I don’t think I would recognize palladium if it hit me on the head.
We’ll all get to find out starting Sept. 25.
The United States Mint on that date will begin selling palladium American Eagle bullion coins to its Authorized Purchasers.
No mintage figure has been revealed.
But the Mint insists that once the supply it will have on hand is gone, it’s gone.
This implies some scarcity.
The implication is reinforced because the Mint is invoking its right to ration the supply.
It calls this making the coins available on an allocation basis.
Will this excite potential buyers as much as it does when allocation is applied to silver and gold Eagles?
The price Authorized Purchasers will pay will include a 6.25 percent premium over the metallic value.
That is higher than it is for one ounce of gold, but lower than one ounce of silver.
You will, of course, pay more.
Checking the Kitco website, the price of palladium is $909 an ounce, which is historically on the high side.
That kind of price means there will not be any casual purchases.
What I mean by casual purchase is the kind I make when I see something I like and open my wallet to see if I have a few extra bucks in it to cover the cost.
I can do that with silver Eagles.
I definitely cannot do that with palladium.
But I am curious about the new coin made of a metal I am not familiar with.
Its design is that of an old friend.
If you know the Mercury dime, you will instantly recognize the palladium Eagle obverse.
The reverse strongly resembles the Walking Liberty half dollar.
It comes from the same artist, too.
Adolph A. Weinman made it.
It was used on his 1907 American Institute of Architects gold medal.
Face value is $25.
This is what makes this new bullion coin legal tender and not a medal.
A collector version of this new American Eagle will come next year.
If you want the first year of issue, this bullion coin is it.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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