy these '06's considering only 250K were originally minted. This issue is clearly the winner in the first decade of the 21st century. I predict the Reverse Proof Palladium Eagle will capture honors in the second decade. Mark my words.

At December 17, 2010 at 10:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the 6:03 post.

At December 18, 2010 at 5:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oof, that is one hellacious reverse. It looks sort of prehistoric with the neck curved downward. How utterly uninspiring. I love the reverse of the 1918 Lincoln Illinois Commemorative. Now that's an Eagle with the shield and sun!

At December 18, 2010 at 6:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all you good folks out there, it's a wise move to learn the differnced between Palladium and Platinum before you ride off into the sunset planning to lasso a few.

All the metals are great, but are obviously not readilly spendable in your local Walmart. Heck, most won't take Presiential $1` coins. What are are odds you are successful to buy a basketful of items with an ounce of :silver bullion, gold bullion, a
platinum round, 5 oz. ATB round or a new palladium piece. I'd say zero. Numismatically they are fine and a nice addition into anyone's private collection, but worthless as a spendable medium. Don't expect to get your money back on these Pall's anytime soon. So buy one for the novelty, not for investment. That's my take on it.

At December 18, 2010 at 7:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reverse is pretty cool. I think we all know the mint could of done much worse. Is it the perfect reverse? No, but it's not that bad and they will sell a boat load of these with this design. I find it funny that the mint needs to spend money on a study to find out if they are marketable. Michael they should just call you and ask your opinion for free and be done with it. The government really does like to waste tax dollars.

At December 18, 2010 at 8:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I might have picked a different design for the reverse too. Maybe something like this to continue the "winged liberty" theme (though I suppose this would be winged victory, but it's close enough!)

At December 18, 2010 at 11:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The proposed design is so ugly that there's not a big enough stick to beat the ugly out of it.

At December 18, 2010 at 11:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just glad there will be no stinkin' president on the coin.

At December 18, 2010 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then you're in the wrong site!!"

Um, no. Last time I checked, liking all old coin designs wasn't a prerequisite to being a coin collector.

It is possible to like coins but think that almost all American coins pre-Saint Gaudens are horribly ugly and way overvalued. Some are alright. I like one or two 3 and 5 silver cent designs. But I can't figure out why people think a lot of the very old American coins look good. They look bland, especially comparing them to other coins of the day.

Even though some of them aren't the prettiest, I wouldn't mind still collecting them if it was possible to get an attractive specimen for a reasonable price. On many coins, the only way to get it affordably is to buy a beat-up, dull, possibly cleaned specimen, because the price of the coins has been driven up to ludicrous levels not just by collectors, but by people blindly "investing" in coins by buying things they don't necessarily want, appreciate, or understand. Thus demand is driven up and attractive coins are taken out of the market and put into the hands of people who don't care about coins, and prices rise to outside the price range of someone such as myself, who collects coins for aesthetic and historical value.

As for this new palladium coin, I like it. I am much more excited about the reverse than the obverse, however.

At December 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 1:02PM

You made several good points. I focus and collect PM coins made from 1985 to the present. Doesn't mean that I don't have any coins minted prior to 1985. But that I really like the newer stuff overall much more than the older stuff.

And there are many modern (post 85) "rarities" that I think in a hundred years will be killer sought out and valued to the heavens.

In many respects these are great years for numi collectors.

At December 18, 2010 at 2:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some very nice moderns in my collection. As far as modern commems I like the Columbus set, the Civil War set, the recent Lincolns, the Bald Eagles, the Jamestowns, etc. My "oldest" is a Morgan which is graded 65 but a great looking coin to the naked eye. I would also like to own a set of coins used in circulation through the history of the US Mint. But as far as great "design" coins from the previous two centuries, I would go with the seated Liberty. I also like the draped bust units. For moderns I like the wheat cent, the Kennedy half, and the ASE / AGE annuals. That said, of course
there is a lot of embellishment of coin values, and it is generously stoked up by the grading companies, and the media. My goodness, some of the PCGS values on common cents and nickels is astonishing, and simply because PCGS "populations" are not high. What a JOKE! I would agree that we are paying too much for some coins.

At December 18, 2010 at 3:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To annon December 18, 2010 7:53 AM,

Actually, they should call Michael, and give him the money.

At December 18, 2010 at 6:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon from 6:03 here.

To the anon from 2:30, I agree there are some good things to be found in modern coins. While I think most presidential coins are rather bland, the JFK half-dollar is an exception to this. I like the new shield penny (I thought the Lincoln Memorial was terrible), and while I was unimpressed with the 50 state quarters, I like some of the new America the Beautiful designs.

Now, if we could just do something about our dime. Roosevelt could definitely stand to be retired.

At December 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palladium has no history of being a monetary metal like gold and silver.

Palladium will emerge as a metal necessary for energy generation. Accumulate it and you will be rewarded with wealth beyond your dreams.

At December 19, 2010 at 11:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can they change the look ever year. how many finishes does the us mint have to offer

At December 19, 2010 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At December 19, 2010 at 8:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we move into this new decade of coinage. I see a lot changing in the respect of APs/dealers and hype driven sales. The last decade reined in many hype driven premiums that have proven to be duds in the end. Last decade was proven to be filled with many bitten collectors no longer falling for the hype driven sales.

