Palladium American Eagle design discussion postponed

A 1916 Winged Liberty obverse and the AIA gold medal reverse (with rim added). The final coin design must also include "United States of America," plus the denomination, weight, and fineness of the coin.

Illustration of a 1916 Winged Liberty obverse and the AIA gold medal’s reverse (with rim added). The final coin design must also include “United States of America,” plus the denomination, weight, and fineness of the coin, and of course the correct date, 2017.

Tomorrow, March 15, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) was scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., to discuss the designs for several U.S. Mint coin and medal products. Mother Nature had other ideas, however, and slammed the Eastern seaboard with a nasty winter storm that has shut down cities, airlines, and public transportation in D.C. and elsewhere, so the meeting has been postponed.

One of the items to be discussed was an all-new palladium bullion coin. The idea has been around for years, making its first significant waves on September 22, 2010, when Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) introduced HR 6616, the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act. A representative of the district that holds Stillwater Mine, the only domestic producer of palladium, he’d introduced similar legislation in prior years. His district’s interests had grown increasingly serious: in July 2009, General Motors had declared bankruptcy and canceled its contract with Stillwater, from which GM bought precious metal to use in catalytic converters. This time, Rehberg’s palladium-bullion bill got some traction.

The bill passed in the House on September 29 and the Senate on November 30, then was signed into law (PL 111-303) by the president on December 14. One provision of the law was that a reputable, independent third party must demonstrate that enough demand existed for palladium bullion coins that such a program would impose no net cost on taxpayers. The Mint tapped CPM Group to perform the market analysis, which commenced in 2012.

The proposed coins were to bear a legal-tender face value of $25 and contain one troy ounce of .9995 palladium. The obverse and reverse designs would bring together high-relief likenesses of two Adolph A. Weinman classics: the obverse of the Winged Liberty dime (original diameter 17.9 mm) and the reverse of the 1907 American Institute of Architects medal (originally 55 mm). At the Treasury secretary’s discretion, Uncirculated and Proof versions could also be minted; if so, to the extent possible, each year’s surface treatment would differ from that of the previous year. The metal would, if possible, would be sourced from “palladium mined from natural deposits in the United States, or in a territory or possession of the United States, within 1 year after the month in which the ore from which it is derived was mined.” Other sources could be used, if U.S. sources proved unfeasible.

When CPM Group released its market report in 2013, it said that what little demand existed for palladium bullion coins was being more than adequately filled by Canadian Maple Leafs in that metal. Proof and Uncirculated palladium American Eagles, however, could conceivably turn a profit—which was a moot point, since the whole program hinged on the feasibility of the bullion strikes.

Then, in December 2015, the Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) became Pub. L. No. 114-94. Section 73001 of that law struck down the requirement for a market study. In early 2016, the Mint contacted the American Institute of Architects for permission to make detailed digital scans of the original, 14-inch plaster model for Adolph Weinman’s gold medal reverse. The Mint’s acting quality manager, Ron Harrigal, joined the CCAC meeting a few months later, on June 27, to discuss the ongoing work.

Palladium, he reported, is a new material for the U.S. Mint; it has distinct properties that require different treatment than the metals they’re used to handling. One unfamiliar quality is its relatively high reactivity, which makes it useful in catalytic converters, its primary industrial application. In Harrigal’s words, “It picks up debris a lot, so once we get it into production, there’s going to be an experience there.” With this and other issues in mind, Mint staff had reached out to the Royal Canadian Mint, one of the few world mints actively making palladium coins, for advice.

Another major issue is the supply chain. The Stillwater operation in Montana would seem like a logical choice, but the Mint contacted multiple vendors to discuss the project, in the hope of securing more than one supplier. While these discussions were taking place, the Mint experimented with some leftover, quarter-size palladium planchets from an unrelated test project in 2005. It soon became clear that they didn’t meet the necessary specifications—which, in Harrigal’s words, are “very similar to our platinum program: very fine grain structure, a certain hardness, a certain surface roughness [of] finish.” Harrigal predicted that several iterations of work with the suppliers would likely be needed to get the planchets right.

A related part of the process is determining the coins’ size, which (fortunately) was not specified by the law. The planchets obviously need to be thick enough to produce high-relief coins, and as Harrigal pointed out, both the obverse and reverse designs involve “a lot of real estate”—a lot of metal be pushed up above the surface. At the time of the CCAC meeting in June 2016, the Mint was anticipating a diameter somewhere between 32.7 and 38.1 millimeters.

