There have been some recent developments on the selection of the designs which will appear on the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. This program will include a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half dollar, each minted with a concave obverse and convex reverse. The common obverse design for all three coins is to be emblematic of the game of baseball, while the common reverse design will depict a baseball similar to those used by Major League Baseball.
The final selection for the reverse design of the coin was officially announced by the United States Mint on Friday and is shown above.
Initially, there had been six design candidates provided by the Mint for review by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The CFA had recommended one of these original candidates. Discussions at the CCAC meeting had prompted the creation of two additional variations, one of which would carry the CCAC’s recommendation. The Secretary of the Treasury, who has the authority to select the final design, went with the former.
The common obverse design for the coins is being selected through a public competition. During an open submissions period, a total of 178 designs were submitted by the public. From this number, there were 24 initial semi-finalist designs selected through internal judging at the US Mint. After a discrepancy was discovered, five additional candidates were added and separately three candidates were removed for noncompliance, resulting in a final total of 26 semi-finalists. A round of judging by a panel of Baseball Hall of Famers, resulted in 16 finalist designs.
The finalist designs were provided to the CFA, CCAC, and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for review and comment. I had also provided Mint News Blog readers with the opportunity to vote on their preferred design within an unofficial poll.
Readers were somewhat divided, with the top two contenders very close and four different alternatives each receiving at least 10% of the vote. These top choices along with the percentage of the vote received are shown above.
During the course of last week, both the CFA and CCAC held their meetings to review the finalist designs and provide their recommendations. Both groups were offered the same recommendation shown above, which had received 8.15% of the vote in the unofficial Mint News Blog poll.
According to this CoinWorld article, one member of the CFA was immediately drawn to the glove designs since they would pair well with the reverse design featuring a baseball. Other members agreed with “no debate and little discussion.” From the two finalist designs featuring a glove as the single focus, members unanimously supported the 1960’s style glove. They did request that the foliage pattern at the edge of the glove be omitted and the lettering refined.
The CCAC was also drawn to the glove designs and made the same recommendation. According to Chairman Gary Marks, “The CCAC gave its strongest possible recommendation to design HOF 01 which shows an open baseball mitt. Committee members felt the concave nature of the coin’s obverse would lend itself well to the baseball mitt image and would be pair well with the convex baseball image on the reverse. The mitt image received 30 of the possible 30 points available through the committee’s scoring process…a perfect score. Perfect scores are rare for the CCAC.”
From here, the Acting Director of the United States Mint will make a final recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury, weighing all relevant factors including the recommendations of the CFA, CCAC, and National Baseball Hall of Fame.
With both the CFA and CCAC supporting the same design candidate, it becomes more likely that this design will be the final selection. The official announcement of the final selection is scheduled to take place on September 10, 2013.