By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for CoinWeek …..
[UPDATE (8/30/2019): According to the Office of Corporate Communications at the United States Mint, the release of the 2019-W Reverse Proof Palladium American Eagle has been rescheduled for September 12. More details will be forthcoming.]
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The United States Mint is set to release the American Eagle 2019 One Ounce Palladium Reverse Proof Coin, the third installment of the popular palladium bullion coin series launched in 2017. The 2019 Palladium American Eagle, which contains one troy ounce of .9995-fine palladium, is the first of this series to bear a Reverse Proof finish. A total of 30,000 pieces will be struck at the West Point Mint, and the coin is set for release on September 5, 2019, at noon eastern. At this time, ordering limits are set at just one per household.
The price is still to be determined, depending on the prevailing bullion price closer to the time of the coin’s release.
Classic Weinman Designs
Authorized in 2010, Public Law 111-303 provides for the minting of one-ounce palladium coins with a face value of $25 as part of the long-running American Eagle bullion coin program. As with previous one-ounce American Palladium Eagles, the 2019 coin features a high-relief obverse portrait of Winged Liberty, a design by Adolph A. Weinman that gained acclaimed after its initial appearance on the dime of 1916. This type, eventually embraced as the “Mercury dime” due to Liberty’s apparent likeness to the Greek god, was in production until 1945.
The obverse of the reeded-edge Palladium Eagle retains similar design elements to the original Mercury dime, with the inscriptions “LIBERTY”, “IN GOD WE TRUST”, and Weinman’s “AW” monogram to the right of Liberty. The date “2019”, as it would on the dime, appears to the bottom right of the bust. Unlike the Mercury dime, which bears its mintmark on the reverse toward the bottom left of the central fasces design element, the “W” mintmark on the 2019 Palladium Eagle appears on the obverse below the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.
The reverse of the Palladium Eagle showcases a high-relief version of Weinman’s 1907 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal reverse depicting an eagle and a branch. Also included on the reverse are the inscriptions “UNITED STATES of AMERICA,” “$25,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “1 OZ. Pd, .9995 FINE,” the latter containing the chemical symbol for palladium. The coin will be shipped in a grey leatherette presentation case with satin lining and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Palladium Eagles on the Secondary Market
Marketed to collectors, the 2019-W Reverse Proof Palladium American Eagle is sure to also tempt many diehard metals investors.
Interestingly, when the first one-ounce Palladium Eagles were released on September 25, 2017 with a bullion-quality finish and pitched mainly to an investor audience, the crossover appeal with numismatists was outstanding. The United States Mint saw a rapid sellout of 2017-W Palladium Eagles, as did most coin dealers who bought these coins directly from the Mint to resell them in the secondary market. Two years on, the 2017-W Palladium American Eagle remains a hot seller.
When the 2018-W Proof Palladium Eagle hit the streets one year later, a similar thing happened. The Mint’s available supply of Proofs was exhausted within five minutes of the coin’s September 6, 2018 release.
The Proof Palladium Eagle has generally performed well in the secondary market since then, with certified PR70/PF70 versions proving perhaps slightly more popular than raw examples sold with the original government packaging. While there is much love in the numismatic arena for these large, one-ounce palladium coins bearing Weinman’s classic art, there’s no doubt that part of the reason for their secondary market success is the limited mintages. With only 15,000 struck of both the 2017-W and 2018-W Palladium Eagles, those earlier issues have some degree of intrinsic scarcity. The fact that dealers still have difficulty keeping these coins in stock suggests there is much more demand than supply at this point.
The situation is a bit different with the 2019-W Reverse Proof Palladium American Eagle. With a mintage of 30,000, there will be as many 2019-W issues as there is the total number of existing 2017-W and 2018-W Eagles.
So while the U.S. Mint may still experience a quick sellout in 2019, the dynamics of the existing Palladium American Eagle secondary market may change when the collective population of these coins suddenly doubles. Will overall sales activity for Palladium Eagles ease as a massive number of these expensive bullion coins hit the market? Or will the arrival of the 2019-W Palladium Eagle prompt bullion investors–some willing to play the long game with the metals market–to splurge on buying the numismatic Reverse Proof Palladium Eagles – thus keeping these new collector coins scarce on the secondary market?
One thing is certain: Many hobbyists are geared up for the release of this third installment in the American Palladium Eagle series, and surely it already appears on many holiday wish lists. Therefore, the post-Labor Day arrival of the 2019-W Reverse Proof Eagle could once again prove to be perfect timing by the Mint.
But will the third time be yet another charm? Stay tuned…