Baseball test strikes total tops 67,000 pieces

Half dollar accounts for 96 percent of production
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Published : 11/04/13
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As of Oct. 28, the Philadelphia Mint had already executed 67,552 experimental test strikes for the three-coin 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program.

The copper-nickel clad half dollar denomination accounted for 96 percent of the total. The figures were provided through the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications by Steve Antonucci, branch manager for Digital Development, Research & Development for the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia.

In addition to the half dollar, the program also calls for a gold $5 half eagle and a silver dollar. All three coins will be struck in Proof and Uncirculated versions.

The figures provided by the Mint’s Antonucci reference the number of striking sessions by denomination; the month and year in which the striking sessions were executed; the composition of the planchets used for each denomination; and the combined total number of test strikes for the sessions per designs pairings used.

Bronze planchets were used in early testing for the silver dollar and $5 gold half eagle, with testing eventually moving to the intended .900 fine silver planchets for the dollar and .900 fine gold planchets for the $5 half eagle.

Copper-nickel clad planchets were used in all test strike sessions for the half dollar.

The Mint used three different pairings of dies, some dies with “nonsense” designs and some with the designs selected for the program. The nonsense dies featured a pool shooter design for the obverse and an 8-ball design for the reverse. The listing that follows provides production details for each design die-pairing by denomination and composition. For the half dollar, test strikes were produced with flat relief, full-dome relief and domed relief reduced by 50 percent (see related article starting on page 5).

Silver dollar

➤ Designs of pool shooter and 8-ball: Three striking sessions in December 2012 totaling 47 coins in bronze. One striking session in February 2013 totaling 13 coins in silver. Three striking sessions in March 2013 totaling 36 coins in silver. Two striking sessions in April 2013 totaling 24 coins in silver.

➤ Designs of pool shooter and baseball: Four striking sessions in May 2013 totaling 2,286 coins in silver. One striking session in August 2013 totaling 10 coins in sliver.

➤ Designs of baseball and glove: One striking session in August 2013 totaling 10 coins in silver. One striking session in September 2013 totaling 26 coins in silver. Two striking sessions in October 2013 totaling 105 coins in silver.

$5 gold

➤ Designs of pool shooter and 8-ball: Four striking sessions during February 2013 totaling 33 coins in gold. Six striking sessions during March 2013 totaling 59 coins in bronze. One striking sessions in June 2013 totaling 10 coins in gold.

➤ Designs of glove and baseball: One striking session in September 2013 totaling 25 coins in gold. One striking session in October 2013 totaling 50 coins in gold.

Copper-nickel clad half dollar

➤ Designs of flat pool shooter and flat 8-ball: One striking session in February 2013 totaling 26 coins in clad. One striking session in May 2013 totaling 10,000 coins in clad (die life test).

➤ Designs of full-dome pool shooter and 8-ball: Two striking sessions in April 2013 totaling 52 coins in copper-nickel clad. Two striking sessions in May 2013 totaling 2,216 coins in copper-nickel clad (numerous design iterations). Seven striking sessions in May 2013 totaling 7,797 coins in copper-nickel clad (numerous design iterations).

➤ Designs of 50-percent dome pool shooter and 8-ball: Eight striking sessions between June and July 2013 totaling 18,114 coins in copper-nickel clad. One striking session in July 2013 totaling 1,329 coins in copper-nickel clad (Denver die life test). Two striking sessions in August 2013 totaling 603 coins in copper-nickel clad (San Francisco die life test).

➤ Designs of 50-percent dome glove and baseball: Twelve striking sessions between September and October 2013 totaling 24,681 coins in copper-nickel clad. ■

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