US Coins

U.S. Mint inks contract for Basketball commem coin colorization

The U.S. Mint will be using an outside contractor for applying color to the colorized versions of the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half dollar.

The Mint informed Coin World Feb. 20 it had just approved a contract with an undisclosed outside vendor to execute the colorization.

The Mint will open sales for versions of the Proof and Uncirculated dollars and half dollars without colorization on April 4, along with the gold $5 coins to be minted only in noncolorized versions.

The April 4 offering will include a limited-edition Basketball Hall of Fame Kids set. The number of sets to be offered and what the set will contain is not yet disclosed.

The Philadelphia Mint was scheduled Feb. 25 to host a ceremonial first strike event for the Proof 2020-P Basketball silver dollar. No colorization is involved in this striking event.

Mint officials have not disclosed whether colorization will be reserved for Proof versions of the dollars and half dollars or will also be applied to the Uncirculated version.

The dollars and half dollars that will be colorized will be struck with their concave obverse and convex reverse at various Mint facilities and then shipped in batches to the outside vendor for the color application.

The number of coins that will be designated for colorization will comprise part of the maximum 400,000 silver dollars and 750,000 half dollars legislatively authorized.

All three coin denominations are being struck with a concave obverse and convex reverse, in the same manner as the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame coins and 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary coins.

The silver dollars are being struck at the Philadelphia Mint, and will carry a P Mint mark.

The Uncirculated copper-nickel clad half dollar is being struck at the Denver Mint, with a D Mint mark, and the Proof half dollar at the San Francisco Mint, with an S Mint mark.

The .900 fine gold coins are being struck at the West Point Mint and will bear the W Mint mark.

Production on all three denominations has commenced at each of the respective facilities.

The authorizing legislation, Public Law 115-343, calls for production and release, in Proof and Uncirculated versions combined, of no more than 50,000 $5 coins, 400,000 dollar coins and 750,000 half dollars.

Each gold coin's purchase price will include a $35 surcharge, each silver dollar a $10 surcharge, and every clad half dollar a $5 surcharge.

Net surcharges, after the U.S. Mint recoups all of its production and associated costs, are to be paid to “the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to fund an endowment that will enable increased operations and educational programming of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.”


The Basketball obverse, recommended for approval to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by both the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts, was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Artist Justin Kunz.

The design will be sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Michael Gaudioso.

Kunz’s design, according to the Mint, “portrays the fast pace, intensity, and hands-on action of a basketball game — the constant, competitive struggle for possession of the ball and the skill required to clear the hoop.

“The design features three players reaching for the ball in unison, reflecting how the sport of basketball has brought together diverse people around the world through a simple, universal, and unifying athletic experience.

“Their arms are slightly elongated to emphasize the full exertion of physical and mental energy required to excel in this sport. The rim and net are subtle background design elements complementing the three players.”

The common reverse, recommended by the Commission of Fine Arts, depicts a basketball as it descends through the net. The authorizing law required the depiction of a basketball, though its actual rendition was left to the Mint to determine.

The design is by Donna Weaver, an AIP artist and retired U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver.

Weaver’s design will be sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

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