Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Palladium Density, Coin Dimensions

I love collecting palladium to invest for the future. I have some palladium storage for Suisse bars but have had some palladium Maple Leaves in my house that I'd been meaning to put in a safe place. Finally today, I moved them. It's not safe to keep them on my dresser or shelf, even if it's only a few ounces worth. I do like looking at the coins. The palladium coins are still relatively new so I like handling them. I have a few silver coins at home too. They're quite a bit bigger than the palladium 1 oz coins.

While putting my coins in storage I pulled out a Platinum Eagle because I haven't handled one for a long time. To my surprise the platinum is much, much thinner than the palladium. I knew it was a denser metal, but I didn't know by how much! So, I thought we could explore the different sizes of some popular 1 oz coins made out of differnet metals.

Gold Eagle Coin and Canada Gold Maple Leaf 1 oz

The American Gold Eagle has a diameter of 32.7mm and is 2.87mm thick. Gold is very dense, or heavy, at 19.3  g/cm−3. (Remember, this has nothing to do with the softness of the metal.) The Canadian Gold Maple Leafs are about the same size and thickness.
Palladium Maple Leaf Thickness 1 oz

Now Palladium is very light compared to gold. Palladium is only 12.023  g/cm−3. So, to make up an ounce, the Canada mint made our Maple Leaf Coins about 33mm diameter by 3.58mm thick.

American Eagle Platinum 1 oz

Now this is what's interesting. The platinum coin is the thinnest of all. It's the most dense precious metal, even heavier than gold! My American Eagle coin is still 32.7mm in diameter, just like the gold, however, it is only 3.39mm thick. Compared to gold it might look similar and kind of hard to tell that the platinum is thinner and therefore heavier. The density of platinum is 21.45  g·cm−3. This is amazingly high. Most people are amazed if they every hold an oz of gold, surprised that something so small could be so heavy. Imagine their shock when they hold some platinum!

American Eagle Silver Coins

Silver has a density of just 10.49 g/cm−3. This is about half of gold and platinum, therefore the coins are much bigger, just over 40mm diameter. And, they are a big thicker as well, at almost 3mm thick. Plus silver is still cheap. A 1 oz coin like this would cost you under $20 and would be a good start to investing in precious metals
Rhodium Coins: How Big Would a Rhodium Coin Be?

Remember, there is no country minting Rhodium coins. There are companies who make them, but none that are popular. The reason they don't do a rhodium mint is because it's a very brittle metal. A 1 gram rhodium coin will be coming though! For more info click on the "rhodium" label below, or just click here and all of our rhodium posts will show up.

Just for fun, although a 1 oz rhodium coin won't be made, if one were to be made, how big would it be? Well, rhodium has a density of 12.41 g/cm−3, which is nearly identical to palladium. So, we can assume that the rhodium coin size would be about the same as the Palladium Maple Leaf.


  1. I have two coins, 1 oz. and 2 oz., minted by the small African country of Burko Faso in 1990, that are claimed to be Palladium. They have never been out of the plastic holders. Can anyone advise me how I can verify that they are authentic?

    Don Peterson

  2. We love finding articles and we wanted to let you know, we will pass your site on in our email newsletters to our clients which collect gold . Thank you

  3. you made an important misprint,the platinum eagle is 2.39mm wide not 3.39mm. I really enjoyed your article! I would love to see an expanded article which includes as many precious metal coins and bar dimensions as you can find.I guess I'll have to find some hard copy. good work!

  4. I cannot get the volume of the coins and bars in conjunction with the classic mass figures to equal one troy ounce.Is there some other variable in the mass figure? (maybe due to the lattice structure of the processed metal)?Please show me the math if you can get it to come out correct.Unfortunately I'm not a proper chemist.


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