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Who buys new bags of Kennedy half dollars?

Tomorrow, the United States Mint will begin to sell rolls and bags of uncirculated 2018 half dollars from Philadelphia and Denver.

A 200-coin bag ($100 face value, half from each mint) is priced at $139.95.

A two-roll set is $32.95.

Have you ever bought such a bag from the Mint?

I have.

Because the Mint no longer strikes the coins for actual use in the banking system, the only way to get the new dates in quantity is to buy them directly from the Mint.

Several years ago, I wanted to see what I might find. I’m thinking this was in 2014, but the date isn’t reliably in my memory anymore.

What kind of condition would there be?

Would I stumble upon a minting error of any kind?

The thrill of the hunt was my motivation.

But I did not find anything of interest.

I was stuck with a bag of coins that nobody really wants anymore.

As a collector, it no longer had my attention once I got through the bag.

Other collectors probably would react the same way.

The premium over face value basically just disappears.

I spent a few of the halves to see what response I would get from cashiers.

I took some to the local bank.

A few of them still remain in a desk drawer.

My curiosity was satisfied.

I do not care to spend the extra $39.95 plus $4.95 shipping cost to do this every year, because I am not building a Kennedy set of any kind.

There are probably many collectors who feel as I do, as indicated by prices on the secondary market.

Even older half dollar coins face the problem of low prices.

Just a few weeks ago, while cleaning out the last remnants from the vault at 700 E. State St. in Iola, Wis., we found a few dozen two-roll sets from 2003 as packaged and shipped to us from the Mint.

We could probably have sold them one at a time on eBay for around $40 each, but nobody wanted to take the time to do it.

It was finally decided to deposit them with the company’s bank.

Face value was half retail price but without the waiting time and the hassles and cost of shipping.

If anyone near Iola runs across a quantity of uncirculated 2003 half dollar rolls, they probably came from our deposit.

So who is still buying these Kennedy rolls and bags?

Speak up.

Send me an email at david.harper@fwmedia.com.

Tell me your story.

The Mint has already struck 3.5 million 2018-P coins and 2.2 million Denvers.

Those are significant numbers.

Somebody is buying them. Is it you?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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2 Responses to Who buys new bags of Kennedy half dollars?

  1. VKurtB says:

    Yes David, since 2015, I am one of the purchasers. I fell in love with the look of the higher relief Kennedy halves that first happened with the 2014 two-coin set, and have this bag on my enrollment list with the U.S. mint. They tend to include some magnificently high quality examples, and I find MS67’s and occasionally an MS68 with some regularity. The rest I use to inspire children and locals near ANA coin shows. I add a current year half to all tips I give near coin shows.

  2. Vachon says:

    Up until 2008, I used to buy a roll from each mint from a dealer but when I had to move, I realized they were taking up space and deposited all but an example each at my bank. I still get rolls of halves from that bank (between $200 and $400 a month) to see what I might find and occasionally post-2001 issues appear.

    So far, I’ve only ever found a 2013 and 2017 dated Kennedy half in the same year they were issued. Since I’m not interested in condition, just a coin to pop into my Whitman folder for the fun of it, finding recent Kennedy halves from “circulation” has proven satisfactory for me.

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