US Mint Sales Plans for 50th Anniversary Kennedy Halves

by Mike Unser on July 16, 2014 · 18 comments

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set, one of three U.S. Mint products commemorating the Kennedy Half-Dollar’s anniversary

Earlier today, July 16, the United States Mint revealed its sales plans for products commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Half-Dollar. Details included initial inventory levels and ordering limits at Mint retail shops and the upcoming ANA convention.

Before getting to the sales plans, summarized here, this year the U.S. Mint will offer three products containing seven unique anniversary Kennedy halves with varying finishes and from four different U.S. Mint manufacturing facilities. These coins will bear the original artwork for the obverse (heads side) as introduced on 1964 coinage. Kennedy’s portrait on 50-cent pieces has changed slightly over the years to include a reduction in its relief. Reverses on the anniversary coins are the same as regular annual issues. Very briefly, the three anniversary Kennedy products are the:

  • 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set that has two uncirculated half-dollars with one from Philadelphia and one from Denver. The on-sale date for this set is July 24 with pricing of $9.95.

  • 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin from West Point that is struck in three-quarters of a troy ounce of 24-karat gold. The on-sale date is Aug. 5, which coincides with the 2014 Chicago World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. Its pricing is depending on the gold market.

  • 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Silver Coin Collection and its four half-dollars struck in 90% silver with a proof from Philadelphia, a reverse proof from West Point, an enhanced uncirculated from San Francisco and an uncirculated from Denver. The on-sale date for this set is sometime in the fall with pricing of $99.95.

Kennedy Half-Dollar Sales Plans

Marc Landry, the U.S. Mint’s Acting Associate Director of Sales & Marketing, provided the sales plans in a teleconference meeting for news media. Landry described a goal of having enough Kennedy products on hand to satisfy customer demand but also a desire to save on expenses by not overproducing.

With that in mind, a summary of the product sales plans with initial inventory totals and ordering limits follows.

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set – Early Inventory

37,000 units of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set are on hand to ship immediately. Further production plans will be based on the first week of sales.

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin – Early Inventory

40,000 units of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin are available for wide distribution. First week sales will be evaluated to adjust production accordingly.

Release Plans at ANA convention and US Mint Retail Shops

2,500 of the gold Kennedy halves will be available at the ANA convention. A maximum of 500 will be sold each day beginning at 11 a.m. CDT. To minimize customer wait times, 250 tickets will be distributed with a location to line up for them announced 15 to 30 minutes prior to each day’s sales start.

Coin News Update: This article was edited to correct the amount of tickets to 250 for each day from the original published 500 figure.

There will be a 2-coin limit per person at the show as well as at U.S. Mint retail shops in DC, Philadelphia and Denver. The Mint intends to stay flexible at the ANA convention, leaving options open to tweak the 500- and 2-coin limits.

The U.S. Mint will have three sales points at the ANA convention with two dedicated to Kennedy gold coins and one for other products.

A limit of 5 per household is in place for anyone ordering online at www.usmint.gov/catalog or through the Mint’s call center at 1-888-321-MINT.

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Silver Coin Collection

By the time the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Silver Coin Collection launches this fall, the Mint expects to have its new order management system online. That will eliminate the need for its online waiting room which has been used during peak ordering periods for popular releases. There are no plans to release the set during the kick off a major coin show.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard July 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm

You know, people were saying that the clad set (and I suppose the silver ones too) were “high relief.” There’s nothing on the mint site saying that. If this just a repackaging of the uncirculated set’s coins?

Richard July 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Follow up…okay, my error. Rereading the release I see:

“These coins will bear the original artwork for the obverse (heads side) as introduced on 1964 coinage. Kennedy’s portrait on 50-cent pieces has changed slightly over the years to include a reduction in its relief.”

Okay, so in a roundabout way this seems to say that there will be a slightly higher relief, which I think makes them worth getting. But why didn’t the mint clearly say this on its catalog page for the set? You’d think that would increase sales.

jim July 17, 2014 at 12:43 am

“new order management system”? They should have it online now. I wonder if it will be volume tested and the bugs fixed. Since we’ve not been told anything about this new order system I wonder how different it’ll be and how much more difficult it’ll be to navigate through the system. No waiting room? What will be in it’s place? I hope there are no plans to release the new software during the kickoff of a major new set but if they do (and I expect they will based on recent software releases, e.g. health system software debacle) will they be prepared to fall back to the old system if the new one crashes with real time volume? There are only 2 months to go to fall and they still don’t know when they’re going to release the 4-coin set yet?