I see the TPGs and their authorized dealers which are largely connected to the APs losing ground on respect and rightfully so due to largely over graded mass production falsely driven price guides on modern and classic coinage.

With the Us Mint recently showing a dislike toward the APs for taking advantage of the public with their products. I see a new era in collecting taking place with less active sales for APs and more active sales for the US Mint directly to the public.

With the record sales of ASE bullion this year and wide spread price gouging taking place by all APs and dealers by way over graded and priced bullion. I truly believe that the cat is well out of the bag on the amount of gouging going on to the public.

I believe it is not only prudent to bring back a great design like this. But to also bring back the ability to purchase coinage at a reasonable price designed to give all buyers a chance for a successful investment.

If the recent decision of the US Mint to make coins reasonably affordable to the public is a stand that they intend to make. I believe they should take this stand and make available bullion and all coinage at a reasonable price in turn increasing a profit level which is much needed to sustain better operations and costs.

This coming year will prove to be quite interesting as major investigations are sure to happen involving the latest ATB scandal caused by unreasonable AP pricing.I believe this has become an overdo lashing that the coin industry has needed since the inception of PCGS and NGC unreasonable hype pricing.

The shock wave felt by the US Mint to APMEX is just the beginning of a long investigation of all the other APs that have been flying under the radar with all these hype driven sales.

I for one will be happy to see the US Mint take a stand and investigate the obvious with the results of more profits being made by the US Mint and investments returning with future profits to the public.

This new design to me is very pleasing and well thought out with the idea of a great possible future investment return. The time used to provide the marketing study is also designed to maximize the profits based on future palladium spot prices. I can only hope by then that the US Mint will have a grasp on stopping all the gouging so public demand is met with true reasonable prices the public will view as a good future investment.

It is my belief that a US Mint that sells to the public increases profits. Therefore, allows a better pricing structure for all to consider a deal well worth investing in.

Nice design here and a true winner if the US Mint applies better business practices to maintain a larger client base with the public.

At December 19, 2010 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My membership with PCGS lasted all of one year, and I gave up in disgust after less than 6 months. During this period, coins I sent them were laminated, ultrasonically cleaned, and dropped and dragged on the floor (or something abrasive). They and TPGs have become so arrogant that the Mint state coins a customer sends in are not guaranteed to be returned to the customer with their original minted surfaces. PCGS argument is that they "Meet Our Grading Standards" or in other words they supersede the US MINT! I began to see these idiots for what they really are - scammers who are playing innocent and believing collectors for a lot of money. And there is so much hype around their business plan that they have destroyed what was a great hobby. Now we FORGET THE COIN AND LOOK AT THE SLAB AND ITS LABEL. The culprits who have messed up the hobby are PCGS / NGC and TPGs, eBay, Paypal, and well greedy flippers, all of whom target innocent collectors. We should really spend more of our money on coin purchases from the mint that the rubbish these TPG and allied corporations dish out regularly.

Yes I am glad that the MINT stepped in over the APMEX plan. They did collectors a great service by enforcing simple honesty, even though as some have stated in comments on this blog that they were willing to pay the excessive charges. There is way too much hype and a bubble building up, where something is going to give sometime soon. I for one am tired of seeing coins in plastic slabs. I have been purchasing coins just from the Mint and really appreciate the Original Mint Packaging. This is a great tradition for collectors dating way back to the early days of minting.

At December 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want more information on these 2006 W ASE variety claims that keep popping up anonymously. I've examined all of the 2006 W's that I have and they do look different. Some are flat matte and some are pearlescent. On one of them, Liberty's gown, the relief looks deeper. Please share your observations.

At December 20, 2010 at 3:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sales figures from us mint are not mintage figures

At December 20, 2010 at 9:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the latest idiots with their money completed auctions list on the feebay bidiots challenge.

If you are one of these bidiots then you obviously have less brains then sense.

At December 21, 2010 at 4:02 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

One person keeps writing the same comments (without capitalization and spelling) about some mysterious 2006-W Silver Eagles. This takes place on practically ever post, whether or not it is remotely related, often repeatedly. There has never been any information or confirmation about this from anyone except this lone anonymous commenter.


At December 22, 2010 at 9:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now we FORGET THE COIN AND LOOK AT THE SLAB AND ITS LABEL. The culprits who have messed up the hobby are PCGS / NGC and TPGs, eBay, Paypal, and well greedy flippers, all of whom target innocent collectors."

Agreed! But you forgot the latest and least worthwhile - "CAC" and it's supply of little green labels. LOL.

Sorry but I too believe the actual coins themselves have taken a back seat to plastic slabs, meaningless descriptions< first strike, early strike, red label, black label, etc.>, worthless stickers, unopened boxes / cartons / sealed bags, date of mfgr. on Mint white boxes, and the like.

I may be old fashioned, I conceed that, but it's the coin that s/b the center of attention, not mealy mouthed silly marketing ploys. That's my 2 cents worth. - Grandpa


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