Sales from the U.S. Mint kicked off at noon Eastern Time Aug. 28 for the colorized Proof 2020-S Basketball Hall of Fame copper-nickel clad half dollar and colorized Proof 2020-P silver dollar, with customers favoring the half dollar over the silver dollar.
First day sales recorded Aug. 28 by the U.S. Mint totaled 21,039 of the colorized half dollars and 17,748 of the colorized silver dollars. Sales as of Sept. 2 had increased to 23,416 for the colorized half dollar and 19,246 for the colorized silver dollar.
The U.S. Mint limited the issue of each colorized commemorative coin option, the first in the bureau’s history, to 75,000 of each.
The half dollar reverse has considerably more of its design colorized than does the silver dollar. The half dollar reverse has the basketball, rim and netting colorized, while the silver dollar reverse has only the basketball’s ribs and the rim and netting colorized.
The half dollar is offered at $55 each and the silver dollar at $95 each. No household order limits restrict either numismatic product option.
The colorization is achieved through a proprietary pad printing process executed under contract with LulaRose, a division of The Clancy Group Corp., in Massachusetts.
The contract, which has an initial one-year period and four one-year options, has a potential value of $8,375,000 should the Mint exercise all four contract options, which expire Sept. 30, 2024.
Provisions in the contract suggest the U.S. Mint is considering colorizing additional coins and medals for offering as numismatic products.
Sales of noncolorized 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame commemorative coins were initiated June 4, two months after the scheduled April 4 launch because of COVID-19 pandemic safety measures.
The San Francisco Mint was shuttered March 18 with all production halted while the facility underwent a deep cleaning and was disinfected. Production there resumed May 4.
The Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program allows for a maximum release, in Proof and Uncirculated finishes combined, of 50,000 gold $5 half eagles struck at the West Point Mint; 400,000 silver dollars struck at the Philadelphia Mint, and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars, with the Proof version struck at the San Francisco Mint and the Uncirculated version at the Denver Mint.
Maximum mintages for the colorized Proof half dollars and colorized Proof dollars are included in the maximum legislated mintages for each denomination.
None of the Basketball half eagles are being colorized, although the U.S. Mint is contemplating the colorization of other U.S. gold coins in the future.
The Basketball Hall of Fame commemorative coins all exhibit a concave obverse and convex reverse. The coins’ shared common obverse design was selected from a public design competition.
Their common reverse, depicting a basketball going through a hoop, was mandated in the authorizing legislation.