U.S. Mint’s First Colorized Coins

By Stephanie Meredith
August 17, 2020

Watch the video the learn more about the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins.

In August 2020, the U.S. Mint releases its first colorized coins as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program. The program recognizes the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with curved coins in gold, silver, and clad. A limited number of silver proof and clad uncirculated coins are colorized on the reverse side. The silver coin features a colored net, rim, and channels on the basketball. The clad coin colorizes the entire basketball as well as the net and rim.

Colorizing coins appeared in the early 1990s by nations such as Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, and Palau. Now many countries around the world make colorized coins. Canada and Australia are large producers of these coins and develop many innovative techniques for applying color. The Royal Canadian Mint was the first to produce a colorized circulating coin, the 25-cent coin, in 2004.

Coins are colorized by methods such as applying a “sticker” to the surface, adding ink or paint through a computerized “printing” process, or enameling by filling recessed areas with paint. The U.S. Mint used a third-party to colorize the Basketball commemorative coins using an automated process.

The Basketball Hall of Fame Colorized Silver Coin features a white net, dark orange rim, and black channels on the basketball. Channels are the seams that go around the ball. Limiting the color on the ball to the channels retains the look of the silver and texture of the basketball.

The clad colorized coin features an orange basketball with black channels, white net, and dark orange rim. Applying color to the whole basketball enhances the curvature of the coin and gives it a three-dimensional effect. The colors of the net and rim enhance the effect. The orange color of the basketball matches the hue associated with the sport.

In addition to the colorized silver and clad coins, the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program includes gold, silver, and clad coins without color in proof and uncirculated finishes. All the coins in the program share the same obverse and reverse designs that celebrate the sport of basketball and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Related Activities

Basketball coin coloring page with cartoon crayonsThere are many ways to explore the coins from the Basketball Hall of Fame program. Check out some suggestions below on how to interact with these unique coins in 2020.

See more Inside the Mint articles.

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