American Palladium Eagle Designs Reviewed

by Mike Unser on March 22, 2017 · 23 comments

The United States Mint is closer to producing and selling American Eagle 1 oz Palladium Bullion Coins.

2017 $25 American Eagle 1 oz. Palladium Bullion Coin Designs

The Palladium Eagle’s obverse design features a high-relief likeness to Adolph A. Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head dime. Is reverse bears a high-relief version of Weinman’s 1907 American Institute of Architects (AIA) medal design.

Designs for a 2017 $25 American Palladium Eagle have been officially reviewed twice — by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on March 16 and by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on March 21.

Not a lot was left to consider with the authorizing law (Public Law 111-303) prescribing specific designs. Up for CFA and CCAC review was judging how well the U.S. Mint executed the classic designs for today and their implementation and placement of mandated coin inscriptions.

American Palladium Eagle Obverse Design

As required by legislation, the obverse design depicts a likeness of the “Winged Liberty” obverse design from the “Mercury Dime” created by famed American sculptor and medallic artist Adolph A. Weinman in 1916. Inscriptions include “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” Weinman’s initials, and “2017.”

The modern designs closely follow the originals. The reverses look most different, with the vintage design created for a medal and needing pulled out for coins. Obvious changes from the original include a raised rim and differing inscriptions.

American Palladium Eagle Reverse Design

As required by legislation, the reverse design features a version of the 1907 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal reverse design. This work, featuring an eagle, was also created by Adolph A. Weinman and commissioned in late 1906 by the AIA specifically for their Gold Medal award. Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “$25,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and the weight and fineness of the coin – “1 oz. Pd .9995 FINE.”

The AIA was instrumental in helping with the coin’s reverse design, giving the U.S. Mint access to a 14-inch diameter plaster for the medal and an actual 1907 2-1/4-inch AIA gold medal. The U.S. Mint digitally scanned the plaster and photographed the medal to aid in their design development.

CCAC members were able to view a test strike of a Palladium Eagle.

CCAC chair Mary Lannin thought it was "absolutely stunning."

Member Robert Hoge described it as a "very beautiful design."

Member Dr. Herman Viola declared: "It’s beautiful and I’d love to own it myself."

Member Mike Moran liked how the Mint added the required reverse inscriptions. The 1907 medal has inscriptions of AIA and AA WEINMAN MCMVII. Those were removed in the coin design, replaced with raised inscriptions of UNITED STATES of AMERICA and $25 and incused inscriptions of 1 OZ. Pd .9995 FINE and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

"I’m pleased with the way the Mint handled the inscriptions and the actual striking of the coin," Moran said. "They downplayed them on the reverse so that the central theme of the reverse is the eagle and it stands out well."

CCAC member Heidi Wastweet noted that they are "beautiful designs of course," but voiced some concern about the Mint’s renditions. She felt some areas were "overly enhanced" and "a little over sharpened," departing from Weinman’s more subtle and soft-handled style. In particular, she thought the eagle’s head appeared too spiky, like a dragon’s head with scales.

Any of the U.S. Mint’s production facilities, other than the West Point Mint, are authorized to make the bullion piece. The bureau currently produces and sells several bullion coins, including:

  • American Gold Eagles (1 oz., 1/2 oz., 1/4 oz., and 1/10 oz. sizes),
  • American Platinum Eagles (1 oz.),
  • American Silver Eagles (1 oz.),
  • American Gold Buffalos (1 oz.), and
  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins.

Like them, the bullion Palladium Eagle will not carry a mint mark.

Public Law 111-303 also includes an option — not a requirement — for the U.S. Mint to strike American Palladium Eagles in collector proof and uncirculated qualities. If a proof is made — and that decision is yet to me made, the law requires that they come from the West Point Mint.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Danny Morano March 22, 2017 at 11:55 am

I’m sorry but, I like my coins Bright and Shiny and not looking like the dull side of aluminium foil.
I do like the design though but in proof Silver or Gold. Do as I recommended, make a 1oz. Gold Morgan and Peace Dollar. You can’t miss! Please, do it.
DrWho7

jim March 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm

These are mockup of designs not actual coins. Be that as it may, I’m not really interested in bullion coins myself so I wish the mint management would get on the stick and decide to make collectable proofs (don’t care about unc’s, wish they’d forget about them) and start selling them. But as we all know the mint now updates their product schedule in monthly dribbles rather than putting the whole year schedule so we’ll find out if they’re going to do a collectable palladium coin only the month before. Shame they have no guts to put out a full year schedule.

joe#2 March 22, 2017 at 12:14 pm

For some reason or another. This Mint can’t get there shitt together. A BIG PASS.
I agree with you Danny. A gold proof Morgan or Peace. would be a home run. Mr. President, Please get this Mint’s shitt together… Unreal.

a Bob March 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Not a fan of the incused lettering on the reverse but otherwise looks good.

Chas Barber March 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

MAke it a Barber obverse!

jim March 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

You guys don’t seem to understand. It’s Congress that tells the mint what to do – not mint leadership (admittedly there isn’t much of that going on) and not the President, only Congress. In this case the law passed by Congress dictated that the obverse be the same as the liberty dime and the reverse be what it is. If they make a collectors coin you can bet there will be mirroring and shading as in all the latest proof coins. Palladium is a white metal similar to silver and platinum so the coins will be that color, not the grey you see in these mock-ups. Write to your congressional representatives if you want something different – those are the people who make the laws the mint has to follow.

