2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Curved Coins

Tomorrow, March 27, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. The $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and clad half dollars feature the common design of a baseball and glove minted on convex and concave surfaces.

The program, which was authorized under Public Law 112-152, has received a great deal of attention from the mainstream and numismatic media leading up to the release. Not only does the coin feature the broadly appealing baseball theme, but the authorizing legislation also required a public design competition and a suggested a unique curved shape which made for compelling articles leading up to the release.

The public competition to design the common obverse of the coin would receive a total of 178 design submissions. From the finalist designs selected by a panel of National Baseball Hall of Fame members, both the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee would offer strong support for a design carrying a depiction of a 1960’s style baseball glove. The design, which was created by Cassie McFarland of San Luis Obispo, California, would also be the one selected by the Secretary of the Treasury

It was included in the authorizing legislation as the sense of Congress that the $5 gold coins and silver dollars should be produced in a fashion similar to the 2009 International Year of Astronomy Coins issued by the Monnaie de Paris with a convex reverse and concave obverse. The United States Mint would exceed the expectations set forth by Congress, producing all three coins of the program with the curved shape and also using more pronounced relief than the French coin.

2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Gold Coin

The $5 gold coins of the program are struck in 90% gold and 10% alloy with a diameter of 0.85 inches and weight of 8.359 grams. The net gold content of each piece is 7.5231 grams or 0.2419 troy ounces. Across proof and uncirculated versions, the coins are limited to a maximum mintage of 50,000 pieces.

For the start of sales, the coins will be priced at $419.75 for the uncirculated version and $424.75 for the proof version. These prices are based on an average weekly market price of gold in the $1,300 to $1349.99 range and reflect a $5 discount during the introductory period. Pricing may be subject to potential change on a weekly basis and the introductory period will end April 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM ET.

2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar

The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Silver Dollars are struck in 90% silver and 10% copper with a diameter of 1.500 inches and weight of 26.73 grams. The net silver content for each coin is 24.057 grams or 0.7735 troy ounces. Across proof and uncirculated versions, the coins are subject to a maximum mintage of 400,000 pieces.

During the introductory period, the uncirculated version is priced at $47.95 and the proof version is priced at $52.95. After April 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM ET, the regular pricing will be $51.95 and $56.95.

2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Half Dollar

The clad half dollar included in the program is struck in a composition of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel. The coins have a diameter of 30.61 mm and weight of 11.34 grams. While all three coins of the program share the spotlight as the first domed coins produced by the United States Mint, the half dollar actually represents the first clad domed coin produced anywhere in the world.

During the introductory period, the uncirculated version of the half dollar will be priced at $18.95 and the proof version will be priced at $19.95. After the end of the period, regular pricing will be $22.95 and $23.95. At a later date, the US Mint will release a Young Collectors Set which includes the uncirculated half dollar. The release date and pricing for the product has not yet been indicated.

The prices for the commemorative coins include a surcharge of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half dollar, which will be distributable to the National Baseball Hall of Fame to help finance its operations.

Household Limits and Special Events

After initially announcing the commemorative coin program without any ordering limits imposed, this morning the US Mint added household ordering limits. The proof and uncirculated $5 gold coins will be limited to 50 coins each, the proof and uncirculated silver dollars will be limited to 100 coins each, and the proof and uncirculated half dollars will be limited to 100 coins each.

As mentioned earlier this week, the US Mint intends to use their online “waiting room” to handle the expect influx of traffic surrounding the initial release of the coin. Online customers will be able to enter the waiting room to “get in line” to enter the website and make a purchase. This system will serve to prevent an outright shutdown or crash of the Mint’s website.

Tomorrow, March 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM ET at the Main Hearing Room of the Senate Agricultural Committee, 328A, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., the United States Mint will officially launch the commemorative coin program at a press conference. Attendees will include Treasurer Rosie Rios, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Richard Hanna, Chairman and President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum,  and Baseball Hall of Fame members Joe Morgan and Brooks Robinson.

From March 27-30, 2014, the United States Mint will have a limited supply of the new commemorative coins available for purchase at their booth at the Whitman Coin and Collectible Spring Expo held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore Maryland. On March 27 from 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET, Brooks Robinson will be on hand to support the release.

Sell Outs?

A question on many collectors minds is which 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Coins may sell out and how quickly this may occur. Given the build up and continuing excitement surrounding the program, a sell out of the gold coin at 50,000 pieces and silver dollar at 400,000 pieces seems all but assured. The half dollar should experience strong sales, but it may be a high hurdle to reach 750,000 pieces for a full sell out, although historically it is not out of the realm of possibility.

