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What do you think of the designs?

How’s your mental health? Isn’t that an awfully personal question? Sure, it is, but I cannot help myself this week.
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How’s your mental health?

Isn’t that an awfully personal question? Sure, it is, but I cannot help myself this week.

If you look below, you can take a numismatic version of a free-association test. It is not a Rorschach test. I am not a psychiatrist. But I do think that we collectors on average are probably mentally fitter than we would be if we were not collectors.

We certainly know how to escape from our problems from time to time for a little mental rest and recreation with our coins.

Thanks to the U.S. Mint posting the 24 semi-finalist designs for the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin, we can have a little more fun.

Who doesn’t like to be a coin design art critic? By looking at these designs, not only can you pick your favorite, you can test your thoughts about each one and write a comment about it online if you want to.

I enjoyed going through the designs. I think the Mint’s art competition to determine the common obverse design for a clad half dollar, silver dollar and $5 gold piece is a fantastic idea. Keep in mind that whatever the winning design happens to be, it needs to look good on the tiny $5 as well as on the large silver dollar.

As I happily went through the 24 designs one struck me as something that would look good being worn as a law enforcement badge. I think that it just looks so incredibly official.

Another design of a player sliding into home plate brought a little word play to my mind as I considered its merits. For some reason, I wanted to put “America Safe” with it. Crazy? Probably, but that is what popped into my mind.

I noticed that the Mint rotates the designs on the web page so they do not always appear in the same place That’s probably a good idea lest we fix it in our minds that the first design is somehow superior because it appears first.

I came a way from my review thinking that it is a shame that we cannot use three of the designs. Some designs I thought would look much better on a small coin. Others I thought would only work on a big coin.

The one-size-fits-all requirement will give the judges a bit of a headache. It makes me glad that my opinion has no impact on the eventual outcome.

After you have studied the designs and thought your thoughts, why not email me at and share them? I can put them in the Letters section for all readers to dissect.

Perhaps a consensus will form. Perhaps not. Let’s see what develops. The winning design will not be announced by the U.S. Mint until Sept. 10. That gives us all plenty of time to chew the topic over in a leisurely, summertime sort of way.

Whether you find a design to love, or one to hate, I think you will enjoy making your own determination, sharing it with readers and then sitting back to see what other readers are thinking.

The best part is participating in this process is far cheaper than seeing a shrink.


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