The story of the first proof gold Kennedy half dollar to be sold at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money Aug. 5 in Rosemont, Ill., likely will be widely shared on the cable TV show called the "Coin Vault."
Dealer David Hendrickson of SilverTowne revealed his tentative plans as the owners of the first six coins were submitting them on his behalf to the graders at the Professional Coin Grading Service table on the bourse floor of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
What price they might bring is still an open question.
Hendrickson had been working the front of the line just before 7 a.m. to negotiate the purchase of the coins from the first six people standing in line.
The first four people were part of the same group. The buyer of the first coin sold was Nick Yadgarov of Los Angeles, who came to the show with his girlfriend, Callie Hohlfeld, his sister, Rina Maya, and his brother, Daniel Yadgarov.
Hendrickson agreed to buy the four coins for $20,000 plus supply replacement gold Kennedy coins sold later in the sequence.
After Yadgarov and the others were admitted into the convention center, they were taken to a holding area that resembled a TSA security line at the airport. A total of 510 people were allowed in to wait their turn for 500 tickets that would allow them to purchase the gold coins at the U.S. Mint booth at 11 a.m. Central Time.
The final 10 persons understood that if no one in front of them dropped out of the line, they would be out of luck.
A few minutes before 11 a.m., Adam Stump of the Mint began giving out the tickets to those waiting. They looked like ordinary raffle tickets, but Stump said the back side carried some sort of security marks or devices that would allow the Mint to spot fake tickets. The ticket colors will changed each of the five days the gold Kennedy halves will be on sale.
Yadgarov and 19 others were the first group to get their tickets and they were then escorted to the Mint booth, where he went to the front of the line at the cash register.
There was one lighter moment as there was a person at the register ahead of him. When the cashier asked him what he wanted, he said a gold Kennedy. He was politely told that without a ticket he could not buy one.
Then Yadgarov stepped forward, counted out $1,240 in cash and handed it to the cashier, who recounted the money. Yadgarov was then taken to a nearby table where he was given a coin.
After the first six buyers were taken through the process, they showed off their coins to news reporters. TV reporter Frank Mathies of WLS, Channel 7, was present to interview Yadgarov.
After talking to the news media, the first six buyers were escorted by a PCGS representative to the PCGS table. Once there, they were asked to sign the certificates of authenticity to add further historical context to the day's events.
What kind of prices these coins will eventually fetch on the secondary market is anyone's guess, but we won't have long to wait now.