The last United States Mint commemorative silver dollar to sell out was the 2010 Boy Scouts Silver Dollar. After opening week sales accounted for more than 60% of the 350,000 maximum mintage, the full sell out would occur in a little more than one month’s time. Prior to this, the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Silver Dollar sold out of the 450,000 pieces available for individual sale after about a month and a half. The final 50,000 pieces of the maximum mintage were allocated to the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set which was released later in the year and sold out after 30 hours.

One of the most rapid sell outs for a commemorative silver dollar occurred before the start of this blog, with the 2001 American Buffalo Silver Dollar reaching a sell out of 500,000 pieces in about two weeks.

I believe that the only US Mint modern commemorative gold coin to sell out of the full maximum mintage was the 1986 Statue of Liberty $5 Gold Coin, which managed to reach combined sales of 1,000,000 pieces. In the ensuing years, sales of commemorative gold coins have declined with the maximum mintage levels also seeing reductions.

Looking at some recent statistics, last year’s 5-Star Generals $5 Gold Coins had sold 21,501 pieces across all options from a maximum mintage of 100,000 pieces. Sales for the 2011 and 2012 programs were somewhat better around 25,000 to 26,000 pieces. In 2008, the Bald Eagle $5 Gold Coins reached overall sales of 74,278 pieces.

In recent years, commemorative half dollars have tended to experience sales far below the established maximum mintage levels. The most recent 5-Star Generals Half Dollars saw sales of 74,278 across all product options from the 750,000 maximum mintage. The last commemorative half dollar to sell more than 750,000 pieces was the 1994 World Cup Half Dollar with overall sales of 779,662 from the maximum mintage of 5,000,000. The all time best selling commemorative half dollar was the 1986 Statue of Liberty Half with sales of more than 7.8 million from a massive maximum mintage of 25 million.

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  1. Larry says

    This is what I have learned from this and the 2011 25th Anniversary Set – if you wait until around 5:30 to 6:00 Eastern time, you will get in with little wait and order your coins. After that you will be out of luck. I bet the real big boys had people standing in line at the Baltimore show to pick these up. Watch HSN tomorrow night, I bet he has some. Should be interesting to see the price!

  2. high low silver says

    I got in the site around 5 last night but had trouble getting into my account , so I ordered as a guest from my phone.

  3. vaughnster says

    I just got off the phone with a US Mint rep. I placed four different orders before 1 p.m. and only one order shows up on my order history. It is going through the normal process. I got e-mail confirmations for all my orders placed. The three others are listed as “suspended.” There was nothing wrong with any credit card info or any other red flags. Her best guess was to wait 24 hours for it to show up. She even checked with a supervisor. Kind of nerve wracking with the “suspended” status but can’t do anything except wait. Hope this helps as she said this is certainly common with yesterday’s crazy ordering.

  4. Blair J Tobler says

    Yesterday my silver coins said “expected to ship 4/10/14” now they say 4/11/14. I guess we’re going to get the “add-a-day” crawl with shipping dates. Clad halfs say 3/29/14, however, which is an improvement since yesterday

  5. VABEACHBUM says

    Several had commented yesterday that the Mint I.P. indicated a routing back through Ireland.

    I just finished looking at the Mint’s updated product page, and those items with pricing are showing the prices in British Pounds.

  6. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Zeeman – yeah, but it’s a forgone conclusion. As quickly as the waitlist notice went up, and the fact that folks still continued to place order…. The gold coins are done.

    I’m now curious as to the current status of the Silver Options. I cannot wait to see Michael’s newest sales report next Tuesday or Wednesday.

  7. zeeman says

    Vabea@ I know what you are saying, but it creates problems, people still ordering thinking they will get the Gold coins, i guess the mint donot want to learn from past.

  8. dave says

    I wished the mints website would give a better explanation of what back orders means? I placed an order at 5PM Central time yesterday for the silver version.

  9. Samuel says

    i dont understand why the order history has not been updated after so many hours. does the mint really have an IT dept?
    and, the atb sub does not show up either.
    if they are not able to run a shopping website, better outsource it to either amazon or ireland or romania or india or philippines……they just focus on designing the coins!

  10. Blair J Tobler says

    Dave – it means they don’t have enough in stock to cover your order. The backorder date is when they expect to have enough on hand to fill it.

  11. Louis says

    I got stats from the Mint which I won’t post here- Michael will have same info- but I can tell you the silver coins are nowhere near selling out.

