After seven years of development and study, an American palladium
bullion coin may finally be struck before the end of calendar year 2017.
The coin has been a long time coming. It was authorized under
provisions of the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of
2010, which calls for production of a 1-ounce palladium coin with
a $25 face value. The coin would be an extension of the American Eagle
bullion coin program
Currently, development of a palladium bullion coin is progressing
well enough to create a strong likelihood that collectors and
investors will be able to purchase struck coins before the end of
2017, according to Mint sources.
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The enabling legislation calls for the palladium bullion coin to be
struck at the Philadelphia, Denver or San Francisco Mint, but
prohibits it from being produced at the West Point Mint. That
facility, in New York, is where most of the nation’s other bullion
coins are struck: gold and platinum American Eagles, most of the
silver American Eagles, and the American Buffalo gold coins. The
Philadelphia Mint strikes the America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver
bullion coins and has been called upon to strike American Eagle silver
bullion coins when demand requires.
The Philadelphia Mint is the likely frontrunner for striking the
palladium coin, according to Mint sources, because that facility is
where the palladium coin’s development is being explored.
However, should U.S. Mint officials choose to also strike a Proof
collector version of the palladium American Eagle, the Proof issue
must be struck at the West Point facility, according to the
The legislation mandates the obverse design be a high-relief version
of sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head design for the
dime struck in 1916. The reverse is mandated to be a high-relief
version of the Eagle design Weinman rendered in 1906 for the reverse
of the American Institute of Architects’ gold medal first presented in 1907.
U.S. Mint officials are still working on securing reliable vendors
to provide palladium planchets. The planchets must meet Mint
specifications and be supplied in a sufficient quantity to fulfill
market demand for a U.S. palladium bullion coin. U.S. Mint officials
are still assessing that market demand.
The 2010 legislation authorized a feasibility study that was
conducted in 2012 and issued in 2013 and that suggested that a
palladium bullion coin program at that time was not economically
viable, but that a Proof collector version could turn a profit.
The effort was virtually mothballed after release of the 2013
report, but was resurrected with the 2015 passage of legislation
introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich.
Huizenga’s measure — The Bullion and Collectible Coin Production
Efficiency and Cost Savings Act — negated the paragraph of the 2010
law that required favorable results before proceeding with a palladium
coin, but left all other provisions of the 2010 act intact.
The technical correction legislation was included in a large
transportation bill signed into law Dec. 4, 2015, by President Obama.