Precious Metals

Commission of Fine Arts eyes palladium Eagle designs

Mock-up renderings of the mandated designs for a 2017 American Eagle $25 palladium bullion coin were reviewed March 16 by the Commission of Fine Arts.

The initial review of the designs was to be undertaken March 15 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, but that session was moved to March 21 because of the snowstorm that hit Washington, D.C., on March 14.

The enabling legislation is the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, Public Law 111-303.

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The general designs have been known since before passage of the legislation; the act specifies that the obverse will replicate sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head dime design, and the reverse, an eagle he designed in 1906 for the the reverse of an American Institute of Architects gold medal first awarded in 1907.

In the Mint’s interpretation of the obverse design, the date, 2017, appears with the 17 larger than the 20, and also slightly higher. Weinman’s intertwined designer initials, AW, appear in the right obverse field, as on the dime.

For the reverse, the Mint design team added statutory coinage inscriptions not found in the medal’s design. The $25 face value of the coin appears as $25 in the field to the viewer’s left, in front of the eagle’s beak. To accommodate weight and precious metal fineness inscriptions for the palladium bullion coin, the word “Palladium” is abbreviated as “Pd.” The inscription 1 OZ. Pd .9995 FINE, appears in a single line above E PLURIBUS UNUM.

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said the inscriptions on the rock below the eagle — weight, metallic composition, fineness and E PLURIBUS UNUM — are proposed to be incuse, while the denomination and UNITED STATES of AMERICA will be raised, though that could change.

“If coining tests show this as problematic, we may have to lower the relief in the rock and raise the inscriptions,” White said.

Since the coin will be a bullion issue, it will bear no Mint mark. Bullion versions of gold, silver and platinum American Eagles, all of which are struck at the West Point Mint, are all produced without Mint mark.

U.S. Mint officials have disclosed no specific date when the the coins will be made available to the authorized purchasers nor whether production will have any limit.

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