    Also, latest twist for me is since last night I have not been able to log on to my acct. Keeps saying page can’t be displayed. I tried clearing my SSL state and that did not help. Anyone else get this?

  12. thePhelps says

    Louis…my home computer is doing the same thing. I had to remote into a different PC to log on this morning and clearing cache and the usual tricks didn’t resolve it for me either.

  13. Dave says

    Suggestions the Mint should implement (IMHO):

    1) have a separate order form to choose for release date coins only
    2) have blank quantity boxes which can all be filled before adding to cart – one button at the bottom adds all at once
    3) implement a 30 second timer on the confirmation page which automatically logs you off of the site
    4) at 11:45 and forward until the system is caught up, have the entire screen covered with a huge choice box. The choices are ” YES, I want to enter the waiting room ” or ” NO, LOG ME OFF OF THE SITE”
    5) direct all other orders to the phone lines ( dedicated to only non-release items) but allow the operator to combine these orders with already made release orders for a single shipping charge.

    Yes, the waiting room worked fine once you got in. But getting in was not an equal opportunity operation. And once in, it seemed like every time I added an item or tried to change quantities, I got white screened or an error message. People NOT ordering should not be allowed to tie up the system.
    Or they could implement a special site for Release Date coins only
    Or they could let Amazon handle the whole deal if they cannot learn from experience!

    As a collector, I would like to see every release date limited to ONE COIN OF EACH TYPE with the ability to add to the order beginning the day after IF there is not a sellout. Follow that with the 50 coin limit for a week, and then go unlimited. I appreciate the attempt to limit at the last minute, but the working stiff on the road gang who does not get home from work until 6 PM does not stand a chance.

  14. Darek says

    I just spoke with CS about suspended orders and she told me that they going to change status of those orders within 4 hours. My first order was placed at 12:13 and she told me it is backordered to 3/29. After I heard that I went to check my credit card and the Mint is working on my order. Second order for gold coins from 1:12 is backordered to 5/27 for proof and 6/17 for Unc. Silver coins are still available.

  15. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Louis – logged in from home at 0630 and again from work at 0900. No problems getting into my account either time.

    Like others have stated, though, one of my two orders still has not been updated into my history. I do have the confirmation email, as well as printed copies of the transaction.

  16. Joseph says

    @Samuel, the mint’s IT director is an indian guy. I don’t know who design and build mint’s website, but it is a crapy site I can tell. I remember we had a project with some offshore indian guys and their works were really ‘amazed’ us. we had couple of meetings and had them to design and build an application. weeks later my manager called them and thought it was almost done. unfortunately, he got a long list of questions and they hadn’t even started coding. I could see the feeling of my manager from his ‘pretty’ face. so I don’t think outsource is a solution. you know those indian are smart and canny, a couple of line of code, they can make to couple of pages (hundreds of lines). this is well known in IT industry. you think they are cheap ? hell no. LOL

  17. Louis says

    Thanks, VAB. I managed to get in on a diff machine and only with IE oddly but all orders are safe and sound. Oddly the last one for one each of the dollars is already in process but earlier ones are on hold. My ship dates on the first order have moved way up again just like CO but I know they will not ship on 3/29.

  18. Jack says

    My order history is updated and accurate. One each of the gold, two each of the others. All items show an expected ship date of 3/29 and I do not have the option to cancel. Looks like it’s at least moving forward.

  19. Jerry says

    I had my office PC on in the waiting room at noon with a 15 min wait and my IPad at the same time , same server, with a 1 min wait time. Got in , went to New product tab and put one of each in cart and checked out at 12:09
    Was a smooth process for me especially since I am a collector and just buy one pc for my own enjoyment

  20. Hidalgo says

    My orders are now showing up in the tracking section on USMint.gov. The coins I purchased are all on backorder. I

    I placed a “test” order late in the day – at 6:34 PM (EDT) — after the “waiting list” notice was posted for the gold coins. The gold coin is showing up as backordered with a shipping date of 4/11/2014 — earlier than my original order for the same coin. I realize that the later order may be cancelled, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the weeks ahead.

    Just wondering — does anyone’s order — even those who purchased their coins before 12:30 PM (EDT) — show that your coins are ready to ship? Or are they on backorder as well?

  21. bigboy says

    hey, there is a pcgs ms 70 first strike on ebay from Baltimore for only $5000.00
    dollars ,what a bargin ,PEOPLE ARE COMPLETEY CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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