The Hall of Fame Commemorative coins recently released by the US Mint have proven to be one of the hotter collectibles early in 2014 for both coin and baseball collectors alike.
Professional Coin Grading Service, a coin grader/authenticator and subsidiary of PSA, has added fuel to the fire by inking 18 Hall of Famers to autograph deals with the intention of having them autograph encapsulated HOF coin tabs. The limited number of signature coins which have already hit the secondary market carry hefty price tags.
Players who have agreed to sign coins encapsulated by PCGS include: Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer, Johnny Bench, Ernie Banks, Tommy Lasorda, Tony LaRussa, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Ryne Sandberg, Frank Robinson, Pedro Martinez, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Morgan and Billy Williams.
Also signing coins is Cassie McFarland, the California-based artist whose submission of the glove side of the coin won the US Mint’s design contest. Her signature on the silver dollar coin is fetching right around $300.
Miles Standish, PCGS Vice President and Senior Grader, hopes the number of players will soon reach 30 or 40 and added that player signatures are just the tip of the iceberg. He mentioned issuing “Limited Editions” as well as “career accomplishments” for some players. Standish said cut signatures of deceased players is also something PCGS is looking into.
“Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, those are my big hitters,” he said. “I’d like to figure out how to have PSA/DNA cuts in there. That takes tremendous effort.”
The dimensions of the label on the coin holder are just 13/16″ x 1 3/4″ and a cut autograph would have to fit in that space.
With prices continuing to rise and more signatures seemingly on the way, this is a collectible seemingly on its way out of the price range of the collector on a budget (see them on eBay here. But there are still ways you can get in at a reasonable rate.
The U.S. Mint still has some of the 750,000 half dollar issues available for right around $29 after shipping. They are back-ordered and you won’t get them until approximately July, but you can order them online here or by phone at 1 (800) USA MINT.
Or, if you happen to be in the Houston-area this Friday, the Mint will be in attendance at the Orioles-Astros game selling both the Hall of Fame coin as well as a commemorative coin honoring the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in conjunction with MLB’s annual Civil Rights Game.