2017 American Palladium Eagle

2017 American Palladium Eagle
2017 American Palladium Eagle

In 2017 a new, fourth type of American Eagle debuted—the American Palladium Eagle—a coin that was seven years in the making. The original legislation creating the coin was passed in 2010. It required a market study that found that bullion versions would not be profitable because of the cost of financing working inventories of palladium. The study, which was completed in 2013, said that collector versions might be profitable. There was also important language in the 2010 bill that said that if the United States Treasury decided to issue collector versions, each year’s coin have a “surface treatment” that differed “in some material way from that of the preceding year.”

2017 Palladium Eagle
2017 Palladium Eagle

That legislation (Public Law 111-303) was amended in 2015, passing in December of that year, and found ways around those concerns, paving the way for the 2017 Palladium Eagle (Buy on eBay) to be issued. The coins are made of one ounce of .9995 fine palladium, a metal that has not been used nearly as much to produce coins as platinum, let alone silver and gold, and one whose price has exploded in recent years.

In addition, the original legislation had been intended in many ways as a vehicle to create a market for the palladium produced at the Stillwater mine in Montana. However, by the time the coin was actually in production, that mine had been sold to a company owned by another country. Since there was no U.S. palladium producer, the metal for the coins came from PAMP in Switzerland, a company that could meet the standards of the Mint.

The design of the new $25 American Palladium Eagle bullion coin combined two masterpieces by Adolph Weinman – the obverse was based on his famous profile of Liberty wearing a wined cap that was used on the Mercury Dime from 1916 to 1947, while the reverse used a design of an eagle perched on a rock clutching tree branches in its beak from his 1907 gold medal for the American Institute of Architects.

The coins were also struck in a higher relief than most prior precious metal issues, although they were not technically high-relief strikes like the $100 Gold Proof American Liberty coins issued since 2015.

On September 25, 2017, the U.S. Mint began offering 15,000 bullion $25 American Palladium Eagles to its network of Authorized Purchasers. All those coins were purchased the very day they went on sale, and no more coins were made that year.

As it turned out, that market study from 2013 was correct, as the Mint’s palladium bullion program turned out to be a net loss for the Mint. As it reported in its Annual Report for FY 2017, as a result of start-up costs for the program, the sale of those coins generated revenue of $14.6 million but an overall loss of $1.3 million.

The average price of palladium in FY 2017 was $794. The 2017 bullion coins were initially available on the retail market for around $1,000-1,100 raw and $1,200 and over for MS70 examples.

2017 Palladium Eagle Specifications:

  • Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
  • Composition: 99.95% platinum
  • Diameter: 34.06 mm (1.34 inches)
  • Weight: 31.120 grams (1.005 oz)
  • Edge: reeded
  • Mint Mark: West Point

2017 Palladium Eagle Mintage:

  • Bullion: 15,000

2018 Palladium Eagle >