By Ron Drzewucki – Modern Coin Wholesale …..
The most popular–and arguably the most beautiful–United States gold commemorative coin is probably still the 1915 Panama-Pacific $50 piece (especially the octagonal variety). It’s the stuff of fantasy league coin collecting.
But rounding the bases right behind is a stone cold rookie: the 2014 $5 gold National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum commemorative coin.
Released on March 27, 2014, the $5 gold coin is part of the extremely popular Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin program, which also includes a $1 silver coin and a clad half dollar. Together, they celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame, and the surcharges help fund its non-profit educational activities and day-to-day affairs. On August 3, 2012, President Obama signed the bill authorizing the program, which limited total mintages up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 half dollars. Compared to other modern commemoratives, those numbers aren’t high at all.
The law included a few other interesting stipulations, as well.
For one, it specifically requested that, as long as it didn’t add to the cost of minting the coins, the Mint produce a cup-shaped coin similar to the one created by the Paris Mint (Monnaie de Paris) for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy 10 euro coin.
This was an unusual order coming from Congress in such budget-conscious times. Indeed, the United States Mint had never done such a thing! Technical experts from the Australian Royal Mint and the Perth Mint were called in to advise.
The bill also mandated that a nationwide coin design contest, open to the public, be held between April 11 and May 11 of 2013. The winning design (after much vetting and revision) would then take its place as the common obverse on the concave side of all three denominations in the program. A simple yet evocative baseball glove was the winning entry, designed by California-based graphic artist Cassie McFarland.
Each obverse also features the common inscriptions LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, and the date 2014.
Additionally, the convex reverse was designed by sculptor-engraver and Mint stalwart Don Everhart to resemble the surface of a baseball. Each coin’s reverse shares the mottos UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Only the symbolic face value of each denomination is different.
When you hold the $5 gold Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative in your hand, you’ll probably notice how small it is – don’t let that fool you. All of the classic, smaller denomination gold coins of the 19th and 20th centuries have been about the size of a nickel. That’s because a five-dollar half eagle or even a two-and-a-half dollar quarter eagle gold coin really is what it proclaims to be: five or two-and-a-half dollars (respectively) of the most sought-after precious metal on the planet.
Or at least it was when it was first minted. Nowadays, with the spot price of gold at about $1,300.00 an ounce, the investment and wealth protection appeal of the 90% pure, approximately 0.3 ounce $5 gold Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin should be quite apparent!
But they’re not just for investors. These unique American coins have something for collectors of all stripes.
NGC and PCGS — the two most respected third-party graders in the industry — have produced a handful of special labels and holders to house this exotic specimen. Because it is a curved coin, both companies had to create innovative holders out of necessity.