USA Half Dollar Baseball Hall of Fame Dated 2014 Gets COTY

The 2016 was the first time the United States won the Krause Coin of the Year award in twelve years.  The United States Baseball Hall of Fame cupped clad half dollar, KM#576, won “most innovative” and was selected by the judges as the Coin of the Year for coins dated 2014.

While private mints and several national mints have produced concave coins before, all of them were manufactured in silver or other precious metals.  The Royal Australian Mint won “Best Crown” for their $5 silver, Southern Cross in Night Sky dated 2012.  At the time of issue, this coin was exhibited at a United States Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee meeting as an example of the kind of innovative designs that committee wanted to see on United States coins.

When the United States Congress introduced legislation for coins commemorating baseball in 2014, the legislation required that the coins have a cupped shape.  After first advising the CCAC and congressional staff that cupro-nickel was a difficult metal to work with cupped, the Acting Director of the Mint and the mint’s engineering and production staff worked to develop a way to do it.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (PL.112-152) mandated that the convex reverse of the coin depict a baseball.  It also mandated a national design competition to select the concave obverse of the coin.  United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver, Don Everhart designed and sculpted the reverse.

Cassie McFarland, a figurative painter and photographer from California won the design competition against 15 finalists selected from 178 entries submitted between April 11 and May 11, 2013 to design the concave obvers of the coin.  Don Everhart sculpted the design from McFarland’s line drawing.

The Baseball Hall of Fame coins were sold separately and as a set of three in proof and uncirculated.  There is a silver $1 coin and a gold $5 coin bearing the same design.  The $5 gold coin, KM#578, won in the Best Gold Coin category.

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