Those interested in investing in precious metal coins have another option beyond traditional gold and silver coins: palladium. The rare metal was discovered relatively recently, so while it does not come with the same tradition as gold or silver, it offers significant value.
Various government-issued palladium coins have joined the market since the first palladium coin was produced in the 1960s. As with most bullion products, palladium coin value often goes well beyond its given face value. The content below will explore the history of these precious metal coins as well as some popular options available to investors and collectors today.
Palladium is a rare, lustrous metal with a silvery-white appearance. It was first discovered by William Hyde Wollaston in 1803 .
This metal is a member of the platinum group of metals, which includes:
The most extensive deposits of palladium in the world include :
Palladium is used for :
Other countries have joined in issuing palladium coins since the late 1960s, although most were special commemorative coins and not bullion coins. Countries that have issued palladium coins include:
The United States and Canada boast two of the most respected coin programs across the world, so it's no wonder these coin programs issue today's most popular palladium bullion coins. The American Palladium Eagle and Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf come backed by powerful central banks and governments and are issued by respected sovereign mints.
The American Palladium Eagle is the most recent of the major palladium coins for sale. The American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 first authorized these coins . However, the coins were only first issued in 2017 .
Key characteristics of the American Palladium Eagle include:
The American Palladium Eagle is the country's official palladium bullion coin. It is also the only investment-grade palladium coin available from the United States Government. The U.S. Government guarantees the weight, content and purity of these palladium coins .
American Eagles are legal tender coins. The coins have a face value, and though this is mostly symbolic as the true value of the coin comes from its metal content, it proves that the coins are authentic United States coinage. A high-relief image of the 'Winged Liberty' design from the Mercury Dime, created by American coin designer Adolph A. Weinman, features on the obverse. The reverse design is a high-relief version of the same designer's 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal reverse. It includes a branch and an eagle .
First minted in 2005, the Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf joined the larger Canadian Maple Leaf collection as one of the first worldwide major palladium coins. These coins are produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf coins were first produced from 2005 to 2007 and later for a one-off in 2009. They returned to production in 2015 and have been produced every year since then. The obverse bears an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse features a sugar maple leaf .
Key characteristics of the Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf include:
The American Palladium Eagle and Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf are not the only options for investors looking to buy palladium coins. Many foreign palladium coins are also popular with collectors, thanks to their relative rarity. Examples of other palladium coins include:
Palladium coins offer some beautiful options for collectors to enjoy, and they provide a way for investors to diversify, as well. Factors that affect palladium coin price include a given coin's rarity, metal content and government backing, so investors and collectors should take all of this into consideration when choosing which coin to buy.
1. Royal Society of Chemistry. 'Palladium,' https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/46/palladium. Accessed September 25, 2020.
2. Statista. 'Global mine production of palladium 2015 to 2019, by country,' https://www.statista.com/statistics/273647/global-mine-production-of-palladium/. Accessed September 25, 2020.
3. NGC Collectors Society. 'Palladium Coins of Sierra Leone,' https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetView.aspx?s=3430. Accessed September 25, 2020.
4. Congress. 'H.R.6166 - American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010,' https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/6166. Accessed September 25, 2020.
5. United States Mint. 'American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coins,' https://www.usmint.gov/coins/coin-medal-programs/american-eagle/palladium-bullion. Accessed September 25, 2020.
6. Royal Canadian Mint. 'Bullion Products,' https://www.mint.ca/store/mint/about-the-mint/products-7400002. Accessed September 25, 2020.