Each year, the U.S. Mint’s Palladium Eagle coin is issued in an alternate finish style, ranging from classic proof to uncirculated to reverse proof. This year’s issue features the always stunning classic proof finish, just as it did in its inaugural run in 2018.
The 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof coin had a mintage and product limit of 12,000 coins and a household order limit of one. This year’s Palladium Eagle Proof coin was struck to meet the same specifications as its preceding investment-grade counterparts. The coin is legal tender and carries a $25 face value (although its face value is essentially nominal, as the coin realizes its value primarily by way of its precious metal contents) and is comprised of 1.0005 troy ounces of 99.95% fine palladium. As in years past, the coin has reeded edges and features the “W” mint mark, indicating production at the West Point Mint in New York.
Just as its specifications match those of coins from years past, the obverse and reverse designs of the 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof remain the same as previous installments of the coin. The motifs on both sides of the coin are high-relief adaptations of early-20th century designs created by famed, world-renowned designer Adolph A. Weinman.
The front side, or obverse, of the Palladium Eagle features a likeness of Weinman's "Winged Liberty" profile image struck initially on the United States' "Mercury Dime" beginning in 1916. The Mercury Dime's tenure endured for nearly 30 years, through 1945, after which it was replaced by the iteration we see today that features a profile portrait of late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on its obverse and an image of an olive branch, torch and oak branch on its reverse.
Weinman’s early-20th century Mercury Dime obverse motif, which is recreated on the present-day Palladium Eagle coin, features a profile portrait of a young Lady Liberty donning what’s known as a Phrygian – or Liberty – cap with small wings on either side. Because of the winged nature of the cap, many observers during its time mistook Liberty to be a reflection of the Roman god, Mercury, who is often depicted as also wearing a winged head covering – a helmet, in his case – in addition to winged shoes. Because of this small similarity, Weinman’s Liberty was falsely associated with the Roman god, an association that led to the nicknaming of his 1916 10-cent piece as the “Mercury Dime.”
In addition to Weinman’s Phrygian cap-wearing Liberty, the modern-day Palladium Eagle obverse also bears the word "LIBERTY," spaced out across the top rounded edge of the coin in large, capital letters, just as the early-20th century Mercury Dime did. Also like the Mercury Dime, the Palladium Eagle features the United States motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” the coin’s strike year, and the artist’s “mark” or initials, “AW,” intertwined. Differing from the 1916-1945 dime, however, the Palladium Eagle bears the “W” mint mark on its obverse, which signifies the coin’s production at the West Point Mint in New York. Weinman’s Mercury Dime did not bear a mint mark on its obverse, but rather, on its reverse for coins struck at the Denver, San Francisco, and West Point mints.
The reverse of the 2021 Palladium American Eagle Proof features another high-relief replica of an early-20th century Weinman design. In this case, the motif reflects the image Weinman created for the backside of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, which features an eagle standing atop a rock, clasping a branch – presumably an olive branch – in its beak. The inscriptions included on the reverse of the Palladium Eagle coin include “UNITED STATES of AMERICA” along the coin’s top rim, mirrored by “E PLURIBUS UNUM” along the bottom, and the coin’s “1 OZ. Pd .9995 FINE” metal contents appearing just above that. The $25 face value of the coin is inscribed to the left of the branch being held by the bird.
Each coin contains 1 oz. of .9995 Palladium
Perfect Proof 70 condition graded by NGC
Hand signed label by Ed Moy, 38th U.S. Mint Director
Obverse design depicts a high-relief likeness of “Winged Liberty” from the Mercury Dime which was designed by Adolph A. Weinman
Reverse design features a high relief version of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal reverse which includes and eagle and a branch
Backed by the United States government
Lowest mintage for a proof Palladium American Eagle coin
Palladium Eagle 1 oz Coins Performance (2017-2023)
Source: Mintage figures provided by the United States Mint. Proof 70/Mint State 70 Population indicates the maximum possible population of perfect condition sets or individual coins for the year given (NGC, August 2023).