For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. Mint has added a metal to the American Eagle program with the first American Palladium coin. This Palladium coin pairs the classic obverse of the Mercury dime with a reverse designed by Adolph Weinman in 1907.
The Palladium Eagle took a long path into existence. The United States Mint began producing the one-ounce Gold American Eagle bullion coin in 1986, after the 1985 authorization of the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985. This act stipulated that the face value of bullion coins was a matter of law and did not reflect their intrinsic value and specified that the Precious Metal used in striking the coins would be from “newly mined domestic sources.” The American Eagle bullion coin program included Silver American Eagles immediately, and in 1997 was expanded to offer Platinum Eagles. Finally, the 2017 one-ounce Palladium American Eagles complete the American Eagle bullion coin family.
English chemist William Hyde Wollaston recorded the discovery of a new noble metal in his lab-book in July of 1802. In August, he named his newly discovered metal Palladium in honor of the asteroid 2 Pallas, which had just been discovered. Palladium has been used for everything from a treatment for tuberculosis to the manufacture of fine jewelry, although its current most common industrial application is in automotives. The new 2017 Palladium American Eagle as an investment you can hold is simply the latest in Palladium uses.