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Countdown to gold moment

Gold Kennedy half dollars to be offered at the American Numismatic Association convention in Rosemont, Ill., beginning Aug. 5 has certainly gotten the attention of many collectors.

I had a phone call from a longtime reader in Texas who was concerned that the number of people present on the bourse floor to acquire the tickets to buy them would be so numerous that special crowd control efforts would need to be implemented.

The very reason for the ticket distribution at the show is to control crowds at the Mint booth and to move them away from it.

The Mint will not to tell conventioneers where the tickets will be distributed until about a half hour before the coins will go on sale at the Mint booth at 11 a.m. on the first day of sales when 500 coins will be available.

Certainly, if as the phone caller envisions, there are thousands of people present to get tickets, there will indeed be some need to keep them orderly as they move to the ticket distribution point somewhere on the bourse floor.

Will there be such a large crowd? We can only wonder at this point how many will want to spend $1,277.50 (or thereabouts) each for a new gold coin.

I have my own funny thoughts. An email arrived from the Mint at 9:05 a.m. yesterday titled, “Note to Editors.”

Its contents were short and sweet: “Purchase of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Aug. 5-9, 2014, and at all Mint over-the-counter points of sale will be restricted to those individuals 18 years of age or older. Proof of age may be required at the time of purchase.”

Does the Mint believe its booth will be swamped by hundreds or thousands of Young Numismatists at the ANA, perhaps hired by dealers to stand in line to make purchases for them? I asked.

The Mint response was this is not the case. The statement was simply a reiteration of standard customer policy for its website, I was told.

Really?

Certainly it might be true, but I do not usually spend time sending out emails about the small print on the NumisMaster website unless something arises that makes it necessary.

In the Mint’s case, what could that something be?

Clearly the gold Kennedy has captured the attention of collectors. We have two more weeks to think about the new coin’s release. Who knows what else someone might think could happen at ANA?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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