American Legion, Basketball Hall of Fame commemoratives a step closer to realization

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. (Photo by rizha ubal)

Two bills authorizing new commemorative coinage for 2019 and 2010 made their way forward in Congress last week. The first, H.R. 1235, is the “Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act,” which passed the House on September 25. A companion bill of the same name, S. 1503, was introduced in the Senate in June but remains in committee.

If passed, the act would authorize domed-format coins honoring the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the usual quantities, denominations, and surcharges (listed for reference at the end of this post). They would be released in 2020, coinciding with the end of the Hall of Fame’s 60th-anniversary season (2019–2020). The common reverse design (with the reverse being the convex side) would be a Mint artist’s depiction of a basketball. The common obverse design would be selected from an open competition.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—a basketball hall-of-famer and currently a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee—offered the following in a statement prepared for Congress and read to the House by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Tex.), a cosponsor of the bill:

After 20 years as a player in the National Basketball Association with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, which included winning six NBA Championships as well as an equal number of Most Valuable Player awards, I had the honor to be inducted in 1995 into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Congressmen Richard E. Neal, Andy Barr, and Mike Kelly have sponsored legislation to authorize the U.S. Mint to issue limited-edition commemorative coins for sale to the public in 2019. Proceeds from the coins’ sale will go to help continue the impressive archival and educational efforts of the Basketball Hall of Fame for years to come, all at no cost to the taxpayer.

The Basketball Hall of Fame preserves the history of the game and celebrates the very best of the sport at all the levels it is played. The museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, honors women and men players who have achieved greatness, exemplary coaches, referees, and other major contributors to the sport. It attracts six million visitors a year, who see hundreds of thousands of historic artifacts and memorabilia spanning the past 125 years of basketball.

As a Hall of Famer, I am very passionate about the work they do to not only preserve and honor, but also grow the game of basketball. It is because of this I am respectfully requesting your support and cosponsorship of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, H.R. 1235.  ⤵️

(Illustration courtesy of American Legion post 139)

The second piece of legislation, H.R. 2519, and its companion bill, S. 1182, both titled the “American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act,” made it a bit further along the path to becoming law. The act would authorize three coins commemorating the centennial of the American Legion, whose goals are:

  • promoting the importance of and caring for those who have served in uniform, ensuring they receive proper health care and disability benefits earned through military service;
  • promoting the importance of, and caring for, those who are still serving in the Armed Forces;
  • promoting the importance of maintaining the patriotic values, morals, culture, and citizenship of the United States; and
  • promoting the importance of maintaining strong families, assistance for at-risk children, and activities that promote their healthy and wholesome development.

The bills were introduced in the House and Senate, respectively, on May 18, 2017. The Senate version was approved on August 3 and sent to the House; the House version was approved September 25 and sent to the Senate, where it passed without amendment on September 28.

If signed into law, the act would authorize Proof and Uncirculated strikes in the usual quantities (enumerated below). The design of the coins is not prescribed by the legislation, other than to say it “shall be emblematic of the American Legion” and shall have the standard inscriptions Liberty, In God We Trust, United States of America, and E Pluribus Unum.

Typical Quantities and Surcharges of Modern U.S. Commemorative Coins

In general, when a commemorative program is authorized by law, the Mint has permission to strike Uncirculated and Proof coins in the following quantities:

  • not more than 50,000 gold $5 coins (.900 fine),
  • not more than 400,000 silver $1 coins (.900 fine), and
  • not more than 750,000 clad half dollar coins.

Typical surcharges are as follows:

  • $35 per coin for the gold $5,
  • $10 per coin for the silver $1, and
  • $5 per coin for the clad half dollar.

Commemorative programs operate at no expense to the taxpayer (surcharges are subtracted after all costs are recouped).

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  1. A Different Jeff says

    Wow. Another issue (basketball) with no imagination! Why are all 3 coins going to have the SAME design?

    And will the American Legion actively market their coin? If they do, it may have some legs. Otherwise it may be yet another abysmal failure – thank you US Congress.

    I talked with a Mint rep at the recent Long Beach show who thought it might be a good idea if Congress was educated on what would make good subjects and how ‘innovative’ coin compositions might have on the actual coin. I’m thinking breast cancer pink gold coin will need significantly more copper so it won’t be .900 fine or it will have to be larger than a normal half eagle.

  2. Dustyroads says

    I may be the last person to know this, but I tried to purchase today from the USM (dry run before Thursday) and found that the mint no longer supports Mozilla Firefox for purchases. They now require Chrome or Explorer.

  3. says

    Ahhhhhhhhhh.., we’re still getting the Moon Landing Comm in ’19, right???

    That’s the only one I care about

  4. says

    I’ll flip 150 of these gold basket balls and buy another gold HR Liberty for free that’ll still be on sale, and then buy all my Lunar Landing Comms for free as well!

