Bills introduced in the House and Senate are calling for dome-shaped coins in gold, silver and clad to commemorative the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (www.hoophall.com).
On Dec. 21, 1891, James Naismith introduced the game of "basket ball" to his physical education class in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1959, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was founded and dedicated to the game’s creator Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, MA, "The Birthplace of Basketball," and became the first and only museum to honor the game at all levels around the world.
Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced the House version, H.R.4592, on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) brought forward the Senate version, S.2598, two days later on Thursday, Feb. 25.
"These unique dome-shaped coins that would come at no expense to the taxpayer is the ideal symbol for the first and only museum that honors the sport on all levels around the world," Rep. Neal said on his Facebook page. "What began as a simple game in a gym has transformed into a worldwide sensation that attracts millions of spectators every day."
If either bill passes in both chambers of Congress and is signed by the President, the United States Mint in calendar year 2019 will produce and sell up to:
- 50,000 $5 gold coins
- 400,000 silver dollars
- 750,000 clad half-dollars
These coins would be minted in collector qualities of proof and uncirculated and feature curved shapes similar to the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins.
Their reverse or tails side would depict a basketball. A competition would determine a common obverse or heads side design that must be "emblematic of the game of basketball."
Under the terms of both bills, a surcharge of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar and $5 per clad half-dollar would be added to each coin sale. Collected surcharges would fund an endowment to enable the further operations of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.