Design competition will be open to the general public
By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
A bill authorizing the production of dome-shaped coins commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Basketball Hall of Fame (H.R. 4592) was introduced to Congress on February 23, 2016 by Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal (D-MA1). It now sits with the House Financial Services Committee, headed by Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX5).
A corresponding bill (S.2598) was introduced into the Senate by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Founded in 1959, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is named for Canadian physical education teacher James Naismith, who invented basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts on December 21, 1891. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that honors and supports professional and amateur players, both male and female, from around the world.
Details of the coin program are as follows:
- No more than 50,000 gold coins (with a face value of $5) can be minted. Each 0.850-inch diameter gold coin must consist of 8.359 grams of 90% pure gold.
- No more than 400,000 silver dollar coins can be minted. Each 1.5-inch diameter silver coin must consist of 26.73 grams of at least 90% pure silver.
- A maximum of 750,000 clad half dollars can be minted. Each 1.205-inch diameter clad coin must weigh 11.34 grams.
The coins will come in Uncirculated and Proof versions, which will be minted only for the duration of the year starting January 1, 2019. All issues will be legal tender under section 5103 of title 31, United States Code, and considered numismatic items by law under sections 5134 and 5136.
But perhaps the most exciting aspect of the program is that all three coins will be dome shaped according to the current wording of the bill. This follows the extraordinary success of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin series.
Much like with the Baseball Hall of Fame curved coin, the Secretary of the Treasury will be holding a design competition to choose the common obverse for the commemorative program. All designs are to be “emblematic of the game of basketball”, and the general public is invited to compete.
The process of choosing the winner is yet to be determined by the Treasury Secretary. However, the Council of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) are usually involved in the selection of finalists and semi-finalists.
A prize of at least $5,000 will be awarded to the winning designer.
The reverse, common to all coins in the series, will feature a basketball. LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, the face value of the coin and the year 2019 will be inscribed on the finished coin regardless of design.
The following table lists the surcharges associated with each coin in the program:
All surcharges go to the Basketball Hall of Fame to fund an endowment that will allow the organization to continue its work in the future.
Bulk and pre-orders for the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame commemorative coins will be permitted, per usual.
The widget below will update as the bill progresses through the House and Senate on its way to possible enactment.
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National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins Currently Available on eBay
Whether a coin is struck for general circulation or for commemorative purposes it should be consistent with the standard coins in Circulation.
To give a “basket Ball” shape to a coin which would be either concave or convex is not commercially or acceptable for general circulation. It is assumed that these coins COULD SOME DAY ARRIVE IN GENERAL CIRCULATION, when the premium on the original issue is no longer accepted by collectors and returned by them, (or unsold by the commission who is handling it, or the banks that may get them) and they would not be easily recognized by the general public.
All commemorative half dollars issued from 1892 to 1954 were in some cases returned to change and the size made them STACKABLE and if recognized as a current coin that had not be devalued, pass in the market place for goods and services. The Baseball commemorative is not readily available as a circulating coin, and not being recognized as such would be considered a false or token coinage which could be destroyed or thrown away. As such the only ones who make money on these coins are the MINT, THE COMMISSION AND SOME OF THE EARLY DISTRIBUTORS..
THE PUBLIC LOOKS TO THE COIN ALWAYS BEING OF THE VALUE AFFIXED TO IT, and if they could not spend it or turn it in easily at their banks or storekeeper, they become an obsolete coinage, even with a Face Value affixed to it. I feel that the Mint should concentrate on the fact that if they make a coin intended to have it have SOME FACE VALUE, then it should be recognized as usable.
The MINT SINCE 1999, AND DURING THE PERIOD BEFORE, FROM 1982 TO 1999, STRUCK AND ISSUED NUMEROUS COMMEMORATIVE COINS that have been traded far below their original costs from the MINT and many collectors, old and new got stuck for the premium, much of which went to the MINT’S COFFERS.
It is a pity that they keep making these “COINS”, making profit for the MINT , at the cost to the collector. Recent issues of many are below the original authorization, proving the Public is getting sick and tired of trying to keep their collections current, while losing money from most of their purchases.
WHAT A SHAME!!!
Well said. I personally am growing tired of this program. Time to put it out to pasture.