    Thanks Congress People! 🏀😃

  5. cagcrisp says


    A negative number this late…

    17XA 2017 AM LIBERTY 24K GOLD 1 OZ 24,817 +114
    17XB 2017 AM LIBERTY SILVER MEDAL (P) 45,922 +751
    17XC 2017 225TH ANN ENHANCED UNC SET 194,394 (267)

  6. cagcrisp says

    @ Old Big Bird, notice the numbers…

    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MLTR 17,563 +13
    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 15,906 + 42
    17AK 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – DOUGLASS 15,906 +42
    17AL 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – OZARK 15,187 +143
    17AM 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – ELLIS ISLAND 16,109 + 218

  7. cagcrisp says

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 64,348 + 49
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 90,251 + 63

  8. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 573,655 + 778
    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 23,746 (1)
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,757 + 3

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 207,497 +786

  9. cagcrisp says

    17EA 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 314,534 +2,431

    17EB 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 6,599 +157
    17EC 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 1,565 +52
    17ED 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 2,515 +98
    17EE 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 10,324 +181
    17EF 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 8,613 + 92

    17EG 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 124,283 (66)

    17EH 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD UNC 1 OZ 4,594 +59

    17EJ 2017 AM EAGLE PLATINUM PROOF 1 OZ 8,938 (19)

    17EL 2017 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 13,441 +154

  10. cagcrisp says

    17CA 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD PROOF 1,415 +7
    17CB 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD UNC 2,055 +25
    17CC 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER PROOF 23,484 +93
    17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 9,882 +28
    17CE 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD PROOF 16,292 + 47
    17CF 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD UNC 14,232 +19
    17CG 2017 BOYS TOWN 3-COIN SET 5,101 +9

    17CH 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER PROOF 65,212 + 58
    17CJ 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER UNC 16,478 +25

  11. cagcrisp says

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,713 –
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,906 –
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 2,052 +1
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,771 –
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,842 +1

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,594 +1
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,681 + 1
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,408 +1
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,664 +2
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,443 +1
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,924 +2

  12. cagcrisp says

    Pure Speculation on my part…

    …But from all my years in accounting there is no time of the year that you need to get a good inventory count more important than year end.

    This is year end for the Mint.

    My guess is All the negative numbers (9 in total) were because of year end reconciliation…

  13. Bryon says

    I can’t believe we’re doing another basketball commemorative. The older one is from 1995, honoring the Olympic basketball games in Atlanta.

  14. says

    Anyone’s Palladium Eagle ship yet?

    I ordered mine 6 days prior to release from APMEX and it has not shipped, I’ll be calling to check status tomorrow pm

  15. A&L Futures says

    @ KCSO,

    The order I placed with APMEX was on the 20th. I don’t expect any movement on my order until October 27th.

  16. NcCoinCollector says

    With a good design the American Legion coin could be quite popular.

    The Baseball coins are well designed. I suspect the NBA, NFL and NHL would like commemorative coins of their own, particularly so if they have an awareness of the revenue it could generate. I mean who wouldn’t want a gold PF70 basketball coin signed by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird etc.?

    I am still weighing what to do about the Limited Edition Silver Proof Set. I don’t normally send coins in for grading but what if I want a label that does not say congratulations set or being a First Strike indicate it by default?

    If anyone cares to answer, how do I authenticate the 2017 LESPS to another party if its in OGP? Thanks in advance.

  17. NcCoinCollector says

    To be clear it will cost at least 2.5x the price of the set to have it graded in addition to handing it over sight unseen prior. What if I have a mule or error coin? That’s based on submission requirements on one of the popular graders websites.


    KSCO , I placed my order at APMEX on the 20th and it still says processing. BTW my coin will be ungraded.

  19. Alexander Litvak says

    My palladium eagles from JM Bullion already at the post office, will be delivered tomorrow

  20. MarkInFlorida says

    I got an email that JM shipped my palladium, and they were the cheapest I found at $1020.

  21. KML in KY says

    I got an email from MCM. They want to buy my LESPS for cost + $85.00. I think I’ll keep mine (if I’m able to get them).

    As far as certifying them goes it would be worth it if they’re 70’s – 69’s not so much. I sent 30 ASE’s from Congrats Sets to NGC and got only 13 70’s and 17 69’s. Usually SF coins grade better than that. I may just keep my LESPS in the sealed Mint shipping box. Good luck to everyone who wants them. With a HHL of 2 they should last a little longer than 2 minutes.

    The palladium Eagles are nice looking coins. I decided not to get one at this time but would love to see one in person.

  22. Dustyroads says

    Just in case someone missed my above comment–

    The USM now only supports Explorer or Chrome in their check out. You will not be able to purchase using any other browser from

  23. So Krates says

    @ ips_stuff, Daveinswfl, and Sith – Thanks for the FleaBay input in the last thread, great info.

  24. earthling says

    Is Rhodium on the move to revisit old highs again? I don’t know if it could ever go to $10,000 again but then you never know about today’s manipulations of anything. Let alone PM BS. OR USM fluff BS .

