Will you buy the new palladium bullion coin when it is released by the United States Mint?
It is coming this month, though the exact date is still a mystery.
Palladium is $945 an ounce.
It is cheaper than gold, as you can see.
The yellow metal is $1,348.
It is much more expensive than silver, which is $18.07.
I owe thanks to the Kitco website for these figures..
A bullion coin is a convenient way to buy and sell a specific quantity of a precious metal.
It is widely known.
That is why the Maria Theresa taler is still dated 1780.
It is a known quantity and fineness of silver.
It is why the Krugerrand is still the Krugerrand, or the American Eagle is still the American Eagle.
Both coins are familiar as one-ounce vehicles with an identical gold fineness.
A palladium bullion coin is new.
It is not familiar.
Helping familiarize us is the use of designs from old American coins that coin collectors will instantly recognize.
The Mercury dime’s Liberty Head will appear on the obverse.
The reverse design is not identical to that of the Walking Liberty half dollar, but it is so similar that collectors will immediately think of it.
These designs will make coin collectors very interested.
What about investors?
Should they be interested?
Palladium is a platinum group metal that is also used in catalytic converters.
Investors will likely be aware of this, but more likely they will want to know about price action.
Again, using the Kitco website, we can see an interesting situation.
Gold and silver owners will immediately note that palladium is but a sad also ran in the investment derby since the year 2000.
The Kitco website notes gold is up 367.55 percent since then.
Silver’s rise is 233.09 percent.
What of palladium?
It is just 109.64 percent.
That is still a double for your money, so you didn’t lose anything owning it.
But back in 200o, gold and silver were the better bets.
However, if you have a more short-term approach, palladium has beaten gold and silver all hollow.
In the last five years, palladium is up 43.63 percent.
Gold is down, yes I am writing the word down, 22.47 percent.
Silver is down a whopping 46.51 percent.
Palladium was clearly the place to put money in 2012.
Too bad the U.S. Mint did not have a palladium bullion coin then.
In the past 12 months, palladium is up 36.70 percent while gold is up just over one-half of one percent, 0.55 percent.
Silver was down 7.94 percent in the past 12 months.
For the past six months, palladium is up 21.74 percent, gold 11.39 percent and silver 4.71 percent.
All this information is on the Kitco website.
Take a look at it before you buy the U.S. palladium bullion coin.
If you are a coin collector going after a new design, the historical pricing information can be ignored.
If the new coin is to be a bullion investment, clearly buyers need to know that palladium marches to an entirely different drummer.
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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