US Coins

2020 Basketball coins delay tied to colorization initiative

Collectors of United States commemorative coins will have to wait longer for the 2020 issues to be released by the United States Mint than is typical for a new year’s commemorative coin issues.

In previous years, the first of two annual series has been issued in January, with the second following within the next two months. Different circumstances, however, are leading to a different outcome in the new year.

For 2020, introduction of the three-coin Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Coin Program is not yet scheduled, as research continues at the Philadelphia Mint on how to colorize the silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half dollar. The program also will offer a gold $5 coin that will not be colorized.

Mint officials have not disclosed how they plan to implement the colorization, whether through adjustments in the metallic composition to meet the designated color, or by a surface application, or with some other technique. Officials also have not disclosed what color or colors are planned to be used and whether the same color or colors will be used on both the dollar and half dollar.

The Mint is not planning to begin production until sometime in February at the earliest.

The Proof and Uncirculated $5 coins are to be struck at the West Point Mint with the W Mint mark. The colorized Proof and Uncirculated dollars are to be produced with the P Mint mark at the Philadelphia Mint. The Uncirculated half dollar is to be struck at the Denver Mint with the D Mint mark and the Proof half dollar to produced with the S Mint mark at the San Francisco Mint.

All three Basketball coin denominations are to be struck with concave obverse and convex reverses, in the same manner as the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame coins and 2019 Apollo 11 coins.

Women’s Suffrage dollar

The second 2020 commemorative coin program isn’t even posted on the Mint’s product calendar online yet, since the legislation authorizing the Women’s Suffrage Centennial silver dollar wasn’t signed into law by President Trump until Nov. 25, 2019, a month after the enabling legislation passed both houses of Congress.

Mint officials submitted designs for the Women’s Suffrage Centennial silver dollar to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and Commission of Fine Arts in October, in anticipation that the program would see approval. At the time of the design reviews, the Senate had approved the legislation but the House had yet to consider it for passage. Mint officials have not revealed the final designs choices for the dollar.

The U.S. Mint also plans to issue a silver medal in 2020 to mark the centennial of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Designs for the medal were also reviewed at the October CCAC and CFA meetings.

The medal is being issued under the Treasury secretary’s broad authority to authorize medals and not part of the coin legislation signed into law.

The three-coin 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coin program was introduced Jan. 24, 2019, with the 2019 American Legion Centennial silver dollar on March 14.

For 2018 commemorative coins, the World War I Centennial silver dollar was issued Jan. 17, 2018, and the three-coin Breast Cancer Awareness Program, with the nation’s first $5 coin in pink gold, was issued March 15.

The 2017 Lions Clubs International Centennial silver dated 2017 was issued Jan. 18, 2017. Sales for the three-coin 2017 Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Program opened March 9, 2017. 

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