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Community Voice Responses (04/23/13)

 

From the March 29th Numismatic e-newsletter: Is the Mint’s public design competition for baseball commemoratives a good idea? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

Why not let the public have their opinion in anything nowadays? The infamous Nolan coin was a great idea even though the industry denies it.
John K. Lawrence
Weeki Wachee, Fla.

Certainly. Another coin with Nolan Ryan on it will be good for the sport. It will be a money maker for the Mint, poor silver investment for the collector, but good for the sport.
And if the public submitted the design then the Mint doesn’t have to take the blame.
Max Stucky
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Seeking public design for a coin is one of the best ideas ever. Ever since true artists stopped designing our coins, and were replaced by computer-aided designing, our coins have looked like a bunch of trashy junk.
Maybe a true artistic rendition will be selected to create a truly collectible, beautiful coin design.
Alan R. Anderson
Tucson, Ariz.

I think this would be a great idea! This would and should include single “A” teams on up through the majors. For four seasons I had worked in concessions for the Modesto Nuts (Colorado Rockies) single A team. Sale of these commemoratives can also be sold at the ballparks. Just food for thought.
Gary Kess
Berkel en Rodenrijs Netherlands

Sounds great to me. Maybe we can now get some refreshing new designs for a change, designs from people who may really care about the subject matter and have some motivation for coming up with a great design.
I’m not inferring that employees at the Mint don’t care about their work, but from time to time things need shaking up a little.
Bryan New
Columbia, Ky.

Regarding whether it’s a good idea for the public to be involved in a competition for baseball commemoratives, in my humble opinion it is not a good idea. I have a problem with the U.S. Mint even thinking about baseball commemoratives, even though I played baseball at the collage level, and went on play a little professional baseball in the minor leagues. The U.S. Mint needs no public input from the public for commemorativescoins!
Larry W. Young
Tyrone, Ga.

I’m always in favor of public competition for the design of US coinage. I question who would be on a committee approving the designs and ultimately select the coin. I also question what will be the prize for the winning designs. If it’s anything like the 5,000 specially minted Goodacre Dollars that she got for her winning design, I would imagine that it would be quite lucrative to the winner. I doubt that awarding a specially minted coin or coins to the winners will never happen again.
William Brownstein
New Jersey

Having the public participate is always a great idea. However, there are enormous constraints on what design will work based on the requirement that the obverse must be concave. Beats me what congress was thinking when they decided the reverse must be convex. It doesn’t really make the baseball design any more workable than if it were a flat surface. Great Britain struck a 2 Pound coin in 1986 that was a soccer commemorative, and the ball nearly leaps out at the viewer. Same with the recent COTY award winning basketball coin issued by Latvia. Both of these coins use conventional coin dimensions and are some of the most attractive sports commemoratives out there, and both depict a ball. The proposal to use a convex/concave planchet is flawed on so many levels, it’s difficult to pinpoint the most problematic aspect to it. For starters, the coin’s reverse is almost certain to become impaired if the coin is ever removed from it’s packaging. Secondly, while NGC may be somewhat prepared to slab such a coin in one of their super-deep slabs, it’s hard to imagine PCGS wasting the necessary resources for them to accommodate slabbing a single issue like this in some newly designed PCGS slab. Surely the TPG firms deserve at least as much consideration as the vending industry when making changes with such a profound impact on their business. And then there is the overall look of the coin, it’s going to look like a little wok for cooking vegtables in. Maybe they can Teflon coat the obverse to make it easier to use. Meanwhile, the idea really isn’t even innovative. The French have already done it, and it was as dumb an idea when they did it as it will be when the US Mint does it.
Bruce Walker
Kansas City, Mo.

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