US Mint Suspends In-Person Kennedy Gold Coin Sales

by Darrin Lee Unser on August 7, 2014 · 16 comments

This afternoon the United States Mint announced that for safety reasons it has suspended in-person sales of dual-dated 1964-2014 Proof 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Coins. It also addressed questions about the Mint’s ability to meet demand for the coins.

Lines for Kennedy Gold Coins

Photos of sections of the lines formed to buy 1964-2014 Proof 50th Anniversary Kennedy Gold Coins. From left to right: Line at Denver Mint – Second Day (United States Mint photograph by Patrick Brown); Line at Philadelphia Mint – Second Day (United States Mint photograph by Tim Grant); Line at Mint Headquarters, Washington, D.C. – First Day (United States Mint photo by Tracey Brown).

Sites of the sales suspension were first limited to the three retail locations in Philadelphia, Denver and Washington, D.C., with the Mint saying the decision was made to:

"Ensure the safety of those wanting to purchase the coin and the safety of its own employees."

Later in the day, with the same reasons cited and in a joint annoucment with the American Numismatic Association, the sales suspension was extended to the 2014 ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois.

1964-2014 Proof 50th Anniversary Kennedy Gold Coins

Photos of dual-dated 1964-2014 Proof 50th Anniversary Kennedy Gold Coins taken in the U.S. Mint at West Point where they are produced

The U.S. Mint had planned to offer 500 coins each day at the ANA money convention, and 100 coins on Friday at the three Mint retail locations. The U.S. Mint at all locations will continue to sell its other products, including the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set.

Kennedy gold coins launched on Tuesday, Aug. 5, and saw intense demand and very long lines for those wanting to get coins immediately. The Mint had allocated a number of Kennedy gold coins at each location, and limited in-person orders to one coin. First day sales of the strike reached 56,694 coins and another 5,006 sold on the second day for a two-day total of 61,700.

First Day Sales Second Day Sales Total Sales
Chicago ANA Show 493 488 981
Philadelphia 500 100 600
Denver 500 100 600
Washington, DC 376 228 604
Online/Call Centers 54,825 4,090 58,915
Total 56,694 5,006 61,700

 

Prior information from the Mint indicated that it had 40,000 of the Kennedy gold coins on hand and ready for delivery on opening day. However, with that initial inventory more than accounted for with the flurry of sales, what does the Mint have planned?

According to the Mint, it has all the necessary raw materials to initially produce 75,000 of the coins. In addition, it will continue to procure more materials, as needed, to fulfill demand.

"The Mint is very proud to have produced over 40,000 of these beautiful coins," said United States Mint Deputy Director Dick Peterson. "We will continue to produce 6,000 of the coins per week for the next several weeks and continue to assess demand. We are committed to maximizing access to these products."

1964-2014 Proof 50th Anniversary Kennedy Gold Coins are still available for purchase directly from the United States Mint website via the coin’s product page, located here, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Current pricing is 1,240.

Each Kennedy gold coin is struck to proof quality from three-quarters ounce of 99.99% pure gold and issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half-dollar. The obverse or heads side features a restored version of United States Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts’ portrait of Kennedy and the reverse or tails side has United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Frank Gasparro’s version of the Presidential Seal.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Victor DeCurtis August 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm

U.S. Mint directors and security staff. Go to You-Tube and look up, “Feilene’s Basement wedding dress sale.” and see what limited inventory of a wanted product, induces in “rational” people. Then, look up, “WalMart midnight sales, Thanksgiving night.” Watch the crazy people running over people to get one of the 50 HD TV’s. Now, you have a clue, how not to have a “limited sale of a highly anticipated and must have, product.” What were you thinking? Not too much, by the looks and the actions of the mint’s sales outlets. Next time, have a lottery, of bonifide collectors, no coin dealers, retailers or flippers. Include regular citizens and correlate addresses and zip codes to insure “The Coin Vault” and other coin retailers are getting over U.S. regular customers. When “The Coin Vault” has a 4 piece set of the 1964-2014-W Gold Kennedy Memorial Half Dollar, “First day sale” from each of the four selling outlets, and all in PF-70 DCAM, on the second evening, August 7, 2014, after the opening day sales, something is wrong. Oh, they’re selling the set for $19,995 plus $9.95 s&h. Remember Mint biggies, it’s U.S. the regular collectors that support the mint.

kennygee August 7, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Right on Victor,
Coin Vault anounced that they may have the first four coins sold up for sale on Monday. I can’t wait to see what they ask for them. If they paid $20,000 plus $4960 for replacement coins, I can only imagin what the price for No.1 – No.4 all in PCGS PR 70 will be. The mint sure wasn’t thinking when the authorized this. I just filled out an extencive survey they sent me about 2 months ago. I covered everything you said in that survey. Boy they sure weren’t listening very well. I feel I wasted my time. We have to keep the pressure on the mint and advisory board and take the coin collecting hobby back. Everyone who enjoys collecting should speak up. It is becoming a money thing.

Boz August 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hmm, looks like a true cross-section of American greed. Unlike other examples mentioned such as a K-mart blue light special, this hype was fostered entirely by third party grading companies.

