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Palladium has been growing more popular in the precious metal investment market. It is a solid investment choice due to its collector value and uses in catalytic converters, surgical instruments and electronics. You have several options when it comes to purchasing physical palladium, depending on your investing or collecting goals. Learn more about palladium bullion and coins to see if they fit into your strategy.

History and Background of Palladium

William Hyde Wollaston, a chemist, discovered palladium in 1803 while experimenting with platinum. Palladium belongs to the platinum-group metals (PGMs), which also includes iridium, rhodium, osmium and platinum. Palladium has the lowest melting point of all the PGMs and is also the least dense and softest.

Palladium doesn't react with oxygen at normal temperatures, bringing its melting point to an extreme 2,830 degrees Fahrenheit. This also means that it won't tarnish at a normal temperature. Palladium is rarely found in nature, and when it is, production is limited. Russia and South Africa are the leaders in palladium production [1].

Investment vs. Collection

If you intend to invest in bullion, you'll buy bullion bars. Several countries mint collector's palladium coins, which often only hold a numismatic value, meaning there's a smaller market for resale. In general, palladium is better for investing rather than collecting because of its uses in different industries. There's usually a larger demand for palladium bars, so you may find it easier to sell them.

Palladium is also one of the few precious metals that you can include in your individual retirement account, making it ideal for long-term investing. You can invest in both palladium coins and bars for your IRA, so long as they're 99.5% pure.

Popular Palladium Coins

The United States Mint just started producing palladium bullion in 2017. Australia, Russia and Canada have been minting coins for years and offer several rare coins to diversify your collection. These are some of the more popular palladium coins you can buy for investment and numismatic purposes.

Palladium American Eagle

The United States Mint first issued palladium coins in 2017, and they sold out quickly. The Palladium American Eagle is 1 ounce of 0.9995 pure palladium [2]. The obverse features the classic design of the Mercury dime, while the reverse features an American eagle.

Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf

The Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf coin was first issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2005 and is guaranteed by the Canadian Government for face value, purity and weight. It can be used as legal Canadian tender in the amount of 50 Canadian dollars. The Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf is 0.9995 fine palladium.

Palladium Russian Ballerina

The Moscow Mint first produced the Palladium Russian Ballerina coin in 1989 and continued production until 1995. This coin honors the famed Russian Ballet and features Odette from Swan Lake.' These beautiful coins offer numismatic value as they contain both cultural and historical appeal.

Palladium Chinese Panda

The People's Bank of China first issued the Chinese Palladium Panda coin in 1989. It was a very limited mint coin and remains a legal tender. It's much rarer than the country's gold and silver coins and helps to celebrate the country's wildlife.

Palladium Australian Emu

The Perth Mint of Western Australia only minted 2,750 Palladium Emu coins from 1995 to 1998. This rare bullion is one of the most sought-after coins in the world. While they don't make the IRA-approved list, they're still a great addition to your collection. These 1-ounce coins feature a variety of emus in addition to their weight and purity.

Palladium Bars

Palladium is also available in bar form, which is attractive to investors because it's often easier to come by than the rare coins. Bars also come in a variety of sizes, so you can buy individual denominations that work best for your portfolio. Common denominations include:

  • One gram
  • One-half ounce
  • One ounce
  • Ten ounces

Private companies, like banks and financial services organizations, distribute palladium bars rather than government mints. You can find several reputable companies that sell palladium bars, including:

  • PAMP Suisse
  • Credit Suisse
  • Engelhard
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Valcambi Suisse

Distributors engrave their bars with a unique symbol and the bar's weight and purity.

Why Should You Invest in Palladium?

The numismatic appeal of both coins and bars can add significant value to your investment portfolio. Since palladium has numerous uses in manufacturing, it should continue to hold and possibly increase in value. While coins are more attractive, bars come in larger denominations, which may be useful when trading or selling. Bars are also usually more highly sought after in the market.

Before making any palladium purchase, you should be 100% positive that you're comfortable in the transaction. Check the markings on the coin or bar to ensure its weight, purity and authenticity. Keep your investment in a secure location until you're ready to sell.

Helpful Tips for Buying Palladium

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're ready to invest in palladium:

  • Palladium is rarer than gold and silver, providing you with a unique investment opportunity.
  • Palladium is available in both coin and bar form.
  • Palladium bullion bars and coins both offer a 0.9995 purity.
  • It's available in smaller sizes, which makes it easier to store, trade and sell.
  • Adding even a small amount of palladium to your investment portfolio will present both risks and unique opportunities due to its volatility compared to other asset classes.
  • Precious metals have intrinsic value, which means that they don't carry a credit risk.
  • Purchasing a palladium bullion bar will get you the lowest price per troy ounce, and purchasing coins allows you to purchase smaller amounts that are more divisible.

There may be less demand for palladium than gold or silver, but this precious metal holds its own on the market. Depending on your investment goals, you can choose palladium coins or bars. Coins are ideal for collecting, while bars are useful for long-term investing.

Article Sources:

1. Royal Society of Chemistry. 'Palladium'. Accessed October 7, 2020.

2. U.S. Mint. 'American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coins'. Accessed October 7, 2020.