More will be known about the specifications of the new palladium bullion coins after the CCAC’s next meeting, which has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 21, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Eastern)—assuming, of course, that Mother Nature has no conflicting plans.   ❑

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  1. VA Bob says

    The first of it’s kind would do well. Not to worry the taxpayers, the Mint will ensure that the collector pays the full cost and then some.

  2. Dustyroads says

    Mint News Blog,

    I’m assuming the CCAC meeting on the 21st will be at the original time of 10:00AM–2:30PM.

  3. Mint News Blog says

    @Dustyroads, thanks for mentioning that — the press release says 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I’ll update the post.

  4. cagcrisp says

    If you are a Buyer or a Seller of Gold what should you listen for when the Fed speaks at 2:00 ET?

    My Guess we are 95% certain of a .25% rate increase Today.

    My Guess we have a <1% chance of a .50% rate increase Today.

    The 25 bp Increase is Baked into Everyone's cake. The rate increase will Not be the problem. The problem (if there is one) will be with the Language that accompanies the Increase. What you are listening for is words like "gradually " "accommodate " "measured" ,etc.

    The question you want answered is will the Fed be more or less Agressive in rate hikes for the remainder of the year? Is the Fed behind the curve ( I think so)? Or does the Fed think inflation will moderate?

    For the Majority of forecasts (that I follow) believe there will be 2-3 rate hikes this year. If those forecasts move to 3-4 rate hikes this year then Gold will Sell Off because there are Many precious metal people that at the start of the year thought there would be Zero rate hikes this year and there are Some on this blog that even think there will be another round of QE.

    …SO…Going from QE to 3-4 rate increases in a year will be a hard pill to swallow for many …

  5. Teach says

    cagcrisp said…..

    Week #1 2016 Shawnee 15,263
    Week #1 2016 Cumberland 14,854
    Week #1 2016 Harpers Ferry 15,140
    Week # 1 2016 Roosevelt 16,190
    Week #1 2016 Ft Moultrie 14,582

    Average of #1 2016 5 P pucks 15,206

    Effigy 14,363 Down 5.5% from 2016 averages.

    …SO…Effigy was NOT as bad as I anticipated…

    Teach says…..

    The Animal Cracker puck really isn’t too far off of last year’s P pucks if you take out the Teddy puck which sold above normal due to the subject on the puck. This P puck will still come out close to average on P pucks sold when all is said and done. There are probably 16K P puck collectors out there, so I think it would be safe to say this puck will at least end up in the 16K to 17.5K range. I doubt you will ever see initial numbers for any P puck to be under 14K. I think there will always be collectors buying to keep their collection current. There will also be a number of collectors that are in no hurry to have this new P puck and will wait to bundle this coin with other purchases in the near future to save on the shipping.

  6. says

    cag…I think gold and silver have good support at current spot. Don’t know why or have any analysis to back me up, but I think pm’s will be higher at year end.

    If not, I will be shopping for pre-1933 gold…they seem to me to be a much better value than what the Mint charges for proof gold eagles and buffaloes.
    Like I said previously, I bought a 1914-s St Gaudens for $1358….NGC ms63

  7. says

    I bought a bullion Effigy and it is DMPL. But I’ my still inclined to buy more Rossevelt pucks, as long term, I think they may command a decent premium

  8. says

    I would probably buy the palladium coin.

    On the fence for the 225th Annv gold coin…love the reverse. I missed the boat on the 2015 American Liberty…4 months ago l could of bought a NGC 69 for $1595…now everything graded on the bay is $2000 for a 69.

    That is why I am on the fence…

    Anyone have predictions on sells?…..thanks

  9. Dustyroads says


    I don’t really think we will see a 75 or 100 bp increase, that’s just too much. However, looking at data, it is clear that the jobs situation is getting much better following the Trump rally. We have yet to see what the growth data will be, but I read that it’s expected to be 2%, not what it should be.
    I personally expect the Fed to stay generally accommodative and keep increases at 25 bp. I somewhat believe that the FOMC sees it’s actions as saving the worlds economy, so they necessarily most gradually proceed to a normal in order to pull the others up. But these are my thoughts only and I have been wrong.

  10. Dustyroads says


    If the 225 had I lower limit I might think a sellout may happen, but at 100,000, I believe a lot of people will wait to buy. I had previously thought the coin wouldn’t be very popular, but the more I think about it, the more I think Americans do have a way of surprising.

  11. says

    Dusty, I agree….I think sells will be similar to the reverse proof buffalo…around 42,000

    What was the mintage of the 2015 gold American Liberty?

  12. data dave says

    @Teach – The interesting thing with the P puck orders is that there are a lot of subscription orders and some (>1K) of those will show up as returns in 3-4 weeks. Some are probably even shipping to dead people.

