Palladium Eagle Obverse and Reverse Designs

Palladium Eagle Obverse and Reverse Designs

The authorizing legislation for the American Palladium Eagle provides instructions for specific obverse and reverse designs to be used. Both are the work of the famous sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman. “Close likenesses” of the designs he created for a coin and medal are required to be used for the palladium bullion and collector coins.

The obverse of the Palladium Eagle will feature a high relief version of the Mercury Dime obverse. This series was produced from 1916 to 1945 and represents one of Weinman’s most remembered works.

The full head of Liberty is pictured, facing left. She wears a winged cap, which makes her appearance reminiscent of Mercury, the Roman god of trade profit and commerce. This led to the use of the common name “Mercury Dime” over the more accurate “Winged Liberty Dime”. The inscription “Liberty” appears above, with the letters widely spaced. The motto “In God We Trust” appears before the front of Liberty’s neck.

The reverse of the Palladium Eagle will be a high relief version of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal reverse. Weinman had designed the medal with help from Charles McKim and George B. Post for the first year of the important architectural honor.

A standing American Eagle with upraised wings is pictured pulling a laurel branch out of a rock with its beak. On the original medal, the rock included “AIA” and the name of the architect being honored. These inscriptions would presumably be removed for the new bullion and collectors coins. The design bears similarities to the reverse of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, which was designed by Weinman for the circulating half dollar issued from 1916 to 1945.