Silver-white and lustrous to look at, Palladium looks like a close cousin to Platinum. Even though it’s been around some time, it’s amazing that Palladium has never been used in a U.S. coin before. Palladium coins have found favor in other countries; ‘Canadian Palladium Maple leaf’, the ‘Chinese Palladium Giant Panda’, the ‘Australian Palladium Emu’ are a few of the famous Palladium coins across the World!
In 2010, Congress authorized the U.S. mint to issue Palladium Eagle coins and in September this year the first ever investment grade Palladium Eagles with high relief designs have been released!
The obverse design
While the ‘Walking Liberty’ design by Adolph A. Weinman has been used in the Silver Eagle and the Augustus Saint-Gaudens design in Gold Eagle, the Palladium coin stands out with the obverse design taken from the Mercury dime or the Winged Liberty. The Mercury dime was designed by Weinman and 2016 saw it’s centenary celebration with a special gold coin with same design. It portrays the Liberty with a wreath of curls and a pileus or a Liberty cap. The pileus sports wings that Weinman intended to represent ‘Liberty of thought’! But it caused the famous misnomer - ‘Mercury dime’, as the messenger to the Gods, ‘Mercury’ had wings in his hat!
The reverse design
The reverse design of the Palladium Eagle bears a high-relief version of the 1907 American Institute of Architects (AIA) medal design, again a design of Weinman’s. The AIA Gold Medal, the highest honor that the Institute confers upon an individual or pair of individuals was designed by Weinman in 1907. It’s a tradition that is still being carried out by the AIA.
The reverse design has inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1 OZ. Pd .9995 FINE, E PLURIBUS UNUM and $25 for the coin’s legal tender face value. It has no mint mark as it is produced at the Philadelphia Mint.