    But in general I agree with you that P puck sales should hit 16K-17K going forward. A big drop down to 14K-15K would be surprising.

  13. Dustyroads says


    The 2015 UHR Liberty had an opening day price tag of $1,490.00, and sold 36,686 on the first day of sales. It had a mintage limit of 50,000, and HHL of 50. The coin finally sold out for a total of 49,325.

  14. joe#2 says

    Can we sell (225th Anniv. 2017 gold high relief) 2,000 coins x 50 States = 100,000?????? LOL

  15. says

    Dusty, thank you.

    I noticed gold and silver went higher after the Fed raised rates.
    Right now it looks like the 225th gold coin will be $1640

  16. says

    ?…Dusty, was the 2015 coin uhr or just hr….I think this year’s coin is just high relief

    Again, anyone have guesses on first day sales?….I’ll guess 25 to 30k and final sales will be no more than 40k

  17. cagcrisp says

    Goldilocks for Stocks
    Goldilocks for Bonds
    Goldilocks for Gold

    Fed Not as Hawkish as Feared. Matter of fact Yellen would be OK with inflation Above 2% target range…

  18. earthling says

    I think I like this Palladium Coin. I’ll buy at least 1 – maybe I’ll decide I really like it, maybe not. We’ll see. Don’t know if the Eagle is cool by eating trees.

  19. cagcrisp says

    To Clarify my Above comment. She would be OK in the short term if inflation was Above the 2% target . She said specifically that 2% was Not a “ceiling” and that inflation has been Beloe 2% for a Long period…

  20. Ryan says

    My favorite palladium coins are the soviot ballerinas, I have this one and it’s the best out of the different ballerina designed imo.

    I don’t really like that they’re putting a winged Liberty on the coin, it’s like the mint only has 4 good classic designes and they just rotate them.

    Also I wonder if as soon as the mint makes the palladium coins we’ll ban imports of palladium from South Africa if they go through with stealing land from white people with no compensation. I believe in the 80’s we banned gold coins and other commodities from South Africa because of apartheid.

  21. says

    Nice spike in pm’s this afternoon….you just can’t predict price changes…if you could, we would all be rich

  22. earthling says

    Is anyone at all liking this years Commem Issues ? Anyone, anywhere in the blogosphere?

    When the Mint announces the end, there will suddenly be a flood of orders. All of a sudden there will be enthusiasm for both sets of Coins.

    Funny how everyone is into low numbers , even though the low sellers are always as ugly and uninspiring as the US Mint can get.

  23. Dustyroads says


    The internet has made us smarter than we used to be. Where do we go from here?

  24. earthling says

    I just discovered the “prepper” topic online. In a way I think we’re all “Preppers” here. We all like Coins but we like our Coins to gain or at least retain some value. If a SHTF scenario ever came about , we’d like our holdings to get us something we need or wanted.….0……0i67k1j0i13k1.RwrHtBYoqzQ

    Above is a google search on the topic. I haven’t read too much on it but it looks promising.

  25. Jerry Diekmann says

    I will skip the gold medal this year and save my money for the palladium coin, assuming they ever strike one. it is a nice design, and we will get to see the Winged Liberty Head obverse larger than we have ever see it before, and that’s certainly a plus.

  26. Barry says

    @earthling- I believe it’s good for those have numismatic coins to have some bullion. I remember reading stories of how people sold numi coins near spot when prices were high and a few dealers not wanting those coins to go to the smelter set some aside. In a case like that having bullion to sell in a crisis can end up saving the rarer coins. So we as collectors would be wise to be ready for a SHTF or other scenario where we would have to sell our most precious coins at a fire sale prices,

  27. says

    @Ryan –
    “…if they go through with stealing land from white people with no compensation. ”

    let’s not fool ourselves to believe the US regime gives a $hit abt other nations’ internal politics. doesn’t fit into the “america first” business model. and there is no doubt that if SA were still under apartheid, trump would certainly NOT entertain a trade embargo in objection.

  28. Jerry Diekmann says

    one fine dime – you are so correct. The US regime doesn’t also give a $hit about most of its own citizens who are not in the special upper 2% category of wealth – you know, those saintly souls who have been ordained by God to be wealthy and society’s leaders because of their intelligence, good fortune,, virtue, and “compassionate conservatism” for the undeserving dreck they must contend with in this country. All this “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” stuff is a just load of crap that means absolutely nothing to those who are running (or ruining) our country – after they get your vote.

  29. says

    I concur Jerry. Sad that so many fellow coin collectors drank trump’s kool aid when he clearly is just all about hoarding our nation’s shared wealth for himself and his billionaire ilk…we have a malignant narcissist in the white house.

