On July 12, 2012, the Senate passed H.R. 2527: National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act. The bill had originally been introduced on July 14, 2011 by Rep. Richard Hanna of New York and was passed in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. In order to become law, the House must approve amendments to the original bill made by the Senate, and then the bill must be signed by the President.
The bill will require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, up to 400,000 silver dollars, and up to 750,000 clad half dollars in recognition of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It is suggested that to the extent possible without significantly adding to the purchase price, the gold coins and silver dollars should be produced so that the reverse is convex to more closely resemble a baseball and the obverse is concave for dramatic display of the design.
The designs for the coins will be selected by the Secretary following consultation with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The Secretary is directed to hold a competition to determine the common obverse design of all three coins, which will be emblematic of the game of baseball. Potential designs may be accepted from artists, engravers of the United States Mint, and members of the public with compensation for the winning design of at least $5,000. The common reverse design of the coins will depict a baseball similar to those used by Major League Baseball.
Surcharges will be added to the cost of each coin in the amount of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver coin, and $5 per half dollar, which will be distributed to the Secretary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to help finance its operations.
One of the amendments included in the bill passed by the Senate specifies that the commemorative coins may be issued only during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2014. The original version of the bill as well as a separate bill introduced in the Senate had both specified issuance in 2015. An additional amendment requires financial assurances that the minting and issuing of the coins will not result in any net cost to the United States government.
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