Depressing and distressing news and once again no clarity or visibility into what’s going on at the mint.

RonnieBGood July 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Jim,
I’m still waiting for my Baseball HOF order from day one of issue!

I believe that the Mint is trying to improve but come on guys…

SactoMike July 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

RonnieBGood, et al:Beware, folks: if you plan to buy just a few Kennedy sets the moment they become available online, and hope to receive them within PCGS’ 30-day requirement for the “First Strike” slabbing designation — forget it. I did that for the gold baseball coin and the two Silver Eagle commemorative sets – and my delivery dates were two and three weeks “outside” the 30-day requirement. Hence, no “First Strike” designation when slabbed, which unfortunately diminishes their value in the after market. Reason: customers with the larger orders received first shipping priority, regardless if they ordered 5 or 10 minutes later than you did. After exhaustive research and interviewing phone reps at the Mint, I found this to be the case.

dale July 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm

first strike is bunch of bull fairy tale horse poop ..coins dont have serial numbers those who word you taking ohhh, the coin graders… lesson learned.

jim July 18, 2014 at 11:27 am

So far we see there are 37,000 uncirculated Kennedy coin set first strikes, and 40,000 Kennedy gold first strikes. Do you believe that? How many dies does the mint use to make a coin during it’s run – 37,000? 40,000? Do you believe that? The mint doesn’t track first strikes so the graders can’t either. It’s all a ruse by the graders to drum up business.

RonnieBGood July 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Jim, a lot of factors affect a die run but you are absolutely correct. The US mint has issued warnings to collectors in the past about the “First Strike” and “Early Release” labeling. There is no way to guarantee a First Die Strike!

tom thumb July 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm

first strike “bull” HSN has all you want. Those presses spit out coins faster than a machine gun, and the coin may have been struck a month before it goes on sale.

SactoMike July 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Gents, I agree the “First Strike” or “First Release” monikers are nothing more than a marketing scheme..but certain coins slabbed with this designation, or variations of this designation, do in fact command a premium in the aftermarket. Case in point: the gold ’14 reverse proof Buffalos command 30% more slabbed with these designations than their non-first strike/release counterparts. And, they’re getting bids. Its PCGS’ policy – not the Mint’s – to award a “First Strike” designation to coins issued in the first 30 days of the Mint’s release. Details on the PCGS website. Not schilling for the company. Just stating facts.

jim July 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Yeah, not clear what’s going on in people’s minds who pay more for a first strike notation.
What’s worth more – a first strike 68 or 69 or a later strike 70? Me, I’d go for the 70 every time.

RonnieBGood July 19, 2014 at 9:41 am

Tom – correct again. The high volume coins including the ASE are struck up to 6 months in advance. The circulating coins are shot out of the presses like a machine gun but proof coins and commem’s are carefully handled by the US Mint. They will typically grade a 69 or 70. I have had coins come back with a 68 but this is rare for a coin coming straight from the Mint to the Grading service.

jim July 20, 2014 at 1:04 am

RBG –
It’s a new Order Management System with emphasis on order, not delivery.
I would appreciate delivery while the order process is still on so I can return a bad coin for a better coin. Now it looks like it’s be happy with what you get or buy from the secondary market.

dale July 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

although ASE and Gold coins don’t have serial numbers !! hmmm.i don’t if this would work but, i could imagine a 1/860,000 proof.
Or the last serial number of the final coin run would be cool.

Candi July 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm

So I went to the DC mint today, around 11:20 and the line was around the block. There was a guy giving out money to borderline homeless people and younger guys that may have been friends, waiting in line (at least 50 that I could see) to buy the Kennedy sets for him. I flat out asked the guy what he was doing and as you may have guessed, he is having the coins he graded as first release and then selling them.

My questions is, after paying for grading, and paying whatever he will to these guys for waiting in line for him, what kind of price is he planning to charge for these coins?

Oh and as a side note I ended up getting out of line and ordering online. I am not looking to have mine graded or sell for profit so I didn’t see the point standing behind a guy that wreaked of stale alcohol and was chain smoking half used cigarettes.

jim July 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

I totally forgot that yesterday was the release day so ordered on-line today. I don’t remember ever seeing a mintage limit for this set and if not then they’ll probably sell the set way into 2015 – another set that should stop sales at the end of 2014.

Richard July 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Limit is 5 per household Jim. Maybe it will stay on, maybe not. But of course one can have friends order for you too….

jim July 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Actually I was looking for total mintage, not household rule.

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