Palladium Eagles – Bullion, Uncirculated and Proof

Three different versions of the Palladium Eagles may be struck by the United States Mint, as allowed by the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act (Public Law 111-303) which authorized the coins. Those three versions include bullion, uncirculated and proof.

American Silver Eagle Coins

Shown above are the bullion, proof and uncirculated versions of the American Silver Eagle. Just like these, American Palladium Eagle coins would feature different finishes and distribution methods.

Of those three, only Palladium Eagles in investment-grade bullion are required by law. But, if all three are struck, they will each meet similar specifications, including a composition of one troy ounce of .9995 fine palladium. All three will also feature a face value of $25, giving them each legal tender status backed by the government of the United States.

However, that legal tender status is merely token in nature. Since each is struck from one ounce of pure palladium, these American Eagle coins will have a melt value approximately equal to that amount of the precious metal on the open market. For instance, if palladium is currently trading for $600 an ounce, the strikes will have a melt value of approximately $600.

How each of the Palladium Eagles will be Sold

When first issued, the bullion version of Palladium Eagles will be sold through the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. The network orders bullion coins in bulk from the United States Mint and then resells them to the public for a small premium above the current spot price of the precious metals contained within them. Assuming the United States Mint provides sufficient quantities of the coins to the market, their value should remain relatively close to the current market status of the metal.

If the Treasury Secretary so decides, and that is expected, Palladium Eagles in numismatic qualities of uncirculated and proof, will initially be sold directly to the public by the United States Mint, as are all collector coins from the government agency. Unlike the bullion versions, however, the Mint will add a significant premium over and above their melt values. This premium is standard for numismatic releases and is typically retained in the market place. Collectors are usually willing to pay more for the numismatic strikes owing to their finish and expected reduced mintages in comparison to bullion pieces.

Finishes and other Differences between Versions

Palladium Eagles intended for investors will feature a bullion finish. They will be produced at any United States Mint facility other than West Point (as required by law). Bullion coins are typically struck once from unburnished blanks with just enough force to impart the desired design.

Palladium Eagles in uncirculated quality may also be released by the United States Mint. If so, these coins will be struck from specially treated blanks and with higher pressure than used on the bullion coins. They will also be treated more delicately as to avoid any unnecessary marks or scratches.

The other Palladium Eagles for collectors, those in proof quality, would also be minted from special blanks. United States Mint proof coins are struck multiple times from special dies resulting in highly-detailed strikes with a mirror-like field. If released, the authorizing legislation requires that proof Palladium Eagles be minted at West Point.

In what would be unique for American coinage, the authorizing law also calls for special treatments each year for the two collectible coins. Specially, the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act states:

"the Secretary shall, to the greatest extent possible, ensure that the surface treatment of each year’s Proof and Uncirculated versions differs in some material way to the previous year."

One final note, as is standard for United States Mint products, the Palladium Eagle bullion coins would not contain a mintmark. However, Palladium Eagles in uncirculated and proof qualities will.


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