Image above left from the U.S. Mint shows the reverse of a properly struck Proof 2014-W Baseball gold coin bearing the W Mint mark. The blurred image at right is one of several posted online that started collectors buzzing that examples might exist without the Mint mark.
U.S. Mint officials knew before a Proof 2014-W National Baseball Hall of Fame gold $5 half eagle was received by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. for certification that the piece could not be a missing Mint mark error as some collectors suspected.
The possibility of a missing Mint mark error surfaced online April 14 when a collector posted on MintNewsBlog.com somewhat blurry images of the Proof gold $5 coin he had received from the Mint. According to the collector, the reverse showed no sign of a W Mint mark. The quality of the images, however, did not permit independent verification of the collector’s findings.
The report fueled speculation online about whether the U.S. Mint had released an error version of the gold coin. Coin World quickly queried the Mint on the subject.
Responding April 15 to Coin World’s inquiry of the day before, U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said by email, “An examination of all 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame $5 Gold coins’ dies (proof and uncirculated) reveals that all have W mint marks, and all first and last strikes of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame $5 Gold Coins have W mint marks.”
White emphasized April 22 that the examination comprised all dies used to date for production as well as unused working dies.
White did not disclose the total number of Proof and Uncirculated $5 gold obverse and reverse dies manufactured for coin production.
NGC officials confirmed April 21 that the Proof $5 gold Baseball commemorative coin the grading service had received April 18 for examination, attribution and grading as a missing Mint mark error does bear the W Mint mark for the West Point Mint in the proper location on the coin’s convex reverse.
The Mint mark appears in the lower left field to the left of the baseball stitches.
The coin was subsequently graded NGC Proof 70 Ultra Cameo, according to the grading service.
What’s the possibility?