  30. Dustyroads says

    one fine dime, Love the passion, but there’s only one word you need to know with Trump as President…winning!

  31. Barry says

    As Mark Levin has stated some years ago “W e are living in a post constitutional republic”.

  32. HarryB says

    OT. @Cag: thanks for your commentary on the FEDs recent and future actions and your analysis on Gold value movement. I have begun tracking pre 33 graded US Gold and my observations were confirmed by one of your posts on the previous thread. Your opinion on the outlook for platinum in the near future is of interest to me as I approach disposal of my APE holdings. Thanks, Harry

  33. cagcrisp says

    @HarryB, I keep up with Gold and not so much any of the other precious metals, however, considering what Yellen said yesterday and the worldwide economic expansion I would Guess that this would be a time of selling platinum into strength vs. weakness.

    Listening to Yellen’s Q&A after Initial spike upwards in Gold, Silver and Platinum there was one specific answer that Yellen gave that gave both Silver and Platinum another leg up. Both Silver and Platinum respond more to industrial use than does Gold, so IF we continue to have worldwide economic expansion I would think both of those metals would outperform Gold on a Percentage basis unless Le Pen wins in France.

    Personally, I still think the Fed is behind the curve, so I would take advantage of the Feds ‘accommodative’ nature as long as it stays that way…

  34. cagcrisp says

    The Mint’s calendar was expanded to the end of April and yet Still no HHL for the 2017 HR.

    3 weeks from Today is Launch…

  35. cagcrisp says

    Lady Bird Johnson Proof has worked it’s way down to 13 in stock.

    The End is in sight…

  36. Old Big Bird says

    @ cagcrisp – thanks for trying to get the Mint New Blog back onto coins and out of politics.

    It seems that there are a few bloggers who must have had some bad times and tend to go into politics discussions.

    I come to this blog to try and learn more about my passion of coin collecting (some times it could be called hoarding LOL) If I wanted a political discussion I would go to another blog.

    Just some thoughts about several posts usually by the same bloggers

  37. says

    @Old Big Bird –

    Yeah, we hear ya. And I don’t agree with you or others’ complaints about what can and cannot be said here. You simply do not get to dictate what ppl are allowed to say. If Diana or others feel they want to strictly moderate the discussion, then I’m sure they’ll do so. I think you’ll just have to get used to the fact that not everyone is going to be as narrowly focused on coins as YOU want, and if you can’t tolerate that then you might want to consider just not saying anything. about it instead of complaining.

    “must have had some bad times”. what’s that supposed to mean?!

  38. says

    personally, I find it incredibly annoying that cagcrisp constantly dominates the comment entries on this blog. as if we all don’t know how to find all this information (he’s constantly posting) on the mint website or kitko, etc.

    see, so different ppl have different interests. it’s a free country big bird!

  39. Scott says

    Well who’s being incredibly annoying now? Please keep your childish remarks to yourself.

  40. Dustyroads says

    ond, ” if you can’t tolerate that then you might want to consider just not saying anything.”

    I’m fairly sure Old Big Bird has much more tolerance than you know about, or care to take advice from you.

  41. says

    Cag, you’re such a nuisance!
    I agree with this fruit loop –

    one fine dime says
    DECEMBER 22, 2016 AT 2:54 PM

    “@cagcrisp – I like the predictions!
    can you explain your thinking a little on “3…”

    No wait.., which way is my bobble head flip flopping this time???

    Can’t make this stuff up…

  42. says

    sorry cagcrisp, as KSCO has so eloquently articulated, yes I have appreciated your insights in the past.

    KCSO – i wasn’t referring to every word the man has ever uttered you dumbass, just his constant news reporting. and really i was just trying to make a point that not everyone is going to appreciate every single comment here, so why berate someone in making a few political remarks here and there. geez, what a group of insular coin collectors here. it’s gotta be status quo all the time or they get all out of sorts.

  43. KCSO says

    Old Big Bird –

    This is a blog about coins! No.., it’s about free speech, No, it’s about…,

    one fine dime says
    JANUARY 31, 2017 AT 11:26 AM

    Great comments here so far.
    I’ll say that I generally agree with Diana’s assessment: “the comments are as important as the content” but only as it relates to on topic comments. Off topic comments on this blog have been the norm more than the exception for years.; and by “off topic”, I mean anything not relating to the current post under which the comments are written. So far, the comments here on this current thread have been on topic (for the most part), and I think MNB would greatly benefit if all its visitors would sort of agree to keep it that way. But that rarely happens.

