Canada issues colorful concave/convex $25 coin for basketball anniversary

Orange domed piece remembers Massachusetts event, Canadian creator
By , Coin World
Published : 08/17/16
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The Royal Canadian Mint’s new 2016 commemorative concave/convex coin is a first for the issuer. 

The RCM makes history with its first-ever colored convex-shaped coin. Though the shape of the coin is not unique for the RCM, the use of color for such a coin is a first for the issuer. 

The 2016 Proof .9999 fine silver $25 coin celebrates a Canadian milestone with American importance — the 125th anniversary of the popular American sport of basketball, which just happens to have been invented by a Canadian.

James Naismith was teaching at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass., in 1891 when he developed the sport that would become known as basketball in an effort to occupy schoolchildren during winter. 

He famously employed a peach basket for the hoop, and developed the first rule book, which included having nine players on each side of the court at all times (today it is five-on-five).

Naismith founded the University of Kansas basketball program, and saw his sport adopted as an official Olympic sport at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and the development of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship in 1939.

The reverse of the coin was design by Canadian artist Glen Green. The coin’s convex curvature is used to recreate the rounded shape of a basketball as its primary image. 

In addition to the coin’s unusual shape, engraving replicates tactile elements famously associated with the ball — specifically the recessed lines and dimpled surface — while the application of color captures its iconic orange appearance. 

An engraved action shot superimposed on the ball captures the classic, fast-paced intensity of the game: a player at the left leaps toward the net, going for a dunk shot, while the player on the right quickly defends the shot with an outstretched arm. 

On either side of the action, two small engraved basketballs overlap the wide band that frames the reverse image, in which the word CANADA is engraved above and the commemorative dates 1891–2016 below, marking basketball’s 125th anniversary.

The concave obverse of the coin features the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The coin is packaged in the RCM’s classic maroon clamshell with black beauty box and certificate.

The coin weighs 30.75 grams, measures 36.07 millimeters in diameter, and has a mintage limit of 8,500 pieces.

The coin retails for $159.95 Canadian. 

Distributor Talisman Coins offers the Basketball coin at fixed prices in U.S. funds, for $112.95. To order, visit the distributor website

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