Charlie 1952 March 22, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Are they going to put a specific mint mark on the individual coins if they are made at different mints? Is this going to be a several coin set we are going after? They are great looking coins. Been waiting a long while for these to come out. Is this a one year thing for the mint?

jim March 22, 2017 at 9:49 pm

These are bullion coins. Did you read the article? The line above the last paragraph says they will not carry a mint mark.

Seth Riesling March 22, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Charlie 1952 –

Per the 2010 original law, updated in 2015, the bullion versions of this new $25 palladium bullion coin must be produced at any US Mint facility except the West Point Mint & will not have a Mint mark (they will not be sold directly to Mint customers but through the Mint’s 13 worldwide bullion coin Authorized Purchasers). They are to be issued annually. The law allows for Proof & Uncirculated different finishes if the Mint wants to offer them (but they are not required to) & these versions must be produced at West Point Mint with a “W” Mint mark if the Mint decides to make them in special finishes. They will be the only high relief bullion version coins produced by the Mint.
In a typical strange twist, the 2010 law required a study of dealers & collectors to see which versions would be most popular & the result was that the plain bullion version was not wanted, but a Proof version was wanted. So, our idiot Congress passed the legislation requiring the one version the dealers & collectors said they don’t want!

-NumisDudeTX

Seth Riesling March 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm

FYI –

These mock-up photos were released on March 16 by the CFA to Coin World & were published last week at coinworld.com.
Better late than never here.

-NumisDudeTX

Ron b March 22, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Is it the current price of palladium that determined the coin to have a $25 face value? What if palladium became more expensive than platinum? I suppose it doesn’t matter but wouldn’t the coin look more appealing with $50 on the front?

Kahoola March 23, 2017 at 2:57 am

Not a fan of the crooked date. Why can’t it be straight like the original mercs? Think that the rational for the gold merc was that it was too small. Size is not the issue with this coin.

Danny Morano March 23, 2017 at 7:45 am

Mock up schmockup. I know what Pallidum looks like and yes, size does matter. Should be the size and weight of a 1oz Silver Eagle or at the very least a Half ounce Gold Eagle. Your right about the date, there’s enough room to make it straight and the Incuse writing on the back looks cool. Make us a mock up in the right Proof color straighten the dateam and give us a size perspective.
Remember, there are still plenty of unsold Gold Liberty quarters and Halves sitting in the Mints vault. Where are the arrows in the Eagles Talon’s too?
DrWho7

Charlie 1952 March 23, 2017 at 7:17 pm

Well I guess this will be a set from the third party graders with “marked bands” on the monster boxes from which mint they were made like the bullion silver eagle with the{S} on the label

Seth Riesling March 23, 2017 at 8:47 pm

Charlie 1952 –

The US Mint stopped the practice of the marked bands (plastic strips around the monster boxes) starting on their bullion version coins in 2015. The bands no longer have the Mint facility that struck them printed on them & now use a generic band that just states “U.S. Mint”. They say they did this to cut costs of custom printing of different plastic strips since these are only bullion version coins that are not even individually encapsulated (they all touch against each other in the plastic packing tubes). I am glad dealers & grading companies can no longer tell which Mint facility struck them since they were charging extra for special labels.
The Mint screwed them for the first time & didn’t even realize it!

-NumisDudeTX

Roxie60 March 23, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Wonder how much it will cost. Since I like all Merc coins I could see myself adding one or two, if they make a proof, to my collection.

jim March 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

Palladium has climbed to over $800/oz from <$500 last year.

Danny Morano March 24, 2017 at 6:35 am

It looks like with the intrest this coin has started and the jump in Pallidum price, if they mint a mint a one ounce proof, by the time it’s put on sale and the price surpasses Platinum, it could go for somewhere between $1,000.00 and $1,500.00 or higher depending on intrest and Pallidum spot prices. I bet they only mint a quarter ounce coin. But, with the Mint who knows? Start saving in your piggy bank.
DrWho7

jim March 24, 2017 at 1:37 pm

I think the law says a 1 oz coin, not smaller sizes. Platinum is at a greatly reduced price because it is rarer than gold. Palladium is advertised as an in-between gold and silver coin price-wise – the poor man’s gold.
Palladium may be up because the mint is on a buying spree to support future sales. Once they’ve stocked up the price will probably settle down again because mint sales and therefore demand will be more steady through the year (this one assumes).

CoinsA-Z March 26, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Awesome looking coin….A. Weinman’s work is extraordinary (as is his son’s work with medals but I digress). I am eager to buy this coin….thank you U.S. Mint for another high quality coin.

Chas Barber March 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Palladium is the poor man’s Platinum, not gold (see SILVER for that!) used as a catalyst like Pl but ‘cheaper’ for how long, we don;t know. Leave it to the mint, could have been a great 700$ oz. coin, now more like $1,3oo……mint management as WE all know is useless @ present

Seth Riesling March 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm

The Mint will charge its 13 worldwide bullion coin Authorized Purchasers at least 4 percent above London PM spot fix palladium price for these bullion version coins & maybe a little more since these are the only high relief bullion version coins the Mint produces & it costs more to strike high relief coins.

-NumisDudeTX

Mark August 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Any recent news on when and if the Pd eagle will come out? It is not on the Mint’s schedule that now goes out through the end of 2017. is the recent escalation of the cost of Pd linked to mint suppliers buying up a couple hundred ounces of Pd for these coins? I see the Pd price is starting to fall, so maybe they have what they need?

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