The US plans to mint a trio of coins that will certainly be a bane for vending machines and pockets alike, with a curved design depicting a baseball on one side and a baseball glove on the other. The coins, which come in 50 cent, $1, and $5 denominations (in gold, silver, and clad), are being made to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July. Only 1.2 million of the coins will be produced per the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, a law that passed in 2012. The actual surcharge for each coin is markedly higher, at $35 for gold, $10 for silver, and $5 for the half-dollar coin, with proceeds going to the Hall of Fame non-profit.
Difficult for a coin toss
According to the Associated Press, the coins — which will be the first curved coins the US has ever produced — are being made in three different US Mint locations. The design itself was made by 28-year-old artist Cassie McFarland of San Luis Obispo in Southern California, who beat out 177 other submissions with the design that manages to fit both the "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust" mottos as if they were printed on the glove and ball.
This won't be the first curved coin in the world, nor the first curved project for the US. The US Mint mentions the International year of Astronomy coins, made by the French Mint in 2009. The US also created a special Congressional gold medal for Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Roberto Walker Clemente in 1973. For this latest project, the US Mint says it relied on the Royal Australian and Perth Mints, and "unprecedented" research and development to get the process right.
Correction: This story originally said all three versions of the commemorative coin were being produced in San Francisco alone. It's being made in the Mint's facilities in West Point, Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.