U.S. Mint Finalizes HOF Basketball Commemorative Design For 2020

It officially became Fall this week. Football season is in full swing and before you know it we will be in the holiday months as our end of the year stretch is upon us. Fall will become Winter and football will turn to basketball. Oh yes, basketball…(epic transition, we know).

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act

In December of 2018, President Trump signed into law the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act. Why? The HOF is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020 and a basketball commemorative felt necessary for the occasion. Public Law 115-343, the law signed, allows for the production by the Mint of domed $5 gold, $1 silver, and half-dollar clad coins.

What made this new commemorative even more unique was the way in which it would be designed. The reverse was to feature a basketball while the obverse was to be selected by open, public competition. The stipulations? Must be 18 years of age or older and a citizen of the United States or lawful permanent resident. Announced at the beginning of 2019, applications opened in March, selected artists were notified in April, submissions were due in June, and the winner was TBD at the end of the year.

A Winning Design

As of September 6th, the Mint unveiled the winning design of the competition that will be released in 2020 just in time for the 60th Anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The winning obverse was designed by Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Justin Kunz. The design features and exemplifies 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” according to the Mint. Three players are depicted reaching for the ball together to reflect the bringing together of diverse people from different backgrounds. The sport of basketball as a whole is portrayed as a unifying experience while the arms of all three players were purposefully extended to highlight the physical and mental capacity it takes to be successful in the game. The players are surrounded by a net and rim in the background while “LIBERTY”, “IN GOD WE TRUST”, and “2020” are inscribed around the outer top rim and to the right on the coin.

The reverse, designed by fellow AIP artist Donna Weavers, shows a basketball on its way to passing through the net. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” are also seen on the reverse. The $5 gold design will also feature “FIVE DOLLARS”, the silver dollar will additionally feature “ONE DOLLAR”, and the clad coin will have “HALF DOLLAR” inscribed as well.

This commemorative series will no doubt be popular amongst collectors and sports enthusiasts

Here’s to 2020!

Source: United States Mint