Dome-Shaped Naismith Memorial Basketball HOF Commemorative Coins Sought

by Mike Unser on February 26, 2016 · 12 comments

2014-P Proof National Baseball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar

New legislation is calling for dome-shaped coins, similar to the popular 2014 Baseball coins with one of them shown above, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

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 (

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.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tinto February 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for this news, Mike!

Buford February 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

I Agree, Tinto! Great News, Mike! 2019 seems like a long way off, but the time will Fly! And so will these basketball coins, the Day they are ultimately Released! And I, for one, can hardly wait!!!

Bill W February 26, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Any new developments on the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary coins you reported on last June? Would it be overkill to have both commemorative issues for the year to rely on the same gimmick?

Seth Riesling February 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

These would be popular commemorative coins for sure, but could be a slippery slope. The idea for the curved USA baseball coins came from a commemorative coin struck by the Monnaie de Paris (the official Mint of France) for the year of Astronomy & a congressman saw one & asked the Mint to copy its shape on a U.S. coin), The problem is that like the first code talkers Congressional Gold Medal made to honor Native American Indian code talkers (Navajo tribe) & the bronze replicas the Mint sells, it upset other tribes who wanted their own Congressional Gold Medal & bronze replicas & it wound up being a program of over 25 different gold & bronze medals just a few years ago.
Are we now going to have domed/curved/convex-concave commemorative coin programs for every sport? (tennis, football, soccer, hockey, ping pong etc.)?! This could open the floodgates for overproduction & lower values for any such coins. But, of course, as a long-time collector who bought all the 2014 baseball coins (the values are way down even for the gold coins now!) I am in on this program if offered. I am hooked on most commemorative coins for some strange reason!

Happy collecting everyone!


jim February 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm

I thought it was a great idea for America’s pastime and Naismith did invent the current game though I do remember seeing a similar ball in hoop court used for the ancient Greek games (yeah, I’m almost old enough to have been there) but now I have the feeling of “been there, done that” and not much excitement for another convex/concave commemorative coin. Maybe I’ll feel different in another 3 years but for right now, meh.

Seth Riesling February 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm

Bill W. –

The Apollo 11 50th anniversary commemorative curved 3-coin program legislation has not moved one bit since the day it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2015 & there seems to be no similar legislation in the Senate yet surprisingly. This subject matter is certainly one of the most significant milestones in USA history! Hopefully it will move on up soon on the legislative calendar.


Cincinnatus February 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

With all of the other truly worthy things yhis country could honor, do we really need a coin to commemerate a multi-billion dollar corporation? Let the NBA fund their own tribute to themselves.

Honoring the MLB and NBA (I’m sure the NFL which seems to be hurting for money will be getting a coin soon) has the same stench about it as the coin programs of the 30’s.

The US commemerative coin program is off track and needs to end.

Seth Riesling February 27, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Cincinnatus –

I agree with you mostly. But due to a little thing called the U.S. Constitution, only Congress has all power over coinage issues. It would take an amendment to the Constitution to change that & I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I was surprised when Congress did delegate one of those powers of selecting coin designs to the Secretary of the Treasury a few years ago. But, they can take that delegated power away at any time. Write, call or e-mail your U.S. congresspeople at their Washington D.C. offices & let them know your concerns everyone. Believe me, it can change things. Congress stopped the old decades-long (1918 through 1954) commemorative silver half dollar programs because of too much corruption on the state coin selection committee level in coin designs favoring their states. We didn’t have ANY commemorative coins again after 1954 till the “modern” programs started in 1982 – a 28 year dry spell !
Just think about all the modern commemorative coin designs (even for foreigners) & yet no commemorative coin for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Not even the powerful Black Congressional Caucus can get this done). What does that tell you about the process in Congress for coin legislation?!


Zaz February 28, 2016 at 4:37 am

I’ll go with another slogan on a coin to be issued this year: just say no. Seriously it’s too soon after the BHOF coins to have an identical set of curved coins. They’re far too gimmicky and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 2019 is vastly more important a milestone to miss than the Naismith achievement. For the latter perhaps in 2041 or 2044.

Seth Riesling February 28, 2016 at 11:53 am

Zaz & Cincinnatus –

You both have it right on point! People like you have my vote to serve on the U.S. Mint’s Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Great comments on the sometimes crazy coin design concepts/subject matter we get in recent years.


Munzen February 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

Zaz, Seth, Cincinnatus –
I’m in complete agreement. As Rocky might say: Yo, Mint! Enough awready!

Peter June 21, 2016 at 3:46 am

The Royal Canadian Mint announced in their latest mail out that a special domed shaped colourized coin will be released to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the sport.

Leave a Comment