He explained that the plan is to issue both bullion and proof coins struck in high relief once the Mint can secure a sufficient supply chain of palladium planchets and work out some other details such as the diameter of the coins.
As a result of these issues, it is highly unlikely the Mint will be able to begin the program this year, and Mr. Harrigal also said the priority is for the bullion coins. It is possible that in 2017, if the program does start then, that the Mint will only issue bullion coins that year, and the proofs would come the following year.
But this is a mistake in my view, though to be clear one the Mint is doing because it is mandated by the U.S. Congress to issue both versions.
It is unlikely that there will be very much demand for the bullion coin other than for the first year of issue because collectors tend not to be very keen on palladium as a metal, which is what the 2012 feasibility study on these coins revealed.
Besides, as I noted recently in regards to the 2016 high relief Liberty medal, high relief coins look so much better in proof than they do in business strike.
This is why the world mints that specialize in high relief issues produce them in proof, including especially the Perth Mint and the Mint of Poland.
The palladium program is far more likely to be a hit with collectors of coins with limited mintages and top-notch designs as opposed to bullion coins, which have not fared very well when other mints produced them. In fact, palladium tends to be traded far more often in bar form than as coins.
The U.S. Congress would do well to consult with the numismatic community when it crafts legislation about coins to avoid producing pieces that will prove to be unpopular, which has certainly been the case with many recent commemorative coin programs and would likely be the case with palladium bullion coins.