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