When it comes to the market for the 2014-W proof gold Kennedy half dollars, it seems to be all about the label.
All three coin dealers interviewed said that Chicago labeled gold Kennedys were the best sellers.
The demand for gold Kennedys based on their release locations prompted PCGS and NGC to offer labels for each separate location. The four release locations were the Chicago American Numismatic Association (ANA) coin show, the U.S. Mint in Denver, the U.S. Mint sales office in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.
“Chicago is the best, second is the D.C. sold coins.,” said Dave Hendrickson, owner of SilverTowne, Winchester, Ind.
There are collectors for each and every offering out there, he said.
“There’s people that collect certain labels,” he said.
He also noted the sale of the first gold Kennedy sold at the Chicago ANA show, which he purchased from a buyer there.
“We sold the first coin purchased at the Chicago ANA show for $100,000, as well as the second through sixth ones purchased. All are backed by a receipt from the U.S. Mint and by PCGS,” he said.
There will always be that one coin, the first one sold, he said.
With nearly a month since their release, the secondary market has seen the gambit of gold Kennedys in all sorts of slabs, grades and labels.
“In the marketplace, there’s always a group that wants the best. They will go after the PF-70s,” said Michael Haynes, CEO of APMEX, Oklahoma City, Okla.
The collectors are thinking I want one at the best price I can get, he said.
“There’s always the good, better and best. Those that just want the coin will go for an ungraded one, the good. Those that want the better ones will go for the 69s. The collectors that want the very best will buy the 70s,” Haynes said.
Prices for both the 69s and the 70s were firm at the moment, he said. APMEX priced PF-69 First Strike Chicago gold Kennedys at $2,495 compared to the PF-70 First Strike Chicago gold Kennedys at $2,795.
“The market depends on the volume, which is influenced by availability and pricing,” Haynes said.
Availability was the key element, especially with the limited release during the Chicago ANA show, he said.
“Things tend to get over-hyped and we kind of saw that at the show. Now, about half a month later, things have cooled off a bit,” he said.
A lot of people bought the gold Kennedys from the Mint to flip them on the secondary market, said Kevin Crane of L&C Coins, Los Alamitos, Calif.
“Prices aren’t as strong as we anticipated them,” he said.
Price-wise, the 70s are worth more and the 70s will always sell more than the 69s, he said.
“With the way modern commemoratives are produced and handled, it’s hit the point where the collectors don’t care about the 69s,” he said.
SilverTowne was selling two to three 70s for every 69 sold, Hendrickson said.
“We’re selling a lot of them everyday,” he said.
Hendrickson said the coin seems to appeal to a lot of collectors.
“There are a lot of people in the U.S. and in Europe who want to commemorate and remember John F. Kennedy,” he said.
In order to fulfill all customer demand though, the Mint is producing a lot of coins. It can and will affect the market, he said.
“The coins that are graded and slabbed, especially those from the sales locations, are going to stand out from the ungraded ones,” Hendrickson said.
For instance, SilverTowne is selling PF-70 Early Release gold Kennedys for $1,600, while an PF-70 ANA Inaugural Release gold Kennedy was priced at $2,909, he said.
“The lowest population coins will always demand a premium,” he said.
The unlimited mintage is going to hurt the market, Crane said.
“I think mintages and having something that is rare appeals to collectors,” he said.
eBay sales reflected that, with ungraded coins being sold for little over the Mint’s prices, if they sold at all.
The market on eBay for the gold Kennedy has weakened for graded coins as well.
PF-70 Early Release gold Kennedys were trading around $1,940 on Aug. 12. By Aug. 25, the same coins were selling for $1,520.
Weaker yet were sales of PF-69 Early Release gold Kennedys, which trade in the $1,300 to $1,450 range. One sale on Aug. 25 ended at $1,262, well below the $1,277 the U.S. Mint was charging that day.
The label seems to matter when keeping prices high, but still couldn’t prevent a soft market. PCGS First Strike PF-70 Chicago Release gold Kennedys were selling around $3,700 on Aug. 7, but had dropped to $2,350 by Aug. 25.
Prices for the First Day slabbed gold Kennedys, especially those from the Chicago release, were the firmest. On Aug. 9, a PF-70 Chicago First Day gold Kennedy sold for $4,550. On Aug. 20, the same labeled coin sold for $4,003.
Many PF-70 Chicago First Day gold Kennedys are being offered between $3,895 and $3,995, though a best offer was accepted in most cases. Those coins graded First Day from any of the four locations will have the lower populations, possibly keeping prices up while the many other offerings of gold Kennedys weaken.