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March Coin of the Month

Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin

If you've been around this site for any time, you've probably seen us use the terms "obverse" and "reverse" to describe the front and back of coins.  But this coin gives us some new terms to think about:  "convex" and "concave," meaning curved outward and curved inward, respectively. 

Remembering that "concave" means "curved inward" is easy because something that's concave resembles a cave or cavity, from the Latin word for "hollow."  But there's no such thing as a "vex," so "convex" is not so easy to remember.  The Latin roots of the word actually mean something like "together bringing" as in "convention." 

I guess you could think about having a big convention in a small place.  Imagine the building getting so full that the walls bulge out!  Now that's a convex convention! 

Anyway, back to the coin!  The designs on the obverse and reverse are perfectly suited to concave and convex surfaces. 

The obverse, which is concave, shows a catcher's mitt, which is also concave.  The reverse, being convex, is the perfect place to imitate a baseball...which, as we all know, is convex too!  These designs go together like hand in glove...or rather, like ball in glove! 

And did you know that the glove design was chosen as the winner of a contest?  Last year, more than a hundred people entered the United States Mint's Baseball Coin Design Competition, but it was Cassie McFarland who submitted the winning design, based on the actual baseball glove she herself used as she was growing up. 

Like all modern commemorative coins, there is an organization behind the creation of this coin.  In this case, it's the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a baseball museum in Cooperstown, New York.  Part of the proceeds of each coin will go to support the museum's mission of preserving history, honoring excellence, and connecting generations through baseball. 

And let's not forget the kids!  Though the winning designs won't be made into coins, kids up to 13 entered their own coin design contest.  Check out the winners on the Kids' Baseball Coin Design Challenge page! 

—Plinky 

Plinky, the Mint Pig

Teacher Feature

The front of the gold baseball coin.
Obverse:  The concave design on this five-dollar gold coin is the same on the other two in this series: the dollar in silver and the half-dollar in clad metals.

The back of the gold baseball coin.
Reverse:  All three commemorative coins have a convex baseball design. The main difference is the denomination wording. See them on the Commemorative Coins page.



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