    I’m LMAO! AGAIN, in which direction is that bobble head flip flopping this time! You just can’t make this stuff up!

  44. Dustyroads says

    Update on the “deal of the day” seller (maritzafferna). He was able to cash in almost $3,000.00 with his bogus adds before Ebay finally shut him down. It’s amazing how many people responded to his adds for 1/4 oz. gold Queen’s Beasts and rolls of ASE’s for a mere price of $20.00.

  45. KCSO says

    Well, it appears the Effigy BU puck, not having sold a one in the month of March, may be destined to become the new, newest low among BU pucks –

    2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin 0 0 19,500

    FYI – If you play that game, I don’t anymore.

  46. says

    Again KCSO, you have missed the point. But thanks for dredging up my comment history, and by the way how do you even do that so fast?!

    My point from Jan 31 was that if everyone agreed to “comment” only on the topic of each blog entry then this would be an entirely different blog. BUT, the comments often have little to nothing to do with any given post. I wasn’t saying, that I solemnly swear to only post comments from now on that are directly related to the posted blog entry, etc. Give me a break. As long as cagcrisp is here to give his hour-to-hour news update on the subtle movements of gold, and the mint’s release schedule, then comments will never be wholly on topic.

    OMG, LMFAO, YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP KCSO!!!…give it an f’in rest buddy.

  47. KCSO says

    maritzafferna – with an email that start with ‘xiang’ had a shipping address out of Florida though was charging in Canadia..,

    Xiang had a total of 196, yeah 196, 1/4 oz Queen’s Beast available for sale, and had a TOTAL ebay rating of 53 which was mostly Buy Ratings.., the last rating was 6 months ago.

    There are (8) eight Red Flags above that shout “wave off” – just. FYI for you newbie’s. 😉

  48. cagcrisp says

    The day we had the “Deal of the century” Queen’s Beast we ran the gauntlet.

    We had a purchaser of one of the 1,000,000 mintage Silver Krugerrand

    We had a purchaser of the Queen’s Beast that was a total bogus bay offering from the Start

    …AND…We had an inquiry of purchasing the 2017-P penny that has Already had a little over a Billion minted.

    I said many times to Not Chase Anything. Let it come to you. I learned from Amarillo Slim that ‘”Once one poker game ends, another poker game begins”…

  49. KCSO says

    Credibility & Consistency goes a long way.., or I should say went a very long way on this Blog since 2011.

    Hence why I like to see a return of –

    VA Beach Bum (VABB)
    VA Bob (more often)
    VA Beach Ed
    VA Beach Steve
    VA Beach Ed
    Don – with the Toro snow plow
    Xena – more often
    Captain O’kill
    A Gary – whom I never could get straight with the others
    I’m just a Bill
    AK Bob
    Evil Flipper
    And the guys in MT/WY whose names, forgive me, I can’t remember at the moment

    And there’s many others, who names I regrettable cannot recall in the past 3 mintutes, though made MNB a great place to post.

    You all may return to your regularly scheduled Troll broadcasting..,
    my dumb ass is off for fish and chips, & a Guinness, and taking in the Queen’s Beast a top St. George’s Chapel at Windsor tomorrow.., gotta love the Queen’s Beasts!

  50. Xena says

    KCSO – good list. I’d like to hear that Goat’s OK…

    I haven’t been to London in years – enjoy the Chapel and the Beasts!

  51. Xena says

    Cag – good advice. But I factor in more than just money when I decide whether to buy right away or wait. If I don’t feel like tracking the coin to try to find the low point, then I’ll just go ahead and buy. The time it takes to “shop” for a better price might not be worth it – at least not at the minimal scale of purchases I make. Time is about the most precious thing I have. Although I have a hard time with patience and have the attention span of a fighter pilot!


  52. Jerry Diekmann says

    Dusty – “winning” might mean everything for Trump, but “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul”? I thought a religious reference would be appropriate and I hope Socrates won’t be any more offended than I was about his comment regarding chanting over cereal flakes in his breakfast bowl. The point is, winning is not everything. Those who have the most money and toys when they die are not winners, and they certainly aren’t going to be taking their wealth anywhere. They won’t need it in heaven and it will be worthless in hell. Like one fine dime has accurately pointed out, Trump is a malignant narcissist, but he also has a lot of other bad and disgusting qualities, and he has surrounded himself with other evil people, just like devils like him always do. To think he was elected POTUS is this country’s worse nightmare, and one of these days many of the people who voted for him will understand that they were just “useful idiots” in believing all his lies. “Don’t ever trust anybody who ever lies to you” is a wise motto to go by in life.

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