What’s next, labels for first hour of sale, first arches quarter found in a Seattle vending machine, first Lincoln cent squashed by a machine imprinting the Gettysburg address at the stroke of midnight on December 31?

Not only do we have to worry about knock-off coins and currency, but the TPG holders are also being faked.

I say buyer beware!

John O August 7, 2014 at 10:18 pm

The U.S. Mint should hold all sales of First Day of issue coins until 12pm. the same time they are available on the mints web-site. The coin shows are becoming a show for scheme artistry.

Rob August 8, 2014 at 4:49 am

And!!!!!!!!!!! That’s not the biggest news here.
The coin vault admitted that they were the ones who bought the first 6 coins from the ANA show for $5,000.00 apiece. And as I felt that something didn’t smell right, sure enough they also admitted that they already had them pre-sold.
For coin number “1” a whopping $100,000.00 .
I bet those poor folks who sold them for a measly 5k each will be kicking themselves. After all was 5k a fair market price? Absolutely not! They were snookered big time.

Doug August 8, 2014 at 6:05 am

I was one of the 1000 people waiting in the huge lines awaiting the release of the new dual date Gold Kennedy! The huge dealers had 100’s of Paid personal waiting inline for them to buy the coins. The first day Tuesday I was number 156 in line at 1am and by the time I got into the US Mint Line inside I was 293. There was no one there to help keep order. The worst part is after waiting in line for 16 hours and receiving new coin right next to the US Mint in Chicago was a dealer with huge sign Paying Top Dollar for Kennedy’s. They were paying people $500.00 to await in line. This causing people a feeding frenzy, that is a lot of money and So Surprised no one was hurt or killed. The Mint Should of known this needed order and hired security personal to help to keep the order.

Doug August 8, 2014 at 6:11 am

What about the people who bought plane tickets to await in line on Thursday to buy a Gold Kennedy? Why would the US Mint Allow a Dealer to sit in the line right before purchasing coin inside show with white envelopes with $1240.00. in them. They knew this was happening and when I approached them they said “They are not breaking the Law”

Victor DeCurtis August 8, 2014 at 10:26 am

Doug, the mint has security personnel. I can attest to that fact. Having tried to visit the mint in Denver, twice and was denied entry, twice after driving a few thousand miles, both times, they can prevent an American from entering but could not give a damn whether you or anyone is safe on the street, right outside the mint. By the way, just around the corner from the Denver mint is a jail and a court house where very sleazy characters hand out. Buyers, beware and be wary!

Joe33 August 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

Well, I guess the future of coin collecting is very positive based on the number of strapping young men of all races in line to but the Kennedy Gold Halves!
And I thought it was mostly us old guys doing the collecting. (ROTFLMAO)

The problem really isn’t with the dealers. Like the mint retailers said, they aren’t breaking the law. We would all like to make a profit on our “extra” coins. The problem is with the idiots buy from them and who pay the huge prices for the plastic encased coins with “First Day” and other meaningless markings. There is so much profit involved, we are now questioning if the grading from these companies is even legit! (Of course, from some companies, their grading was always a joke.)

The mint could certainly do more, but when money is involved, there will always be people who find a way to scam the system. I just hope I get my coins soon and they are as nice as the ones I have seen photos of.

colec August 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

I just think this pandemonium and long waits were completely unnecessary. Not to mention the grading and flips. All you had to do was log in from your job, stay in the waiting room and eventually, even after 2hrs… you get in and get your coin. Unless you don’t have a computer, the sleep overs on the street makes absolutely no sense for an unlimited version .75oz gold coin, that the mint will continue to make at a rate of 6k per wk, for at least this month – so that everyone who wants one, can get it. Smh. They will always know how to get the suckers.

Joe August 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

What a wast of time. Who ever buys these coins at these prices is wasting there money in the secondary market. They will be cheaper a year from now the 70’s & 69’s.

Amber August 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm

The coziness that I observed between the Philadelphia Mint security and the guys paying the hundreds of people who stood in line for them was disgusting. I mean, they let 2 of the guys go inside of the mint and stand on either side of the line handing out envelopes with pre paid gift cards to their “minions”. How is this kosher?

John O August 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

It’s an idea that sounds good in theory but doesn’t in practice. It should be suspended for all future shows.The practice also gives coin purchasing for profit an unfair advantage over the average collector.

Eddie August 10, 2014 at 12:45 am

Since grading agencies can put just about anything in their labels, how about printing in label the name of the original buyer? This would at least minimize profit in secondary market…just a thought.

RonnieBGood August 11, 2014 at 9:17 am

Yes, Yes, Yes…
But Why stand in line for an Unlimited Mintage? Because the 1st to the Graders and 1st to Market will get the highest dollar when Sold/Flipped. Anyone in the line just to get a coin for their Collection (with online and phone options from home available) is probably not “Smarter than the Average Bear”.

Joe A. August 11, 2014 at 6:03 pm

I will wait a year to buy the graded coin if that is when the price will go down. The price WILL go down! As far as the labels goes they do make it more of a pain. I mean is a 70 not as good as a 70 FIRST STRIKE! If you wait YOU CAN GET A BETTER DEAL. Look at the Baseball coin when it first came out and now.

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