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Kennedy gold frenzy continues

Spurred on by news that proof gold Kennedy half dollars purchased at the U.S. Mint booth for $1,240 can be sold ungraded and unslabbed for $3,400 on the bourse floor of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., Matt Draiss joined the line waiting for the second day of the offering at around 11 o’clock last night.

He was about a third of the way down the line. The line of buyers for the second day formed earlier and seems to extend a greater distance than yesterday’s line of buyers.

I walked it this morning. This time instead of snaking south on River Road, it snaked north and wrapped around the corner of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center heading east for another couple of blocks’ worth of distance.

Though the line was longer, the people in it were more dispersed than yesterday’s crowd.

Rhonda Scurek, the ANA’s director of conventions, arrived at 5:30 a.m. and walked the line three times to announce the rules of behavior that were being enforced. She praised the Rosemont police for their efforts at keeping everything orderly and safe.

Draiss also praised the police. He said from 1 o’clock in the morning on they were just great. Beforehand, he said, there was a tentativeness about where people should be standing, but that was worked out.

Rather than go to the head of the line today, at 8 a.m. I walked to the end to talk to the last person

Deborah Bodner was seated in a comfortable lawn chair. She lives in a nearby community and drove in this morning. She said she got in line about 7 a.m. She has been a collector for about a year. She saw reports online about the gold Kennedy sales and she was also interested in the two-coin clad Kennedy set for $9.95, which also is being sold.

Today is the second day of the convention and the Mint will have 500 gold Kennedy coins available and the procedure will be similar to that in effect Aug. 5, though Adam Stump of the Mint said late in the day Aug. 5 that there might be a few tweaks. Yesterday’s supply of tickets was handed out starting at just before 11 a.m. The final sale of the day for gold Kennedy halves occurred not long before 5 p.m. as the last ticket  holder bought his prize.

Stump also said that the gold Kennedy proofs were already on backorder as more than the 40,000 that the Mint had on hand were already accounted for. Online buyers took the bulk of the coins.

In addition to the 500 coins sold at ANA, the same number was also sold Aug. 5 at the mints in Denver and Philadelphia and at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Today only 100 coins each will be available in Denver, Philadelphia and Washington.

Draiss wondered out loud how long the buying frenzy can last. He asked rhetorically whether the prices will collapse by the end of the convention on Saturday.

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