    Looks like Rhodium is at least trying to catch up with Gold. If that happens , then that will be news enough.

  25. Dustyroads says

    cagcrisp, That’s very interesting. I was told by mint customer service that they didn’t support Firefox. I’ll have to go back and try it again. Thanks

  26. cagcrisp says

    @Dustyroads, I tried it the day you First mentioned it and I had no problem but I didn’t hit the final check mark.

    Today I had something that I actually decided to purchase so I just finished the transaction with the check mark.

    I’ve already got 2 emails from the Mint and the “Processing” message…

  27. Dustyroads says

    cagcrisp, Tried again to purchase again with same results. Asked customer service again about Firefox and was told that I would have to use Internet Explorer III (IEIII) or Chrome.

  28. Old Big Bird says


    Yes I just got to update my spread sheets and
    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 15,906 + 42
    17AK 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – DOUGLASS 15,906 +42
    Is almost impossible to have the same number sold last week and then the same number sold for both this week so that they are they equal each other again this week.
    I would guess they have their part numbers crossed.

  29. Dustyroads says

    Working now. My Ghostery add on was the issue. It was updated and I never new that I had to go in and click “Trust Site” again. Thanks for the help.

  30. Dustyroads says

    Tinto, I don’t know why the mint would say that. I just found the problem, and it has nothing to do with Firefox.
    Sometimes I think the nice people in customer service don’t know all the answers. Or maybe they’re the lower echelons of Government…the non thinking branch.

  31. cagcrisp says

    @Dustyroads, “Or maybe they’re the lower echelons of Government…the non thinking branch.”

    Why would you think the non thinking branch was Limited to the lower echelons of Government?…

  32. The Real "Cool" Brad says

    In my experience working in Government, often it is the most incompetent that gets promoted the fastest. Basically, they’re foisted out of one department and onto another. They probably eventually make it to the top. It really motivates you to be good at your job…

  33. cagcrisp says

    You can’t get Any higher in the echelons of government than the President and what was said last night by the President about the Puerto Rico debt “We’re going to have to wipe that out. You’re going to say goodbye to that” was just wrong on so many levels…

  34. smalltimecollector says

    Surrounded by incompetents, the upper echelon gleams. Unless of course, the upper echelon is being shored up by competents.
    I’m anxious to see the Palladium I ordered that was to ship on the 3rd, now the 6th!?
    If it’s a picked over cull PP claim commences.

  35. NCM Collector says

    How will they make an American Legion coin distinct from the US Marshal coins?
    Same star logo.

  36. Daveinswfl says

    Memories of 2008 crisis flood back when I hear talk like that.
    As I recall, that evil GW Bush suspended capitalism to save capitalism.
    Ask the GM bond holders how that worked for them!

  37. John Q. Coinage says

    Indeed all who even think about buing GM stock, or stock @ all, need to remember their ‘wipe out’ and they were not doing aHang10!

  38. Sherril says

    How many on here think it is worth the time to try and get in on the 2017 limited edition silver proof set tomorrow???

  39. cagcrisp says

    @Sherril, Not getting a lot of comments? Truth of the matter, come Shortly after High Noon tomorrow you will see a Lot of posts on here “I got 2 set” or “I got shut out”.

    I’m not interested, however, a Lot will be.

    They will Not last long…

  40. Throckmorton says

    More power to those who want the LEPS. At $139.95, for me the juice doesn’t seem worth the squeeze

  41. Xena says

    Louis – I think someone at WNS sells individual quarters (from the qtr machine at the Mint) for filling holes, etc. might be someone there that would be interested in the rolls. You could also consider a coin club auction – like my new club! Update on that coming soon.

    So Krates – sorry you had trouble. I also get motivated by the ebucks specials. I have had a lot of luck, but I am mostly buying world coins on eBay. I stick with a few groundrules – I try to buy from the same set of sellers that I have previously bought from, I stay away from coins that are easy to get at my LCS (my LCS gives me very good deals), stay away from Morgans and most US, use best offers when available – but you have to low ball a bit in case they don’t get back to you before the special runs out, read the whole ad and ask questions if necessary. My LCS has the same complaint about buyers that IPS mentioned.

  42. earthling says

    These sets tomorrow are going to be hotter than hades. But I sort of wonder who really really needs them other than flippers and those that enjoy snagging a “limited” product. Yeah the Granny Knitting Circle Investment Club will be wanting the PF70 Ultra Cameo FDI Vegas Memorial Super Limited Editions on the Shopping Channel.

    But……. oh never mind. These are a hott limited and valuable Coin. Get em if you can. If you get shut out, dont fret too long. PR 70’s will probably be available real soon.

  43. Joe M. says

    I have 2 nieces…I hope I get them for their Xmas gift 🙂
    I don’t buy these sets, but these will DEFINITELY be worth more than issue price. Grab 1 or 2 if you can. Pre-sales are around $210 already.

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