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Clad still bad in buyers’ minds?

The Baseball Hall of Fame cupped coins go on sale on Thursday.

I received a reminder of this in my personal mail on Saturday. The Mint has sent out a mailing to collectors on its list.

It has a nice brochure with the gold, silver and clad coins arranged across home plate. Of course, home plate has been shrunk in size so as not to overwhelm the coins.

The new cupped shape aside, I am also not used to the baseball glove obverse. This is not a criticism of the design, it is simply a mental quirk, I guess, because I want to call the reverse baseball side the obverse.

Anybody else have that problem?

I expect once I am able to hold the coin in my hand and examine it, all such trouble will disappear.

The brochure notes that the $5 gold piece is struck at West Point in both qualities. The silver dollar is being produced in Philadelphia. Denver is responsible for just the uncirculated clad half dollar while San Francisco tackles the proof half dollars.

If you still trust my impressions after I admit my ongoing confusion over the obverse, I will offer that the silver dollar introductory prices of $51.95 for the proof and $47.95 for the uncirculated seem reasonable considering the present price of silver is hovering around $20 a troy ounce and some additional costs are incurred to create the new shape.

On the other hand, is the old collector  prejudice against clad composition causing me to think the $18.95 uncirculated half dollar and $19.95 proof is a little high?

The Mint did keep both prices below $20. That is something.

But to the few advocates of clad commemorative half dollars that I know of, their chief argument for it is to give kids an inexpensive commemorative to buy.

I know $20 isn’t what it once was, but I find the idea of children under 18 spending $18.95 plus $4.95 handling fee for a clad half dollar a bit of a stretch even if they don’t remember when silver coins were in circulation as I do.

Gold prices were not revealed in the brochure as its ongoing fluctuations keeps the Mint and the rest of us on our toes.

Perhaps the greater attention paid to this particular commemorative set by the non-numismatic news media will help boost sales.

I hope so.

However, with a sales track record stretching over more then 30 years, buyers of modern commemoratives continue to be collectors. I don’t expect the arrival of cupped coins to change that pattern.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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2 Responses to Clad still bad in buyers’ minds?

  1. hrlaser says:

    I just posted this comment, refreshed the page, and, as usual, my comment isn’t there, so I’ll post it again.. apologies if it shows up twice, but this seems to be a constant problem with this site..

    On 13 March, 2014, The USPS issued a new stamp commenorating Jimi Hendrix. https://www.usps.com/stamps/jimi-hendrix.htm
    I ordered the “DCP” option which is a pane of sixteen stamps on a backing that looks like a 45rpm record sleeve with part of record peeking out (there is no record.. it’s just part of the artwork).. and a psychedlic-colored FDC with another Jimi stamp on it, and “digitial” First Day of Issue cancellation.. this whole thing cost under $10.00, and shipping by Priority Mail was $1.30. I received it on Saturday in flawless condition.. I’m not primarily a stamp collector at all, but I am a long-time Hendrix fan, and being a limited edition stamp, this was just too good a deal to pass up. No, there are no precious metals, or metals of any kind involved.. but in my wildest dreams, I can’t even imagine the US Mint making a Jimi Hendrix commemorative coin.. instead we get coins with a baseball glove.. {{twirling finger in the air}}.. we get coins with portraits of politicians and their wives.. we get horribly-designed State Quarters, and ATB coins.. we get coins with buildings.. coins with military themes, and Olympics, and so on.. but a Jimi Hendrix commemorative coin?.. It would sell like hotcakes, like the new stamps are, but it’ll never EVER happen.. the US Mint doesn’t have 1/10 the imagination and creativity as the USPS, in my opinion, and that, I think, is simply a shame, and is never going to change..

  2. wolf7 says:

    These baseball commemoratives are not coins. They are novelty items, knickknacks. As I collect coins, not knickknacks, I will not be purchasing any.
    The U.S. Mint continues to do its best in alienating real numismatists.

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