Palladium Proof Eagle ready September 6
- Published: Aug 24, 2018, 8 AM
When the Proof 2018-W American Eagle 1-ounce palladium coin goes on sale by the U.S. Mint beginning at noon Eastern Time Sept. 6, the big question could be how quickly it sells out, if it sells out.
The Proof version of last year’s bullion coin — which was the first palladium coin ever issued by the United States — will be limited to an edition of 15,000 pieces. A household limit of one coin is being imposed.
The maximum mintage of 15,000 coins is identical to the number of palladium bullion coins sold in 2017. Authorized purchasers placed orders Sept. 25, 2017, with the Mint for 15,000 of the 1-ounce palladium bullion coins. Mint officials did not offer the bullion version a second time in 2017.
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A big difference between last year’s bullion version and this year’s Proof version is how the coins are distributed.
As with all bullion coins issued by the U.S. Mint, the 2017 American Eagle palladium coins were sold only to the Mint’s authorized purchasers. That meant that by the time the coins made their way to collectors, secondary market premiums had been added to the price of each coin, including the cost of third-party grading for the certified pieces.
A household limit of one coin would theoretically make it harder for the coin to sell out in minutes, compared to a higher limit, such as 10 coins per household. However, some coin firms have standard plans in place to circumvent those limits, by having multiple employees and others each purchase the maximum limit.
Collectors and dealers will also be waiting to see whether the quality of the Proof 2018 coins matches that of the 2017 bullion coins.
The majority of the 2017 coins graded by ANACS, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and Professional Coin Grading Service are either Mint State 69 or Mint State 70. The population reports for the total number of 2017 American Eagle palladium coins each firm has graded are:
ANACS — MS-70, 1,079; MS-69, 76.
NGC — MS-70, 5,462; MS-70 Prooflike, 351; MS-69, 608; MS-69 Prooflike, 70; MS-68, 3; MS-68 Prooflike, 1.
PCGS — MS-70, 3,619; MS-69, 1,788; MS-68, 16; MS-67, 3; MS-66, 2.
Designs the same
The Proof coin will bear the same obverse and reverse designs that appeared on the 2017 American Eagle palladium bullion version. The Proof 2018-W version bears the W Mint mark of the West Point Mint. Although also struck at the West Point Mint, the bullion version does not carry a Mint mark.
The obverse design depicts sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head obverse for the dime first issued in 1916, replacing Charles E. Barber’s dime design.
The reverse bears a rendering of Weinman’s 1906 design for the reverse of the American Institute of Architects gold medal first awarded in 1907. A defiant eagle perched on a ledge grasps an olive sapling with its right claw and plucks a branch from it with its beak.
Both designs for the palladium American Eagle were mandated under provisions of Public Law 119-94.
U.S. Mint officials have not yet disclosed the pricing for the Proof coin, which will be announced closer to the release date.
Mint officials have also not disclosed if or when a 2018 American Eagle palladium bullion coin might be offered or any authorized mintage for such a coin.
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