Beginning at noon Eastern Time on Thursday, September 2, 2021, the United States Mint offered the current-year installment of its Palladium American Eagle investment-grade coin. Each year, the Palladium Eagle investment-grade coin is issued in an alternate finish style, ranging from classic proof to uncirculated to reverse proof. This year’s issue will feature the always stunning classic proof finish, just as it did in its inaugural run in 2018.
The 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof was subject to mintage and product limits of 12,000 coins and a household order limit of one. This year’s Palladium Eagle Proof coin was struck to meet the same specifications as its preceding investment-grade counterparts. The coin is legal tender and will carry a $25 face value (although its face value is essentially nominal, as the coin realizes its value primarily by way of its precious metal contents) and is be comprised of 1.0005 troy ounces of 99.95% fine palladium. As in years past, the coin has reeded edges and features the “W” mint mark, indicating production at the West Point Mint in New York.
Clients of the United States Gold Bureau will have the opportunity to invest in the 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof coin later this fall. While these coins were available for a short time directly from the U.S. Mint, those items do not come pre-graded with a quality score from one of the leading third-party coin grading outfits, like the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). To obtain a grade for a coin purchased directly from the Mint.
In our continued effort to provide the best service and bring the highest-quality investment products to our clients. Our team is proud to offer an investment coin inventory made up almost exclusively of PF70 pieces, which is the highest grade available for proof coins.
Just as its specifications will match those of coins from years past, the obverse and reverse designs of the 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof will also remain the same as previous installments of the coin. The motifs on both sides of the coin are high-relief adaptations of early-20th century designs created by famed, world-renowned designer Adolph A. Weinman.
The front side, or obverse, of the Palladium Eagle features a likeness of Weinman's "Winged Liberty" profile image struck initially on the United States' "Mercury Dime" beginning in 1916. The Mercury Dime's tenure endured for nearly 30 years, through 1945, after which it was replaced by the iteration we see today that features a profile portrait of late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on its obverse and an image of an olive branch, torch and oak branch on its reverse.
Weinman’s early-20th century Mercury Dime obverse motif, which is recreated on the present-day Palladium Eagle coin, features a profile portrait of a young Lady Liberty donning what’s known as a Phrygian – or Liberty – cap with small wings on either side. Because of the winged nature of the cap, many observers during its time mistook Liberty to be a reflection of the Roman god, Mercury, who is often depicted as also wearing a winged head covering – a helmet, in his case – in addition to winged shoes. Because of this small similarity, Weinman’s Liberty was falsely associated with the Roman god, an association that led to the nicknaming of his 1916 10-cent piece as the “Mercury Dime.”
In addition to Weinman’s Phrygian cap-wearing Liberty, the modern-day Palladium Eagle obverse also bears the word "LIBERTY," spaced out across the top rounded edge of the coin in large, capital letters, just as the early-20th century Mercury Dime did. Also like the Mercury Dime, the Palladium Eagle features the United States motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” the coin’s strike year, and the artist’s “mark” or initials, “AW,” intertwined. Differing from the 1916-1945 dime, however, the Palladium Eagle bears the “W” mint mark on its obverse, which signifies the coin’s production at the West Point Mint in New York. Weinman’s Mercury Dime did not bear a mint mark on its obverse, but rather, on its reverse for coins struck at the Denver, San Francisco, and West Point mints.
The reverse of the 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof features another high-relief replica of an early-20th century Weinman design. In this case, the motif reflects the image Weinman created for the backside of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, which features an eagle standing atop a rock, clasping a branch – presumably an olive branch – in its beak. The inscriptions included on the reverse of the Palladium Eagle coin include “UNITED STATES of AMERICA” along the coin’s top rim, mirrored by “E PLURIBUS UNUM” along the bottom, and the coin’s “1 OZ. Pd .9995 FINE” metal contents appearing just above that. The $25 face value of the coin is inscribed to the left of the branch being held by the bird.
The United States Mint’s American Eagle Coin Program and History of Palladium Eagle Coins
The U.S. Mint launched its flagship American Eagle coin program in 1986 with the release of its gold and silver bullion and proof Eagle coins. In the 30-plus years since the program’s inaugural runs, the Mint has added platinum and, most recently, palladium versions to the American Eagle suite of coins. The platinum bullion and proof coins were introduced in 1997, while the palladium coins were introduced only a few years ago – in 2017 as a bullion version and 2018 as an investment-grade version.
The finish of the investment-grade Palladium Eagle alternates every year. In 2018, it was released with a proof finish, followed by the impressive reverse proof finish in 2019, an uncirculated finish in 2020, and again as a proof coin for 2021.
Each different metal iteration of the American Eagle coin was authorized by a separate piece of legislation passed by the U.S. Congress. The program’s palladium installment was given the green light in 2010 by way of the “American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010,” although, the first coin under this authorization would not be released for another seven years. The Palladium Eagle bullion version is the official palladium bullion coin of the United States and is the only palladium coin to have its metal contents, purity, and weight guaranteed by the United States government.
Each Palladium Eagle to date has been struck at the West Point Mint in New York state and carries a legal tender face value of $25.
The U.S. Mint’s American Eagle investment-grade coins have garnered reputations as stable stores of value for Americans’ hard-earned wealth, generally enduring even through troubled, turbulent, and uncertain times like those we are experiencing now. With new installments launched every year, the Palladium Eagle is a reliable investment vehicle for protecting your nest egg for years to come.